Tamika Chisholm

by Terry Watson | May 22nd, 2018
Tamika Chisholm (Photos by Todd Youngblood)

Tamika Chisholm (Photos by Todd Youngblood)

She was a mother at 14 years old, a runaway, a group home alumni, and the target of a scam artist. But failing doesn’t become her. Tamika Chisholm has been challenged all her life, and she always finds a way to win. She had a less than loving upbringing.

She’s always been a fan of fashion, styling her dolls as a child, so it was only fitting that Tamika invest her money in something she was passionate about. She initially planned to open a salon boutique and had hired a contractor (recommended by a friend) to help redesign and build out the space. After handing over thousands of dollars to pay for what she thought was building materials, permits, and other necessary costs, the contractor ultimately took off, and left her with no business, no money, and a broken spirit. “I was depressed. I was going to give all my stuff away, but I just didn’t do it. I just couldn’t let go of it,” says Tamika. When she realized the boutique that she hoped for wouldn’t be, she placed her merchandise in a storage unit until she figured out another plan. This set-back almost ruined her completely. She gained more than 50 pounds as a result.

One day, she stumbled upon an article online about someone who owned a fashion truck and a lightbulb went off in her head. Initially she could only find trucks for sale several states away, potentially forcing her to travel to purchase one.

‘Something told me to look for a truck here in Charlotte. I found a truck and I initially was going to rebrand it to the name of my boutique, but after doing research, I realized the one I found already had a following and was well-known. So, I wanted all of it. The trademark, the name, everything. It was God’s plan.” It took her a mere week to actually find the truck and when she saw it and met the owner, she purchased it on the spot.

Tamika has only owned her new wheels for three months, but she’s steadily picking up speed with customers and sales. The most recent event she participated in was in Spartanburg, SC and it attracted almost 75,000 people. Instead of attending the fling for two days, she was motivated to stay for three. By the time she returned home to Charlotte, she was completely burned out. But that’s normal when you have a dream and are working to fulfill it. On the days she’s not driving and promoting her new brand, she’s buying inventory, tagging and stocking merchandise, and reviewing her books to make sure her dollars make sense.
Curvaceous Closet doesn’t just cater to plus size women like the name suggests. But when a plus size woman steps on the truck, she will be able to find the right fit, up to size 24. Tamika enjoys showing women with any number of curves how beautiful and appealing they are. “Low self-esteem comes in all sizes. I like motivating a woman and letting her know to love herself, period,” Tamika explains.

If it sounds like she is handling this busy life like a pro, you should know that she also has a home healthcare business that she has run for eight years, along with being a mom to two adult daughters, ages 29 and 24, and grandmother to two grandsons. She hesitates for a brief moment when I ask her age. She has a youthful voice. Then she laughs, “I’m 45. I don’t really care!” It doesn’t take long for her to own it.

During her 45 years, she’s experienced more than some have. She freely admits to having a troublesome few years as a teenager. She attended three different high schools as she moved from her mom’s home, to her aunt’s house, to a group home, and back with her mother. She ran away at age 17. She eventually obtained a GED at the age of 19. She decided to change her habits when her immediate family was involved in a horrific car accident and needed her to care for them. Her 13-year-old daughter sustained a brain injury during the accident.

Considering all the dangerous decisions she made growing up, Tamika knew she wanted to succeed. She was confident, that she would fail, but she simply had to restructure her path.

Now her paths lead to anywhere her mobile boutique will allow her to go. She loves being on the road in her fashion truck. She still has her sights set on having her salon studios one day, but she hopes her daughters will take over Curvaceous Closet and make it their own.

It’s clear Tamika had a delayed start and countless bumps along the way. But it’s evident that she didn’t let any of these circumstances dictate her direction. We all get lost and stray at times. But it’s the strong ones that forge ahead, marching onward and upward

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