365 Entrepreneur: The Purse Bar

Le'Deana Brown bar purse


Unique and fun finds are guaranteed at this black owned boutique exclusively for purses. The Purse Bar has locations across the Midwest with styles for every taste. Meet the owner Alicia and learn more.



How did The Purse Bar come to be? I was at a job interview a few years ago before I started the company and the guy told me that I was overqualified. So, I went outside and I talked to God and was like ‘God give me something I can do that no one has’. I must’ve looked at a lady’s handbag and was like PURSES! So, I went home and googled different hand bag stores and who has handbag boutiques. I didn’t find any. So, I’m like let me try it. I went to a good friend that was already in the industry, and I asked her to help me create it. I came up with The Purse Bar name myself, but we just basically researched and started the company. We were online at first and then we got a physical location. It went from there. 


A lot of places are going from brick and mortar to just going online. What made you go the opposite way? Basically, because I focus on mall locations. I make my money off of foot traffic in the mall. I have something different and it’s eye-catching. I basically just chose to go brick and mortar because of the fact that right now everything is so low and it was affordable for me. Online was okay, but it’s something about a location that is different than online. I believe with the type of company I have, I make more money in a location. I’m the only person in this mall with a handbag store. Possibly in every other mall that I’m located at. 


What’s the most interesting bag you’ve ever seen? How did people respond to it when you put it in the store? The bag I can honestly say that people went crazy over was a blow dryer handbag. I posted it online and everybody wanted it and I only had one. That’s the catch to me! I only want to sell one of each handbag. I never want to sell the same handbag over and over, unless it’s different color. I never could find this bag again and it was so crazy. They went crazy over it! My friend brought it actually before the store ever opened. That and the telephone purse! They loved the telephone purse. I sold a lot of the telephone purses because it was an actually telephone.Those were two that were actually big sellers. 


Do you havce to like every purse you carry in The Purse Bar? Actually, no because there’s always going to be one person in the world...What I don’t like the next person wilt. So, even if I don’t like the bag, I still buy it because there’s always somebody in the world that’s going to like the bag. For sure!  


Where are your other locations? We are located at Northwood Mall in Peoria, Illinois, next to Aunt Annie’s. We’re, also, located in St. Louis, MO at South County Center Mall. That store is located between Pink and Torrid. 


What inspires you? My inspirations for coming back to do what I did is my little cousin. She’s a business owner in Indianapolis. She owns R&R Wings with her husband and a few other people. She has four kids under 12 and runs like seven businesses. So, I’m like my kids are grown. I can do this. I, also, have a mentor in Atlanta.


You are really an example of stepping out on faith!  It’s more coming, but I just really believe in what I have. So, I can’t go about not doing it because God always shows me a reason to keep going. There’s always a reason to keep going. We were so discouraged today, no sales. Then, all of a sudden, BOOM people started coming in. It’s not ever going to be a day I won’t sell a purse as long as I sell purses for the rest of my life. I’m always going to sell a bag. So, that’s where my faith come in at, knowing that I have something that’s solidified. Something that maybe will probably never be stopped because handbags will forever be apart of life. 




Located in Indianapolis, 

St Louis, Peoria, Chicago

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