Boutique owner goes from foster care to fashion

Noel Wellington overcomes difficulties to open clothing boutique Queens

Noel Wellington entered foster care at the age of two and did not leave until he was older, nearly 20 years later.

“People will tell me I’m nothing, I’m on drugs like my mother, and things like that,” she said. was breaking through

Queenz owner Noel Wellington

Noel Wellington poses for a portrait at her Queenz store.

Joseph Cook/Buffalo News

Aging out of foster care means a difficult transition into adulthood without a support system, often after lifelong trauma, and all statistics are against her, says the advisory group. The National Congress of Legislatures said: Half of foster children who leave the system as they age become addicted to drugs. Quarter doesn’t have a high school diploma or her GED. And more than one in five of her will be homeless.

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Wellington made a conscious decision not to go to college because he wanted to avoid debt. She also had an entrepreneurial spirit and loved her job. Between her retail business and her job in home health care, she would often work 80 to 90 hours a week.

Queenz owner Noel Wellington

Noel Wellington inspects coats at her shop.

Joseph Cook/Buffalo News

And when I was 25, I got into a car accident. Two years later, she received her settlement money and funded her one cent to open her own clothing store, Queens, at 2577 her Avenue in Bailey.

“I never really grew up. ‘And then, a few years later, I got a clothing store.'”

Unfortunately, that year was 2019. So Covid-19 was right around the corner. Wellington had to close shop, but rent and other bills still remained. She stepped up her e-commerce business on her own and increased her following.

Earlier this month, she reopened her brick-and-mortar Queen’s Boutique. She sells men’s clothing, women’s clothing, women’s lingerie, handbags and other accessories.

She admits that it has been a difficult journey to get to where she is, and that more challenges may lie ahead. But she also believes that owning a clothing store is nothing short of a miracle.

“It was a dream come true. I have to give God all the credit,” she said.

Welcome to Buffalo Next. This newsletter from The Buffalo News brings you the latest coverage of the changing Buffalo Niagara economy – from real estate to healthcare to startups. For more information, visit

Introducing Pawsitive Vibes, a mobile veterinarian

Veterinarian Valerie Ciallella and former West Side Pet Clinic Manager Joe Speranza teamed up to start Pawsitive Vibes Roaming Veterinary Care, a mobile veterinary clinic.

Pawsitive Vibes does home visits. This is beneficial for anxious dogs, owners say, and convenient for older clients, those without transportation, or those with mobility issues.

New JC Penny Beauty Concept Debuts at Walden Galleria

JC Penney of Walden Galleria has replaced the Sephora Beauty shop with its own new concept, JC Penney Beauty. The new store in store is described as being “super inclusive” for all skin tones, ages, races, budgets and hair types.

The new shop will replace Sephora as it transitions from JCPenney to Coles Stores after deciding not to renew contact with JCPenney.

New Taco Bell in Western Seneca

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The store is equipped with free Wi-Fi, power outlets, and comfortable seats. The drive-thru has a menu board with an electronic ordering system, which the company says makes ordering faster and more accurate.

Walmart bans paper bags

Starting January 1, Walmart will no longer provide paper bags for customer purchases in New York State. Shoppers should bring their own reusable bags.

Walmart stores are already bagless in Vermont, Maine and New Jersey.


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5 readings from Buffalo Next:

1. Buffalo Niagara economic recovery: The value of all goods and services produced in the region jumped 5.3% last year after falling 3.4% during the pandemic.

2. the bill let me shop: Buffalo Bills merchandise is one of the hottest local gift items this holiday season.

3. How Are West New York Higher Education Institutions Recovering from Covid-19? Some local schools are lagging in enrollment, while others are struggling to attract students.

Four. new life for old stones: How a Buffalo firm is finding new uses for old brick and stone in construction projects.

Five. Big changes are proposed for the state energy marketcould change the way residents heat their homes and cook food in the years to come.

The Buffalo Next team provides a complete picture of regional economic revitalization. Email your tips to or contact Deputy Business Editor David Robinson at 716-849-4435.

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