McMullen, owned by Sherri McMullen and supported by her three employees, is a boutique that offers designer and high end clothing to women in the Oakland area. The focus of McMullen is to help women feel and look their best offering a range of designers, mostly emerging female designers from around the world. “I look for talented designers who have a commitment to support artisans in their communities,” says Sherri.
Before Sherri McMullen started her business, she was a buyer at Neiman Marcus. She’d loved fashion since she was a young girl, and was always curious to know how the products made it to the stores. After studying business in college, Sherri was able to connect her business curiosity with her love for fashion as a career. “When I moved to Oakland, I saw a need for high fashion here. My goal was to create a business so women didn’t have to travel to find great fashion. They could shop in their own community,” remembers Sherri. She wrote her business plan while she was working a full-time job and was able to launch McMullen in 2007.
In 2016, Sherri came to Main Street Launch for a loan to help her grow her inventory supply. “Because of the loan I was able to bring products in from a Nigerian designer, and we did a U.S. launch to support her. Working with Robert [Lattimore, Senior Vice President] was a great experience. He has so much knowledge and expertise that I know I can ask him any question about my business and get great advice,” says Sherri.
Sherri advises entrepreneurs to follow their passion: “It’s important to study and understand business, not just what your business is about. Be prepared to work harder than you ever have before, but know that if you love what you do, it won’t feel like work. Only do what you’re passionate about – your customers will feel that passion and keep coming back.”
McMullen is celebrating their ten year anniversary this fall. Sherri says, “So many of our clients have been with us from the beginning. Being part of this Oakland community and celebrating women in this way has been a wonderful experience.”