QueenCare supports youth entrepreneurship, combats gentrification

by Susan Fried

QueenCare offers a line of skincare products at its new storefront at 3702 S. Hudson St. in Columbia City. But its mission runs deeper, providing mentorship for young women and fighting against the ongoing gentrification in the South End.

Monika Mathews celebrated her store with a grand opening Dec. 8, where she highlighted the work helping young women learn entrepreneurship.

“It’s really important for us to continue to inspire our young people in a way that’s meaningful,” she said. “Inspiration, a lot of times, comes from doing and them seeing. Sometimes you don’t have to say a word.”

The store supports Life Enrichment Group’s Young Queens of Seattle King County Youth in Business program. The program teaches young woman how to become entrepreneurs. Life Enrichment Group has been working with middle school and high school girls for 16 years. QueenCare collaborated with participants in the Youth in Business program to develop the natural skin care products.

Mathews said it was important to open a storefront in Columbia City, where many Black-owned businesses have been forced out because of gentrification.

“Gentrification in Columbia City is real,” Mathews said, calling the opening historic and a reversal of the gentrification trend. “This is a Black-owned business. This not just about me, This is about all my young queens. This is for the youth, the next generation coming up.”

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Family, friends and some of the young women who participate in the Young Queens program join Monika Mathews, owner of QueenCare, as she cuts the ribbon at the opening of her new store in Columbia City. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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Kiana Green, 17, shows a customer one of the skin care products at QueenCare’s new storefront in Columbia City. Green is a participant in the Life Enrichment Groups Young Queens Youth in Business program. (Photo: Susan Fried)
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Terri Hendrix 15, a participant in the Life Enrichment Groups Young Queens Youth in Business program greets customers during the Grand Opening of QueenCare on Saturday December 8 in Columbia City.
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Eva Zhang, 15, shows off some of the products available at the new Queencare store in Columbia City. Zhang is a participant of the Life Enrichment Group’s Young Queens Youth in Business program. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Featured Photo: Monika Mathews, the owner of Queencare, shows Jamillah Goodrich one of the products sold in her new store in Columbia City. (Photo: Susan Fried)

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