When Tiffany Porter decided it was time to come home after 18 years of living and working in Arizona, she know exactly the kind of business she wanted to open and where she wanted it to be.
Porter says it had always been her mother’s dream to manage an accessories shop, though she’s been operating a salon for many years. So the natural move was to open a store for women’s accessories with a salon in the back. That’s how Blue Palm Accessories came into existence at 20th and Broadway in 2017.
Porter’s mother, Regina Whitlow, handled store operations for a year while she wrapped up her life in Arizona and prepared to move back to Kentucky, which she did in May of this year.
“My mom has always been into jewelry, clothes and fashion,” Porter says. “That’s always been her passion. She loves to shop, so in order for me to slow her down, I wanted to give her something that she could do. …
“I wanted to give her her dream of having a salon and boutique, so I said, ‘Why don’t we do a combination?’ ” she says. “My mom is the visionary – she places the jewelry and decorations – and is the inspiration. I pay the bills, do ordering online and social media. She was the face people see.”
Whitlow had built quite a following in her 30-plus years in the West End, so there was no doubt as to where Porter would put the shop. She found space in a high-visibility corner in an office building at 20th and Broadway.
“When I saw the Y is coming up and all that they’re doing in the West End, I wanted to come back home so I could be a part of the growth,” says Porter, who graduated from Central High School.
She was successful enough to be able to return home and help make her mother’s dream come true.
“I wanted to give her something. As a child, your parents work so hard for you. I can finally say this is part of your dream. I can make it come true,” she says.
Porter chose the name Blue Palm to recognize her roots in Kentucky (Blue) and her life in Arizona (Palm). Her connections helped her get connected to suppliers in Arizona and California.
To stimulate traffic at the store, Porter stays busy promoting the shop on social media through the store’s Facebook page. She also participates in community events, including allowing Mary Kay distributors to open pop-up shops in front of the store. She also joined the Louisville Independent Business Association.
Blue Palm Accessories is open Tuesday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.