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Naimah Spann, NIRO Co-Founder

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I first moved to Hartford with my mother when I was ten.Coming from a big city like Philadelphia, I fell in love with the smaller feel of the city and that there’s actually grass here!My favorite memory has to be going to see Mary J. Blige when I was 15.It was my first concert, and I went down to the Civic Center on my own to meet up with my friends.

There are so many great places in Hartford to enjoy.My favorite place for lunch is the Russell, right down the street from my boutique, NIRO Couture.They have a drink that’s like a strawberry milkshake for adults…it’s delicious.I love Trumbull Kitchen, and my favorite place to go out after dinner there has to be one of the after hours parties we hold in NIRO.  I’m not a big coffee drinker, but I always love a cup of tea from Jojo’s.

NIRO not only serves as one of Hartford’s most unique (and affordable!) boutiques, but a design school as well.  Everyday after school, I invite kids down to the store to learn about designing clothes and entrepreneurship.  They end up making some great pieces and actually get to sell them, which gives them a great sense of empowerment and teaches them to grow to be strong women and men.