Philadelphia boutique owner speaks out after store looted during protests

    'We are now in danger of losing everything we worked so hard for.'

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    A Philadelphia businesswoman says it took looters about a minute to snatch up everything inside her boutique Tuesday during the city’s unrest over the police killing of 27-year-old Walter Wallace Jr..

    Jameelah Scurry’s La’Vanter Boutique was reportedly among the nearly 200 small businesses targeted by vandals. The destruction occurred just as her company celebrated its two-year anniversary in the community. 

    “We were also celebrating that and our two-year mark in business,” Scurry shared with local reporters, per 6ABC.com.

    Read More: Black toddler taken, mother beaten by police during Philadelphia protests

    The Peirce College graduate quit her job, sold her home, maxed out her credit cards and invested her entire savings into her boutique. She even survived the challenges of the coronavirus pandemic. This latest setback could force her to close the doors to La’Vanter for good. 

    “Me graduating from Peirce, that was a long journey too,” Scurry said. “I was actually very proud of myself, graduating in a pandemic. It was extremely hard with all of the George Floyd riots and all of that going on.”

    Community members are supporting Scurry with her rebuilding efforts via a campaign on GoFundMe.

    “I quit my job and decided to invest in my dreams and community. I emptied my savings and checking account. Maxed out credit cards and sold my house to open my business,” the campaign page states.  

    Scurry’s boutique was previously burglarized in August, “which set us back Significantly,” she noted on the campaign page. “On 10-27-20 we were again burglarized and cleaned out. We are now in danger of losing everything we worked so hard for.”

    Read More: Couple gets engaged during Philadelphia protests for Walter Wallace Jr.

    The campaign has raised over $35,000 at the time of this post, surpassing its original goal of $15,000.

    “It’s been a real blessing,” said Scurry. “I appreciate everybody that reached out to even give us encouraging words and that are praying for us.”

    Scurry is hopeful La’Vanter can bounce back from this massive financial loss. 

    “We as Black people, really need to reunite and come together,” she said. “Destroying and tearing down our own people is not the answer.”

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