Friday, January 6, 2012

New boutique in Cornelius has a higher purpose

Linda Williams took a leap of faith moving from New York to Cornelius to pursue her dream of opening a boutique, and she's taking another with her plans to donate 10 percent of revenue to charity.

Her new shop, Lemuel, is set to open Monday, Jan. 9, at 19826 North Cove Road, Suite A, in Cornelius. Williams said she's spent the past three months repainting and refurbishing the store with her fiance's help, doing everything themselves except installing a light fixture.

"No contractors," said Williams, a former special education teacher in Yonkers. "A real labor of love."

Williams said she always loved clothes, and as a young girl in the Bronx she would take the subway to visit stores in Manhattan. "I would take the train to Saks and Fifth Avenue," she said. She never had much desire to make clothes herself, however. "I sewed up my finger one time when I was 12, and that was it," she says with a laugh.

She became a teacher and worked with at-risk kids in drug prevention programs, Williams said. People would sometimes encourage her to pursue her dream of opening a boutique, but after her mom died in 1995, "I put it off again."

But over the past few years, several people close to Williams died. "Cancer just took them all out of here," she said. Some weren't even old. She had a realization: "It really became very paramount to do this now."

Her sister had lived in Durham, and often encouraged Williams to join her there. But the Charlotte region kept coming up in conversations, Williams said, and she decided that was where she was meant to go.

"I came down here at the end of March," Williams said. Her car was "loaded up like the Beverly Hillbillies," and she was intent on opening a boutique.

After searching at various different shopping centers, she decided on one in Cornelius. Following her renovations, Williams was almost ready to open, displaying her inventory of products from Fendi and Valentino. She just had to decide how much of her revenue she was going to give away: 10 percent.

"That's how God put it in my heart," Williams said. "Originally, I though 5 percent. Then, I went, 10 percent? Yeah, 10 percent. This is my relationship with God, to trust and serve him. The way to serve him is to help others."

Williams said her donations will go the Red Cross, St. Jude's Children's Hospital, and the Baptist Children's Homes of NC.

Is she nervous about making such a big, revenue-walloping commitment, especially in this economy? "I had to block that out, had to pray," she says. "God has brought me this far."

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Anonymous said...

Goog Luck and God Bless u