Style: New store profile

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From the September 27, 2012 edition

The show-stopping clothing and accessories at Charrise Walker’s store Mine Body Sole are the antithesis of Walker’s personality growing up. That’s the point.

“As a child, I was very quiet and reserved,” Walker said. “I didn’t feel comfortable around people I didn’t know.”

Now she wears and sells items like spandex leopard print jumpsuits, red velvet wedges with spike details and golden faux-leather jackets. A space in the back of the store where the soaring-high heels can be found is dubbed Diva Den. Not bad for a former wallflower.

Walker attributed her previous cautious outlook to much of what she struggled through in her early life, such as growing up in foster care, scraping by on welfare and having a child as a teenager.

As she got older, she said, “I was determined to be stronger.” Her burgeoning boldness manifested into a clothing business she opened at a flea market a couple years ago and expanded into women’s store Mine Body Sole this summer.

The store is a dream come true for Walker, but is also a way for her to help budding business women who come from similar circumstances: women with few resources and support. Among Mine Body Sole’s offerings are clothing and jewelry created by fledgling local designers.

“I like working with women and empowering women,” she said. “This is my way of giving back for what I didn’t have. I’ve always been a dreamer. This is not just a boutique.”

In addition to the nonprofit fundraising events and parties the store hosts, shoppers will find makeup, perfume, jewelry, jackets, dresses, jeans and club wear ranging in size from small to extra, extra, extra large and shoes from sizes six to 11. Oh, and there are bedazzled flasks! Nothing in the shop costs more than $100.

“My motto is look like a million bucks without spending a fortune,” Walker said.

But, as she said she’s learned, know you’re worth that much and more.

Photos by Tessa Berg