Young Entrepreneurs in Tupelo's Business Community

Young entrepreneurs are thriving in the Tupelo business community.

By Jennie Bradford Curlee on October 24, 2012 at 7:32 pm EST
Yellow Lovebirds Shop in Tupelo, MS


Tupelo/Lee County is a great place to live, work and raise a family. Ask the 30-something crowd and they will tell you that it also happens to be a great place to own a business.

Young entrepreneurs are thriving in the Tupelo business community, running successful restaurants, retail businesses and more. What makes them unique are their varied approaches to entrepreneurship. What makes them the same is their love for Tupelo/Lee County, and the drive to succeed.

Peace, Lovebirds and Understanding

Carrie Hancock was born and raised in Tupelo. After college, she moved away and operated a profitable online store. Today, she owns Yellow Lovebirds, a unique ladies' clothing and accessories boutique located in the heart of downtown Tupelo.

Hancock understands the importance of a thriving downtown area, and chose her store’s location to be a part of an overall shopping experience. Hancock recently opened a second location in Oxford, Miss.

“Downtown is such a great place in smaller towns. It’s where everything happens,” Hancock says. “I love that you can walk around and make shopping part of an experience.”

Barbecue at its Best

The South is known for its barbecue, and Tupelo is home to a myriad of restaurants that specialize in it. One such restaurant is Magnolia BBQ & Fish, owned and operated by Dameione Rogers. After he participated in the Community Development Foundation’s annual Taste of Tupelo event, Rogers saw his business boom, spurring the opening of a second location.

He also operates a mobile business, taking his delicious barbecue all over Northeast Mississippi.

“My company moved me here from Virginia and wanted to move me to Arkansas, but I wanted to stay in Tupelo,” Rogers says. “I saw great opportunity here with Toyota coming and the area’s growth. The support from the city officials and CDF is very helpful.”

Awesome Auto Parts

Charlie Kinney’s career in the auto parts industry began at the early age of 16 when his father purchased a NAPA Auto Parts store in southeast Iowa. At 19, Kinney moved to Nashville, Tenn., to work for NAPA's corporate store division, and from there he ran operations all over the country. With a life goal of owning his own NAPA store, Kinney now owns NAPA stores in Tupelo, Baldwyn, Booneville and Corinth, Miss., and Jackson, Tenn.

Today, Kinney is in the business of helping people, and loves every minute of it.

“There is really no better place to be in business right now than in Northeast Mississippi, Tupelo specifically,” Kinney says. “The economic growth we are seeing, and will see in the future, is really second to nowhere. After living all over the U.S. and Canada for the past 15 years, it is still amazing to me how engaged the people of Tupelo are in their community.” 

Learn about more local businesses in Tupelo, MS.

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