Merary Montes has always had a flair for business — while growing up in Mexico, she charged fees to do the boys’ homework, with prices depending on the size of the project.
Now Montes and business partner Reagan Sirisavath have opened The GLBT Spot Store at 2414 Hennepin Ave., after just three months of planning.
“We’re ambitious,” Montes said. She previously lived in Chicago, where she loved visiting the Boystown neighborhood.
“When I moved to Minnesota, I felt there were a lack of stores that cater to the GLBT community,” she said. “And I don’t like shopping online.”
Montes said novelty T-shirts in the window are drawing in shoppers — “Don’t be a Richard,” is the label on one shirt. They sell fedoras and Pride gear, like handkerchiefs for pets that proclaim “My owner is gay.” They also carry handmade bow ties, Andrew Christian underwear and Gaga-style sunglasses. A wedding section features same-sex cake toppers — the guys are already sold out. Photo prints are available from local photographer TamBui, who holds first place in the U.S. Adult Figure Skating Championships. (Bui is currently raising money for competitions in Maine and Germany next spring on gofundme.com.)
The storefront was previously home to Piecemaker, so the store is also carrying pipes to serve customers unaware of the closure.
Montes and Sirisavath initially planned to start small with the business, perhaps opening a booth.
“We were driving by Hennepin and saw two spots open, and thought, ‘Why not’?” Montes said. They beat out other proposals to secure the storefront.
Sirisavath is a nutritionist who works for the city, and Montes previously managed a furniture store.
In the coming months, the owners plan to build a sex and wellness section and create a section for “queens” with wigs, makeup and eyelashes.