Meet the Neighbors: Girl Tribe Co.

November 13, 2018 11:44 pm

Carrie Barker and Sarah Baucom are Charlotte natives, best friends, co-owners, and creative masterminds behind Girl Tribe Co. Girl Tribe is a traveling pop-up shop, and now also a permanent retail store, that carries a variety of apparel, home, and lifestyle products—for women by women. And recently, this bold, chic, and inspiring duo sat down in their South End store to talk about their humble beginnings, pick their brains about what it’s like to own a retail business here, and discuss what they would consider a perfect day in South End. Yes, chicken wings are involved.

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Historic South End: What exactly is Girl Tribe Co.?

Sarah Baucom: Girl Tribe started as a women-positive graphic T-shirt company in 2014. We actually launched at what was The Boulevard at South End on Small Business Saturday that year. We started with four styles of shirts featuring women-positive messaging. And they just kept selling out. We knew that early on that it was very important for us to gather other female entrepreneurs—our own “tribe”. And that’s really how everything started.

Carrie Barker: I think from the beginning, we found a lot of community through other women entrepreneurs, and we felt really fulfilled—not only in our businesses, but also in the conversations we were having with other women. And I think in the back of our minds we were trying to find a way to give this feeling we had, that was so unique and fulfilling, to other women. So, we started with the graphic tees and built our tribe, and then the next step was asking, “How can we give this back to our community?”

SB: And that’s when Girl Tribe Pop Up started.

We rented out Sugar Creek [Brewery] and had our first Girl Tribe Pop Up December 2015, and since then we’ve had 14 large-scale pop-up shops with 500 to 600 women-owned businesses. Then in 2017, we opened up our store here in South End. What was going to be a seven-week pop-up shop has now extended into a permanent storefront, so we’re really excited about that!

HSE: You mentioned you first started at Small Business Saturday in South End, why did you decide to open up your storefront here in South End?

CB: In general, we were always looking in this area. We both live around here, we’ve always loved this area. And you know, it was special—we had our clothes in The Boulevard from the very beginning.

SB: Yeah, I think South End was a really clear choice for us when we started Girl Tribe. We opened November 11, 2017, right in the heart of holiday sales and we just threw ourselves into having a full retail spot. And I don’t think we would have seen the success we have, if we weren’t in South End.

HSE: What would you tell a business owner that is looking to start a business in South End?

SB: It’s a really exciting moment to be here, and there aren’t any other places in Charlotte that feel as malleable as South End does right now. Everyone’s come together to realize this vision that’s been here for a long time… We’re constantly trying to figure out ways to work together with other area businesses.

HSE: We’ve heard a lot about that, can you tell us how the community and other South End retailers support one another?

CB: We realize that the more boutiques there are here, the more shoppers it will bring to the area. Together we’re going to rise. So you have to remember not to look at it as, “That business is like mine, I don’t want to move to this area.” You should want to come over here because together we will bring in a lot more people.

SB: That’s all part of it—when you have a store, people come in and ask, “What else is here?” and we’re able to tell them “Leroy Fox just opened up,” or “Blaze is right there,” and we hear the same thing—“Oh, they just sent us down here.” And that’s really cool to hear, and be a part of.

HSE: You’ve mentioned creativity, how do you feel South End helps to fuel your creativity?

SB: There’s really no mold around here. Your business can speak for itself. I think that if we were in any other area of town, you’d maybe have to mold to that area a little more.

HSE: Lastly, describe a perfect day in South End.

SB: Hmm…Coffee at Not Just Coffee, then shopping at Free People and Anthropologie. Next up, jumping on the Light Rail and seeing where it takes you—that’s really fun. Oh, I would have lunch at Seoul Food Meat Co. Have you had those wings?! They’re insane!

CB: They really are…

SB: Then finish out the day shopping at Girl Tribe, obviously.

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Experience Girl Tribe Co. for yourself—it’s located at 1800 Camden Road, Suite 102, and is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays.

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