‘This is a special day’

Rockingham woman opens boutique for discounted shoes, clothing

By Kevin Spradlin
PeeDeePost.com

* Photo gallery

ROCKINGHAM — La’Kita McLaughlin wasn’t necessarily ready to open her new boutique in Rockingham.

The timing, though, couldn’t have been better. The 25-year-old kindergarten teacher dedicated on Friday the opening of TeacHer Boutique to her mother’s best friend. Bernice Ratliff was killed on April 10, 2002 in a car crash on East Washington Street in Rockingham.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com La'Kita McLaughlin records the purple balloons, released in memory of the late Bernice Ratliff.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com
La’Kita McLaughlin records the purple balloons, released in memory of the late Bernice Ratliff.

“This is a special day,” said Mclaughlin, who joined with loved ones to remember Ratliff with joy rather than sorrow. “She’d be very proud of me.”

Dozens of purple balloons were let go in to the blue sky above Browder Park in Ratliff’s memory.

McLaughlin is a Richmond Senior High School graduate (Class of 2008) said while a Raider, she was known for her participation in sports. But there’s another side to her.

“I’m smart, too,” she said, surrounded by more than two dozen family members and friends who played a role in the grand opening of the boutique. “I don’t think people knew I wanted to be a teacher.”

But her teaching certificate she pursued. After five years of working her way through school from the public housing complex on John F. Kennedy Drive, McLaughlin graduated from Johnson C. Smith University in Charlotte.

McLaughlin, who teaches in the Charlotte-Mecklenburg school district, quickly realized that being a teacher wasn’t the quickest path to riches. She figures she’s not alone in the realization, and opened the boutique as an outlet for fellow teachers and others on a limited income to enjoy the finer things in life.

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

On a budget, McLaughlin acknowledged that “I love shoes. “I’m taking a risk at selling my shoes for $25 (and no more than $30 per pair) … to make everybody happy.”

TeacHer Boutique located at 1220 Rockingham Road Suite A, across from Browder Park. Planned hours for the store:

* 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday
* 7 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday
* 1:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

Kevin Spradlin | PeeDeePost.com

 

Filed in: Business, Featured News, Latest Headlines, News, Religion, Rockingham

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