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Sultry Steps

Marquisha Washington shares how she started her fashion business through a leap of faith trusting God’s plan.

Marquisha R. Washington is a God-fearing, following wife, mother, former Health Care Management Professional of 18 years, lover of fashion, and the founder and owner of Sultry Steps, Inc. Sultry Steps started as a passion project from home, selling shoes to hosting shoe parties and vending at various Chicagoland events. Marquisha launched her online e-commerce store sultrysteps.com in October 2015. A year later she opened her first brick-and-mortar store, Sultry Steps Boutique, in South Holland, Illinois. Marquisha managed to work a full-time job and run her own business. She remained hopeful that one day she would be able to become a full-time entrepreneur. In December 2019, Sultry Steps Boutique relocated to the South Loop of Chicago. There Marquisha stepped out in faith and resigned from her healthcare management career to become a full-time entrepreneur. 

“Business was going great! There was consistent foot traffic and an increase in sales, and I had gained a diversified clientele,” Marquisha shared. “Then COVID hit! A mandatory shut-down went into effect, and all non-essential businesses had to close their doors. After being closed for 3 ½ months, I didn’t know what to expect. My faith had wavered. I started blaming myself for bad timing regarding resigning from my healthcare career. What I failed to understand at that time, the pandemic was not my fault. I had to be patient and trust God. Now, a year later since the start of this pandemic, and Sultry Steps Boutique is still standing! Thank you, Lord!”

Marquisha said that Matthew 17:20 has especially spoken to her heart.

Because you have so little faith. Truly I tell you, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Matthew 17:20

She continued, “I truly believe my calling from God is ministering to women about self-love and self-confidence. Being a woman, I know at times “we” can be our own worst critic. I consistently hear women say, ‘I need to lose weight, or I’m ashamed to show my arms, knees, etc.’ I make a point to tell women they are beautiful. Embrace your flaws! Words are powerful. I love speaking positivity to reassure my customers, regardless of what they may think of their outer appearance, beauty starts from within. When you truly start loving yourself, self-confidence follows.” 

Sultry Steps Boutique is a “one stop shop” specializing in women’s fashionable footwear, apparel, and accessories. It also offers one-on-one wardrobe styling.

Sultry Steps Boutique is located inside of Roosevelt Collection Shops in Chicago, Illinois. You can also check out their website and follow them on Instagram.

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