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"Not For Sale"

Michelle Cadore

Business owner of Da Shop

HT: How did you get the concept for your brand and business?
Michelle Cadore: I came up with my clothing brand name, Yes I AM, because I needed a reminder for myself and I wanted to inspire other people to speak positivity into their lives and claim it. "I am", are the two most powerful words; for what you put after them shapes your reality. Every piece is designed to inspire and empower. Each piece is also stamped with the hashtag #IAM or #YESIAM to remind our customers of their dopeness. Once I established the brand and began practicing the  concept, my life did a full 180 turn around.

HT: Has fashion always been a love for you?

MC: I wanted to create positive sayings to inspire and empower people, but I wasn't sure about how to display them. I chose clothing because I can be creative, and people often express themselves through what they are wearing. I want them to feel good while wearing my clothing. So, I started my clothing brand YES I AM with the help of my mentor Frantzy Face, who then became one of my business partners for our new clothing boutique Da Spot NYC.

HT: How did you come up with the name Da Spot?

MC: I came up with the name and mentioned it to my business partners then we all decided to name it Da Spot NYC.  We mostly refer to the boutique as "Da Spot". We wanted it to be cozy and stylish like a dope walk-in closet and we also wanted it to feel like a nice place where you can come, chill, and connect. We often have customers, new and repeat, engaged in deep and inspiring conversations. There is always an awakening moment here and it is more than a boutique, it is a creative platform with monthly events. People have left our doors feeling lifted and they often come back for that vibe, and the clothing, of course.

HT: What has been your greatest moment of success?
MC: I have two: The day I unveiled my brand at my first fashion show pop up event and I made my first "stranger" sale. The second was the first day we opened our doors for the shop. It was an amazingly successful day. We couldn't believe it, but we knew it was "Lit"! We had created something great with DA SPOT!

HT: What is one word that perfectly explains who you are?

MC: A renaissance woman. I am an Assistant Director for a non-profit organization by day and I run two businesses 24/7. I travel often and give back to other building entrepreneurs. I  am juggling many balls, but still creating balance and living my Jet Plane dreams.

HT: What advice do you have for women aiming for a leadership position?
MC: Have faith in yourself! No one can believe in you more than you can believe in yourself. Always surround yourself with people who are doing better than you and who believe in you. Know your worth and don't be afraid to speak up.

HT: What woman inspires you and why?
MC: I would have to say my mother. She is a strong and giving woman who ventured on her own at 17, migrated to the United States from Grenada by way of London and created opportunities for her family. My mother is a nursing professional, but she is also a business woman who has always had the entrepreneurial drive. I definitely get my hustle spirit from her and she is a strong part of the reason why I work so hard. When your parents sacrifice and work hard for you to have more opportunities than they did, you owe it to them to keep building the legacy.