- Erica Ponder
Ties that Bind: Childhood best friends reconnect after several years and create online fashion bouti
DALLAS — Who would have thought that two best friends would lose contact, reconnect several years later and run a thriving business together because of a common interest? Briana Jackson and Chelby Hargrove prove that their fates were sealed in friendship and fashion with their unique, heartwarming story.
Corpus Christi natives Briana and Chelby started their friendship in Pre-K in a neighborhood by the name of Greenwood, on Sycamore Place. They were forced to part ways when Briana’s family moved away and the two best friends lost touch for many years. What would happen years later would blow both of their minds and bind their purposes.
The two hadn’t seen or heard from each other since elementary school but somehow ended up at University of Texas at San Antonio and shared mutual friends without knowing. Briana and Chelby had no idea they were studying at the same university until one day in 2011 when they were randomly tweeting the same person at the same time. The girls hadn’t seen each other since 1999.
Chelby, who also works in property management, said she was tweeting when Bri asked, “Is this Chelby Hargrove?”
The question later led to a door that reopened and hasn’t closed since. The interaction led to them going to a party together to never leaving each other again. The besties feel it was fate that brought them back together.
“It’s so crazy how it just happened,” Briana said. “We knew the same people. We hung in the same circles and didn’t know it. It was definitely fate that put us back into each other’s lives, because we’re inseparable.”
As far as their friendship-turned-sisterhood is concerned, the bond has blossomed tremendously, so much that they have a boutique in honor of it.
“I think that we have grown literally into a sisterhood. This is something that I pray about, I talk about,” Chelby expressed. “I tell people about how we met and how we linked back up. I never thought I’d see the day that I’m in Bri’s wedding and her kids call me ‘Auntie Chelby.’ I never imagined any of that, so it’s honestly a blessing.”
Bri said the feeling is mutual.
“When we were younger, we would be wearing my sister’s cheerleading uniform. We would be creating performances. Now that we’re grown, almost 30, now we’re putting on our clothing instead of cheerleading uniforms,” Bri said. Overall, the two don’t feel that much has changed.
When it came to fashion, it was actually easy for Bri and Chelby to join forces. Chelby said her and Bri are definitely daredevils when it comes to what they like to wear. A business-minded woman, Bri said they were initially going to sell shoes but branched out to clothing.
“I think it was just the business side of me that felt like we can create revenue this way on top of loving to dress and get dressed up,” Bri said.
While the friendship and fashion parts come easy, Chelby said she is grateful for her friend’s entrepreneurial bone.
“Bri keeps me on my toes, because she’s already in the entrepreneurial world, so it’s helping me to get my feet wet and really see how it works,” Chelby said.
Bri stressed the importance of balance while being an entrepreneur. A mother, wife and owner of another business, Bri said although it can be hard, she works to make sure she can eventually leave her nine to five in order to spend more time with her family. Her best advice for going into business with a close friend? “Keep an open mind,” she said. Even when it comes to making simple mistakes, the pair said they are able to laugh and keep moving forward, despite how strong-minded they are.
“I don’t agree with the ‘don’t do it’ situation, because if you’re not a mature person individually, you’re going to have problems in general,” Chelby said. “I think we leave a lot of room for discussion, even if it’s something we disagree on, we talk about it and that’s it… We don’t bicker.”
The two currently reside in the Dallas- Forth Worth area.
Let’s talk Shop Sycamore!
The ladies aim to help shape the confidence of women from all over with their online fashion boutique and brand, which is named after the street they resided on as children. From sexy dresses to bodysuits and and sunshades, Bri and Chelby have pieces available for any season and for affordable prices. Having trouble putting together an outfit that will turn heads? No worries! Bri and Chelby said they are more than happy to help customers find a look that suites them. Just dm them on Instagram @shopsycamore. To shop all things Shop Sycamore, go to https://shopsycamore.co/.
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