Ayesha Curry: Hi, Sherri!
Sherri McMullen: Hi, Ayesha!
Ayesha Curry: So good to see you.
Sherri McMullen: So good to see you.
Ayesha Curry: My name’s Ayesha Curry, and I am currently at my new flagship location
here in Oakland, California, Sweet July.
Sherri McMullen: I am Sherri McMullen.
I’m the founder of McMullen boutique here in Oakland.
I’ve had the business for 13 years now, and it is a luxury women’s and lifestyle business
focused on emerging designers, female designers, and Black designers.
Sherri McMullen: Well Ayesha, you know, I’ve known you for, you know, well over 10
years now, and it’s just really been such a pleasure, like watching you as a businesswoman
and as a community leader.
Sherri McMullen: Now to see that you have this booming food and lifestyle empire
… a chain of International Smoke Restaurants, a lifestyle line under Sweet July.
What inspired you to start your businesses?
Ayesha Curry: I’ve always seen a void for something that I want to have in my life
or something that I wanted to be a part of and it wouldn’t exist.
Ayesha Curry: I feel like Sweet July is really, like, a culmination of years of
trial and error and triumphs, failures, finding my own voice and finally getting to a place
where this is, this is everything that I’ve had in my head all these years finally coming
to fruition and exactly the way that I want it.
Ayesha Curry: Which I feel like makes me think of you and how we met many, many
Like we said, over a decade ago, I stumbled upon your first location of your store in
I would like to know a little bit about your journey as an entrepreneur and how far you’ve
come because you’re such a powerhouse.
Sherri McMullen: I was always really curious to know about the behind the scenes,
like how did product get into the stores.
And in 2007, I started McMullen
Sherri McMullen: You know, every part of the business was really intentional, from
the mannequins that we had and my family portraits on the wall.
Because for me, it was really important thatif a young Black woman was walking by the
store, she could pass by, come into the store,and also see herself in this industry.
[TITLE CARD] Adjusting During The Pandemic
This is an important one, actually the pandemic — what innovative ways, I guess,
have you come up with to try and keep up with that – to keep things going?
Sherri McMullen: We closed down.
But I think what it did was allow everyone in the industry to slow down, rethink about
how we can do business in a different way that actually made sense.