JoAnna Lee Corbin, owner of the newly opened J. Lee Boutique took the leap into online entrepreneurship in July, as COVID-19 quarantine raged. Her business has grown steadily and recently she opened a brick-and-mortar location that can be shopped by appointment at 128 Holiday Court in Franklin.
From the beginning, Corbin wanted to establish a boutique that provides fashion-forward items that empower women but also gives back to the community. Especially to kids in the foster care system.
In the 1970s, Corbin’s maternal grandparents fostered a little girl named Lee for two and a half years. Lee became family, but at that time foster parents in Alabama weren’t legally allowed to adopt the children they fostered. They had to let her go, but they never forgot her. Corbin’s mother still has a lock of hair from Lee’s first haircut because she will forever be the sister her mother never had.
“My family has tried to reconnect with Lee,” said Corbin, “but her social security number was changed shortly after being adopted. All they know about her is that her name is now Hilary, she is 46, and lives somewhere in South Alabama. My grandparents, four uncles, and mother still cry when they think about their precious ‘Lee Bug’. Lee will hold a special place in my family’s hearts forever.”
Having been given the middle name ‘Lee’ in honor of this precious child, Corbin has a heart for kids in foster care. Corbin was planning an event for early December for young women who were aging out of the foster care system, which happens at age 17. She canceled the event due to COVID-19; however, it was called The Foster Women Empowerment Event and she had garnered support from the community and other local businesses. The event was going to provide ten women the opportunity to have their hair done professionally by California Roots Salon and Spa, their make-up done by freelance make-up artists, they would be able to shop at J. Lee Boutique free of charge, enjoy a special dinner thanks to Fourth Capital and motivational speakers would discuss topics like finances, interviews, LinkedIn, resume building, and career topics and they would have the opportunity to have get a professional headshot for their LinkedIn page.
An in-person event may have not been in the cards this year, but Corbin was ableo to host a stockings drive for youth in foster care. She collected over 50 filled stockings plus received monetary donations to provide $700 in gift cards. She donated the stockings to Youth Villages & gift cards to Monroe Harding.
This is just an extension of who she is. Corbin likes to get to know her customers. Quite a few have become friends, some despite never having never met because they live on the other side of the country.
“I had known I wanted to primarily sell online through social on Facebook and Instagram. However, I had many requests to come shop at the boutique by appointment. I found that women were searching for a safe and unique way to shop during the pandemic… I almost act as a personal stylist while they’re at the boutique, and give them an immediate confidence boost upon seeing themselves in the clothing they might not have picked for themselves.
While she had intended to target women within her age group, the 20s, she has had women from age 7 to 80 shop at the boutique and order online. She is a firm believer that you can be stylish and on-trend at any age.
Her top sellers are custom and unique acid washed sweatshirts and flannels made in the USA, criss-cross high ponytail hats, cable bracelets, high quality leggings, and foam sole wedges.
Prior to starting J. Lee Boutique, Corbin worked in the music industry. When she saw an opportunity to create a unique shopping experience online and in-person in Franklin, she ran with the idea and has never looked back! She can be found at @ShopJLeeBoutique on Instagram and Facebook or at www.jleeboutique.com.
128 Holiday Court, Suite 101B
Email for an appointment