Focused on Youth Empowerment, Black-Owned QueenCare Opens in Central District Location

by Elizabeth Turnbull

On a snowy, sunny day, the luxury body-care product business QueenCare opened the doors of its second location in Seattle on 23rd Avenue South and South Jackson Street in the new Jackson Apartments in the Central District, continuing an interrupted legacy of Black-owned businesses in the district.

“This is so momentous in so many different ways,” said Monika Mathews, the owner of QueenCare products, at the Feb. 11 grand opening. “We’re standing here in the historic Central District of Seattle.” 

Alongside the sale of self-care products such as candles, skin-care creams, and other products made from natural ingredients, a portion of the proceeds go toward benefitting youth programming in the Seattle area. Through the business, young Women of Color, involved with Mathews’ nonprofit, also have an opportunity to earn an income and learn entrepreneurial skills.

QueenCare skin cream on display during the Feb.11, 2021 grand opening of QueenCare’s Central District location. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Seattle City Councilmember Tammy Morales attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony on Thursday and relayed high hopes for the business and for Mathews’ continued youth empowerment efforts through the second location. 

“This business in this location, at this moment in our city’s history, stands as a beacon of opportunity to our young Black leaders as we continue to deal with the effects that this pandemic has had on our city’s economy,” Morales said. “My hope is that QueenCare can be a model for supporting the growth and leadership of young women to acquire the skills they need for self-determination and to shape their own futures.” 

Monika Mathews poses with Seattle City Councilmember Tammy Morales during the opening of QueenCare’s Central District location on Feb 11.2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)

The new location is the first retail tenant in the building on 23rd Avenue South and South Jackson Street. Mathews originally opened her first QueenCare store in Columbia City in 2018 to combat gentrification in the South End. Ultimately, the aim of the company is to help customers indulge in self-care products while equipping young people to learn to be economically successful for themselves through the education of entrepreneurial skills.

“We definitely want you to indulge in self-care practices that are going to help you reach your optimal health, but we are also about engaging with each other, learning about each other, getting to know one another,” Mathews said. “We’re about uplifting those that are most vulnerable amongst us and that is our mission, that is our real bottom line here at QueenCare.”

“Young queens” attend the Feb 11, 2021 opening of QueenCare’s Central District location. (Photo: Susan Fried)

Elizabeth Turnbull is a journalist with reporting experience in the U.S. and the Middle East. She has a passion for covering human-centric issues and doing so consistently.

Featured Image: Monika Mathews celebrates the grand opening of QueenCare’s Central District location on Feb.11, 2021. (Photo: Susan Fried)

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