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Woman founds handbag company out of her closet during COVID-19 pandemic

Jasmin Barmore, Detroit Free Press on

Published in Fashion Daily News

So when Reeves dumped her entire savings into starting Haus of Sy, she admitted she was on pins and needles.

“It was very nerve-racking at first. I kept contemplating on do I really want to take this leap of faith and do this,” she said. “But, you know, I prayed a lot and manifested everything I said I wanted to have and here we are.”

Haus of Sy is not the only Black-owned business that was able to successfully open during troubling times. Detroit rapper Tone Tone opened Toney Island, a Coney Island restaurant with a soul food twist, which brought huge crowds to pick up food on Detroit’s east side.

Other successful businesses that started during the pandemic include a selfie museum and event space called The Pose Experience in Southfield and Dose Collective, a retail space for small businesses to set up shop. And coming to Detroit's east side this summer is Neighborhood Grocery, the first Black-owned grocery store since 2014.

Reeves, who grew up on Detroit's west side and attended Detroit public schools, said that prior to going to nursing school, she always had a love of fashion.

“Before I had my son, I spent time as a stylist, a personal shopper and I would even distress denim and people would buy them from me” she said. “I knew I always wanted to create my own fashion line, and I wanted to start off with something that would stand out, so I started with designing a handbag.


“But never in a million years did I think things would move this fast for me. I’ve literally shipped a bag to every state in the U.S and even one to Paris.”

Reeves, who is the sole employee of her business, said she only releases a limited number of handbags on the website each time she restocks the site, because in the beginning she didn’t know how her sales would do. And now she does it to make sure she keeps up with the orders. On Friday , Haus of Sy will be having its fourth live sale on its website, with about 300 purses available to purchase. She said she has a feeling that the sales will do just as well as her earlier 19-minute sellout, if not better.

Her supporters and customers help to keep her business alive and relevant. But the key that unlocked this door for her, she said, is her faith in God.

“My world for sure changed in a way I never imagined, and I am just glad that my faith was still strong enough for me to step out on it…because honestly, some days, it still shocks me that I birthed a business during COVID.”

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