“When I think about generational wealth, I think about legacy. And that’s something that’s always been important to me. I started my nonprofit organization to actually fulfill my life’s purpose,” said Monika Matthews, founder and CEO of nonprofit Life Enrichment Group (LEG).
Matthews started the LEG 22 years ago to provide academic and positive mentorship opportunities for African American and other Youth of Color in the community. A big goal of hers was to close the achievement gap, which she believes is directly connected to economic inequality.
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.”
(This article was originally published by Real Change and has been reprinted under an agreement.)
The line to enter the Columbia City Farmers Market stretched down 35th Avenue South, curving down South Ferdinand Street, shoppers standing the designated six feet apart in the shade of the trees of the shuttered Interagency Academy. Vendors stacked fresh vegetables and prepared food on tables that lined each side of South Edmunds Street, tokens of normalcy in abnormal times.
Just a block away, Monika Mathews had a small table of her own set up in front of QueenCare, the natural skincare company that she launched in December 2018. Colorful face masks and dangling earrings next to Black Lives Matter shirts and a handful of her handmade products lay out to tempt customers, as a person filled bottles with handmade products inside the small storefront.