Nisey Baylor-001

Nisey Baylor, owner of Nisey’s Boutique in Mount Rainer, Md.

A local entrepreneur does her part in staying afloat while also encouraging residents to be more politically active. Nisey Baylor, owner of Nisey’s Boutique, a black-owned business that flourishes with unique clothing, rare beauty supplies, and pro-black products in Mount Rainer, Maryland, not only uses her shop to provide customers with unique merchandise, but also encourages them to exercise their right to vote.

The Prince George’s County shop was, at first, only an idea Baylor discovered after years of managing and owning a plethora of retail stores in the Washington, D.C. metro area. However, even though the native appeared in the {Washington Post}’s Style section for her work at City Kids, a local shop, she decided to move to the Mount Rainier area, during the early 1990s, for a more relaxed lifestyle.

“After I had my babies, I came here so I could still be mother but still own and operate a business” said Baylor “…this was a quieter town and the pace was a little slower.” She opened her boutique in 1997.

With a unique style of customer service, a community-friendly environment, and an artistic taste for products purchased from home-grown companies, Nisey’s Boutique helped establish an artistic culture within the Mount Rainier area.

Baylor’s business was also influential politically. She was the president of the Mount Rainier’s Business Association in 2010, and also served as one of the grassroots businesses that helped  support Obama’s 2008 presidential campaign, donating $4,500. “I lobbied friends and family, and asked them to donate $5, $10, $20 or whatever to my website,” Baylor told the {AFRO}. The owner also managed to register voters at her business.

Although Nisey’s Boutique has helped the artistic culture become the spotlight of Mount Rainier, Baylor’s journey hasn’t always been a smooth ride.

One of the main reasons she stayed in business during the 2008 recession was from her support for the Obama campaign.

“I was on my way totally out,” said Baylor, “and switching to selling authentic and all kinds of Obama paraphernalia and stuff put me back in business.”

Even now, the boutique owner hopes that the Black community will continue support her into the next year.

“The challenge is to get that person here,” she said. “To get that person here in Mount Rainier and seek me out.” However, Baylor continues to be herself and keep the Mount Rainier shop alive, along the other local businesses there, especially after 18 years of witnessing growth from what “the city used to be.”

“Route 1 and the Arts District would not be anything if it wasn’t for Mount Rainier,” she said.