"I loved the feeling of being in neighborhood stores with my mother as a kid. The shopkeepers were so personable and everyone knew each other. I’ve always been a people person so I guess I felt that community connection from early on."...
Pandora's Box Boutique
Owner: Monesha Philips
“I loved the feeling of being in neighborhood stores with my mother as a kid. The shopkeepers were so personable and everyone knew each other. I’ve always been a people person so I guess I felt that community connection from early on.
When I was about 10 years old, there was a big toy-craze for the ‘Easy-Bake Oven.’ My parents got it for me as a gift. I remember being grateful for it, but at the same time, I wanted a cash register to play with, just like the ones in the stores. That Christmas, my parents got me one and I could not stop playing with it. I loved that thing. I knew I would have my own business one day.
My first summer job as a teenager was at Claire’s where we sold fashion accessories. I felt like my personality connected with helping the customers. I observed them and shared feedback with management about items I thought they should carry. They listened and even gave me a promotion. As an adult I worked nine to five in the corporate world, in addition I took business courses, and the responsibility of my son. I always wanted my own business so I could provide for myself. I filed for my first business loan and was denied. That’s when I knew I was going to make it happen because I work harder when I’m challenged.
My mom is a hard worker with a great work ethic. She’s driven and so kind. I followed in her footsteps and charged on with my dream and it happened. Fortunately, I have a good foundation. My family is very supportive.
Having a small business gives me the flexibility and freedom of working on my own terms. I’m passionate about my business and comfortable in my workplace. Direct connection with people is important.
My business has been in Federal Hill for 20 years. It’s a small space that’s filled with a lot of character. I love the skylight, being near the corner and right across from the market. It’s comfortable and the community feels like home.
I draw strength from others. I have a network of local and independent creatives who I buy from. We help push one another through hard times. We learn from one another’s stories so we can adjust and carry on. It helps to know we’re not alone.”
About Pandora's Box Boutique
Our mission is to provide a unique selection of the latest trends, jewelry, gifts, home decor, and personal accessories. Our products are high-quality, affordably priced, and handpicked with a sense of humor and authenticity, making them items that everyone can relate to.