Love Alumni Boutique empowers women

The+boutique+is+located+at+2105+E.+Yandell+Drive+and+is+opened+Tuesdays+through+Sundays+from+noon+to+%E2%80%936+p.m.++

Annabella Mireles

The boutique is located at 2105 E. Yandell Drive and is opened Tuesdays through Sundays from noon to –6 p.m.

Alyson Rodriguez, Contributor

A local woman has transformed the lives of many small businesses owned by women by opening not only her heart but her store to showcase their products.

Malorie Mckinney is the CEO and founder of Love Alumni Boutique. Mckinney co-founded the business with her husband Dre March 26, 2021. After having trouble with their first choice of venue, they decided to think outside the box and upcycled an old ice cream truck and transform to El Paso’s first mobile boutique.

The boutique showcases 40 women entrepreneurs that Mckinney handpicked. Products sold include candles, stationery, jewelry, clothes, stickers, buttons, shoes, planters, and more. Prices for products range based on the vendor.

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  • Malorie D. Mckinney, CEO and co-founder of Love Alumni Boutique, has a “boutique bus” that goes to pop-ups across El Paso, and sells products from women owned businesses.

  • Among the many products sold at Love Alumni Boutique include candles created by Plum Candles.

  • Clothes sold include those supplied from Muchas Flores, a woman owned brand based in El Paso.

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Mckinney learned from other local female business owners that they have all experienced similar struggles when running their business, such as people not respecting them and their work and the struggles that come with running a business while raising small children. Mckinney, at first, only wanted to focus on her own art and products, but after she and her husband started to fix up the bus, they realized that they had a lot of room for other women’s work.

“Love Alumni boutique is the much-needed space that women small business owners needed,” said Mckinney. “We have jewelry and clothing designers, artists, and artisans. We sell a little bit of everything. This boutique has expanded way bigger than I’d ever imagined.”

Future plans for  Love Alumni Boutique include, opening a website for customers to shop online. This summer, the boutique will provide classes to kids to teach them how to start a business. Mckinney and her husband would also like to create a summer lunch program for underprivileged kids. Another goal for Mckinney is to one day establish a nonprofit that provides micro-funding to small women-owned businesses.

“I always remember what I needed when I was first starting my small business,” said Mckinney. “I was struggling terribly in the beginning, and nobody wanted to give me a chance. I was trying to grow my jewelry business and needed better supplies. I would like to provide that avenue for women business owners. Even if it’s a small amount it will still help someone’s growth. My mom and grandma always used to say the little bit that you have can be a blessing to a lot of people. I try to remember that when running my business.”

The grand opening of her new store will be held on March 26 from 12-6 p.m. where they will also be celebrating the one-year anniversary of the creation of the boutique. Everyone is welcomed for food, live music, and activities.

The boutique bus will have pop-up on Sunday, March 27, at the Chuco Market,3750 Gateway Blvd. To learn more about Love Alumni Boutique follow it on Instagram @lovealumniboutique. The boutique is located at 2105 E. Yandell Drive and the hours of operation are noon to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Alyson Rodriguez is a contributor and may be reached at [email protected]; @alyson_rod1127 on Twitter.