Pop-up shop in Port Huron is growing business woman out of teenage girls – WDIV ClickOnDetroit

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Paula Tutman, Reporter
Brandon Carr, Digital Content Producer
Paula Tutman, Reporter
Brandon Carr, Digital Content Producer
PORT HURON, Mich. – If you haven’t been to Port Huron lately, there’s a lot of good stuff going on with downtown revitalization efforts, and on the main drag, you’ll find a dress shop with the dual purpose of growing businesswomen out of teenage girls.
On the corner of Huron and Grand River avenues across the street from Sperry’s is a worthwhile shop on the corner to check out Saturday (Dec. 3) called The Closet. It’s a storefront dress shop run by a non-profit called by A Beautiful Me.
Inside you’ll meet 16-year-old Abby and 17-year-old Harmony, who have chosen to learn the business of business.
“I was the first one to start like doing the dresses,” said Harmony. “In one of our programs, we had started doing a business plan.”
When you purchase anything at the store, it funds the programming of A Beautiful Me, which is taking young girls and giving them the tools they’ll need to become their own women.
“We sell dresses that have been donated to us,” said Karen Palka. “Half of them are brand new and half of them are gently used or worn once. And through the program of a dress store, we teach girls business skills and build their confidence and teach them life skills.”
The girls are taught everything from sewing to how to run the register to how to build a resume and even handle a first tv interview which isn’t easy when you’re 16.
“At first, I wanted to start a bakery to learn how to run a business,” said Abby. It was cool to kind of get out of the house. So it’s always good to have something to do and all the things about business and customer service.”
The pop-up shop is open Saturday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., and it’s an extension, kind of like the final exam, where what the girls have made out of re-purposing dresses and trinkets will get sold. Then they will actually get the proceeds, but what they are gaining by showing up week after week goes far beyond a pop-up store.
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Paula Tutman is an Emmy award-winning journalist who came to Local 4 in 1992. She's a Peace Corps alum who spent her early childhood living in Sierra Leone, West Africa and Tanzania and East Africa.
Brandon Carr is a digital content producer for ClickOnDetroit and has been with WDIV Local 4 since November 2021. Brandon is the 2015 Solomon Kinloch Humanitarian award recipient for Community Service.
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