Gainesville shops prepare for small Business Saturday, local support

Keisha McArthur, owner of Diva Kouture Boutique, poses for a photo in Gainesville, Fla. Monday, Nov. 15, 2021.

Just two streets over from her childhood home in southeast Gainesville, Keisha McArthur runs Diva Kouture Boutique, a women’s fashion shop filled with bright pink walls, hand-selected clothing and colorful accessories.

It is one of the only fashion shops available in that part of town, according to the 47-year-old business owner, and it meets a need for women of all shapes and skin colors who want a unique outfit that won’t accidentally twin with something from a national chain at the mall.

But McArthur’s success is not just in boosting her customers’ confidence. As a Black female entrepreneur, her business inspires girls and women of color and fills a niche in the community that larger, more distant stores do not.

“One of my biggest goals was not only have my own boutique, but I would definitely love to open my business where I came from,” McArthur said. “And the significance is major because as a young Black girl, you’re always under the impression of ‘I can’t, I can’t, I can’t,’ or, ‘It’ll fail. I won’t get to support.’ But the upside of that is you can, and when you do it, it is successful.”