How this local gallery connects women, art and empowerment

A local mother has opened a new gallery in Haddonfield, NJ and says her main key to success is all due to the connection she shares with other women.

 

Mame Young greets customers at her shop - Labelle Art Gallery in Haddonfield - like she's known them for years. Young, born and raise in Senegal [West Africa] is mom to 20-year-old Scott and 9-year-old Kayla. She opened the gallery with more than 500 pieces of art in September.

"This one is called 'Day One' this is the creation of women."

Since then shoppers, especially women, have flocked to the store.

"Most of my customers, I would say 80 percent of the customers I encounter.. are women. The sorority, the fraternities have been here. There`s an organization for battered women that I've helped with their fundraising. I open up the gallery for special events and churches. So, yes women are actually my backbone."

And that philosophy of giving back and recognizing that female spending power -- has helped business improve each month.

"It means a lot to me to support another mom and support her business."

Mom of three, Natasha McSeed, drives a half hour from Franklinville to buy her children art.

"Her passion for art and her passion to give our children, our African American children something they can see and they could look up to to see themselves in print is wonderful."

Entrepreneurship came naturally. Two sisters own restaurants. Her Mother, also an entrepreneur. 'A driving force', Young says, showing women first hand what they can do.

"My Mom was an entrepreneur she was a single mom raising five girls all on her own.. and from the time we were 10 we saw her buying things, selling things, opening a boutique in Senegal."

While she encourages other women looking to open a business to do the fundamentals - like writing a business plan and doing their research.. she says sometimes it comes down to stepping out on faith.

'The spirit of being a woman. You know we never give up. When we look at our children and we think if 'I give up what`s going to happen to them?' It`s the spirit of fighting and being a woman in general. We can do it all."

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