SEATTLE, Wash. (January 12, 2021) – Vulcan, Inc. in partnership with Seattle-based, microenterprise development nonprofit Ventures today announced a partnership that secured a woman and minority owned business enterprise (WMBE) to rent one of its three micro-retail spaces at the Jackson Apartments.
The first small local business selected to occupy the space is QueenCare, a black female-owned body-care company and social venture founded and operated by longtime Central Area resident and graduate of the Ventures program, Monika Mathews.
“Diversity, equity and inclusion have been integral to the development process at Jackson Apartments, particularly creating jobs and business opportunities for women and minority owned business enterprises,” said Ada M. Healey, chief real estate officer for Vulcan, Inc. “We welcome QueenCare as a tenant and look forward to working with them as they serve the Central Area.” This is Ventures’ first partnership of this nature and will serve as a model for future opportunities benefitting micro-business owners in the Puget Sound area.
Through meetings with leaders and residents of the Central Area scheduled throughout the development process for the Jackson Apartments project, opportunities for minorities and people of color were established as a priority outcome. These goals manifested in the construction of three micro-retail spaces at the highly visible intersection of 23rd Ave. S. and South Jackson St. in the development’s retail pavilion. Each space totals 500 square-feet and is designed to be move-in ready, requiring minimal upfront capital from tenants.
To find entrepreneurs of small businesses whose values and mission aligned with the community’s goals, Vulcan partnered with Ventures to distribute a request for application to their network of program graduates. Small business owners that had completed the necessary business development prerequisites were invited to apply.
QueenCare’s luxury body-care products are made with natural ingredients and crafted to nourish the skin and mind through aromatherapy. In addition to these items, Mathews’ store carries home items, wearables and unique gifts. QueenCare was founded in 2018 as a means to continue Mathews’ self-directed social venture Life Enrichment Group’s Young Queens of Seattle King County- Youth in Business program. The program provides inner city youth the opportunity to develop entrepreneurial skills that create wealth and empowerment through QueenCare’s products.
Mathews plans to make the micro-retail space at the Jackson Apartments QueenCare’s flagship store. She currently operates one other brick-and-mortar location in Columbia City.
“Opening our flagship location at the Jackson Apartments represents my story full circle. When I moved to the Central Area, I was to the point that people probably thought I was going to be a statistic. But I was able to learn and grow, and acquire the skills of entrepreneurship, many of which I learned through Ventures,” said Monika Mathews, owner of QueenCare.
“This innovative opportunity is a great example of equity in action and highlights the high value of community," Mathews added.
QueenCare’s business entrepreneurship has been recognized by local government entities and media outlets. In April 2019, QueenCare was honored by the City of Seattle’s Office of Economic Development as the Small Business of the Month. To mark the grand opening of QueenCare’s Columbia City location, the City of Seattle issued a proclamation establishing December 8, 2018 as QueenCare Day.
For more than 25 years Ventures has supported micro-businesses owned by women, BIPOC, LGBTQ+, immigrants, refugees and underserved low-income entrepreneurs with business developing training, coaching, incubation, access to markets and economic opportunity. Partnerships with businesses and organizations in the private and public sectors allow Ventures to advance their mission and provide valuable resources for small businesses in their support network.
“Ventures is excited to announce our collaboration and partnership with Vulcan in offering access to affordable retail space in a prime location to our client Monika Mathews of Queencare,” said Beto Yarce, executive director of Ventures. “Our vision is to create more opportunities like this to advance wealth generation in the communities we serve.”
QueenCare’s anticipated opening date is February 3, 2021.
About Vulcan Real Estate: Seattle-based Vulcan Real Estate directs all real-estate investment activities for Vulcan Inc, a Paul G. Allen company. Through strategic acquisitions and innovative development, Vulcan Real Estate has created a diversified portfolio of high-performing quality assets including office, life sciences, residential and mixed-use projects. The company’s integrated team of real estate professionals offers a full range of development and portfolio management services from site selection and urban planning to build-to-suit construction, leasing, financing and asset repositioning. Its real estate model is based on quality, sustainable development that builds new value across the entire community. Since 2000, Vulcan Real Estate has delivered $4.3 billion in assets in 45 projects comprising 10.5 million square feet and 3,390 residential units. Eighty percent of the development projects have occurred in South Lake Union, renowned as one of the largest urban redevelopment projects in the country. The company also has 2.4 million square feet of commercial space under construction. Its development pipeline consists of an additional 3.4 million square feet and 2,450 residential units in the Seattle and Bellevue markets.
About QueenCare: QueenCare products were established in July 2015. They were designed with thoughts of how to best serve our skin while utilizing aromatherapy to heal and uplift our mood. Each handcrafted product is infused with good energy, love and natural ingredients that will leave your body feeling luxurious! A portion of the proceeds benefit youth programming in Seattle/King County. Learn about our premier program Young Queens by visiting www.queencareproducts.com. QueenCare’s goal is to uplift every young person that enters their entrepreneurship program. Lifting young people as we climb to new heights is our mission. We want people to leave with the resolve to Indulge. Engage. Uplift.
About Ventures: Ventures is a Seattle-based nonprofit that empowers aspiring entrepreneurs with limited resources and unlimited potential. We provide access to business training, capital, coaching, and hands-on learning opportunities for entrepreneurs. We serve those in our community for whom traditional business development services are out of reach, with a focus on women, people of color, immigrants, and individuals with low income. Our ultimate goal is to support individuals to increase their income potential, achieve long-term financial stability, provide for their families, and enrich their communities through small business ownership.
Media Contacts: Vulcan Real Estate
Lori Mason Curran, Vulcan Real Estate, (206) 342-2000 or [email protected]Natalie Price, Allison+Partners for Vulcan Real Estate, (206) 790-5282 or [email protected]
KD Hall, KD Hall Communications for QueenCare, (206) 966-2198 or [email protected]
Beto Yarce, Ventures, (206) 960-4680 or [email protected]
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