Princess Pope’s Dallas boutique is boarded up and she doesn’t know when she will be able to open again.
The coronavirus pandemic closed Guns and Roses Boutique located at 2014 Commerce Street for weeks. Then just a short time after it reopened, it was ransacked and looted.
“I can’t believe it. I opened this business in 2014 and the only black-owned business on the street,” Pope said. “I have worked so hard and have poured so much into this community for it to be done like this.”
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Protests across the country started after the death of George Floyd in police custody. The black man was seen on cell phone video, being pinned to the ground by a Minnesota police officer. Derek Chauvin, who has since been fired, had his knee on Floyd’s neck. Chauvin now faces a charge of third-degree murder and manslaughter. Authorities say they are still investigating the other officers who were on the scene at the time of the incident.
While Pope said she understands the anger so many are feeling right now, the worst thing to do is to destroy the very businesses that help support the community.
"I am asking us as a community to not tear down other black businesses but come together and focus on the real problem and that is police brutality in America. United we stand but divided we fall."
Pope said she travels all over the world to ensure the fashions in her store are ahead of the trends, so simply opening back up is not an option for her.
“I can’t get the merchandise back that quickly. These people just don’t understand what they are doing,” Pope said.
Pope said she also used her store as a place for mentoring the next generation and helping others who also wanted to get into the fashion industry.
“I would have their clothes in my store too. I did nothing but pour back into the community that poured into me,” Pope said.
It took people seconds to destroy what she built in eight years, but the community is trying to help.
If you would like to help, a GoFundMe page has been set up to help Pope reopen.