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Community Highlights: Meet Shannon Thornton of Sole Girl Fashion Market

Today we’d like to introduce you to Shannon Thornton.

Hi Shannon, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
In July 2010, I started Sole Girl Shoe Party by hosting my first in-home shoe party for a few of my high school friends. From there I hosted in-home shoe parties all over as far as Connecticut to North Carolina. In 2011 I hosted my first “pop-up” market in my backyard. I invited all of my friends and family who owned a business.

From there I hosted a combination of in-home shoe parties and markets until the summer of 2019 a real estate agent took notice of my popular pop-up on Brown Station Road in Upper Marlboro, MD. She told me I need to do this full time and not just for a season. I need to have a place where black businesses can thrive. In October 2019, Sole Girl Fashion Market was born, an incubator for amazing business owners.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall, and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Honestly, it has been very rewarding, with a few challenges. I would not say that the road has been rough or smooth. In business you have to make sure you cross your t’s and dot your i’s, but if it is something that you really want you are going to do what is necessary to be in business and to stay in business. COVID-19 brought about a change, but when things affect the operation of your business you have to look for new ways to adapt and remain relevant.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about Sole Girl Fashion Market?
Sole Girl Fashion Market is an incubator for awesomeness!!! We are where business owners are allowed to thrive and flourish. Whether you are a new business owner, established business, or young entrepreneur we offer space for you to grow your business, build your network, and expand your customer base.

Aside from our weekly Wednesday and Saturday pop up, we host themed events like our Midnight Brunch, Midnight Cookout, and Trunk or Treat events. We also collaborate with business owners to host classes such as Candle Making Class, Bling Class, Vegan Cooking, Belly Dancing, and more. We host a monthly young entrepreneurs market along with a Thrifty Sunday Pop-Up every first Sunday.

We also have other hosts and event planners rent our space to host pop-up and networking events. We have hosted repasses, birthday parties, open mic night, karaoke events, and more. I am most proud that my brand and personality speak for themselves. All of my bookings are simply by word of mouth or people coming to set up for a pop-up and then deciding to want to host their event in my space. It is truly rewarding.

What has been the most important lesson you’ve learned along your journey?
Surround yourself with like-minded businesses and build your team. I think I would be so much further if I learned this lesson early on instead of thinking I had to do EVERYTHING by myself. My team of boss babes and more recently boss kings have helped me to run my business smoothly. We are all an asset to one another, even if we happen to have similar products at times.

Having a team of like-minded business owners allows you to have a soundboard you can run your ideas by and sometimes collaborate with to expand your reach.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Sole Girl Fashion Market

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