Business owner Shaquille Goines - VU Alumni Foundation Site
Business owner Shaquille Goines
Business owner Shaquille Goines:
‘VU taught me to ask questions and to reach out for help’
Shaquille Goines’ love for fashion developed early in life. Growing up, he paid special attention not only to how his clothes and shoes looked but to what others wore as well.
In 2018, two years after graduating from Vincennes University with a degree in sports management, Goines turned his passion into a career when he opened PLE Fashion in Evansville.
Goines said his time on the Vincennes campus prepared him well for the challenges of owning and operating a small business.
“I met a lot of different people as a student at VU. My time at VU gave me the opportunity to build relationships and to network with many people who have helped me grow a successful business,” Goines said. “My experiences on campus also taught me not to be scared to ask questions and to reach out for help.”
He also learned to see change as an opportunity for growth and how to adapt to new challenges.
“I noticed that fashion trends change quickly,” Goines said. “That helped me adapt to changes in the market when the COVID-19 pandemic hit last year.”
The pandemic, and the recession it triggered, brought a wide range of new challenges to businesses. But it also offered opportunities for businesses that could adjust, and Goines said he saw the chance to deliver a new but essential product: Masks.
PLE Fashion is an online and brick-and-mortar retail outlet, but Goines arranged with companies and other stories in Evansville to provide masks on a wholesale level.
Goines also met customers’ desire for fashion wear by offering a range of customized masks.
“The past year has been strong for the business because we were able to adapt to what was going on,” he said. “During the pandemic, I managed to grow my business, which has allowed me to help give back to my community.”
In fact, Goines said he’s so encouraged by his experiences as a small business owner that he hopes eventually to expand with stores in other cities and states. That’s for the future. For now, Goines is focused on meeting his customers’ ever-changing needs.
Asked about what advice he would give someone who is thinking about launching their own business, Goines said: “Be willing to start from the bottom and work your way up.”
For Shaquille Goines, the upward trajectory of starting and growing a business remains a rewarding journey.