By Thomas Jewell cleveland.com
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) In addition to being the owner of a Cleveland Heights boutique, Gurnee’ Green is an essential worker. Green will be featured in a special presentation at the Democratic Convention this week.
For Gurnee’ Green, Chemistry 11 Boutique and the city in general, consider it a real spotlight shining nationally this week at a “virtual” convention.
A segment on “GG,” as she is known, and her fashion and custom apparel shop located in Cleveland Heights’ historic Taylor Tudor district was scheduled to be aired over the course of the Democratic National Convention, which opens Monday (Aug. 17).
There’s also the possibility that some of the footage will be used later for a TV commercial during the Biden presidential campaign.
That’s what Green was told when a producer called around 10:30 p.m. last Sunday (Aug. 9) to say that they would be following up in the morning to confirm that a film crew was in town from New York.
"From there, everything happened immediately," Green recalled.
"Thankfully, I had my hair curled."
The Heights High grad is already familiar with abrupt and occasionally late-breaking notifications on her other job.
In addition to being a “fashionista,” Green is an essential worker, made all the more essential this year during the COVID-19 health emergency as a certified health care information technologies analyst.
Green has also doubled as "GG from I.T." at hospitals in all 50 states over the past decade, most recently spending the better part of two months in Irving, Texas, a state that has been hard-hit by the coronavirus and criticized for reopening too soon.
"I love being on the road for my medical job, but fashion has always been my passion -- sewing, custom designing clothing brands, creating apparel," Green said. "And when I opened the shop in June 2019, I was looking for a way to retire from health care."
As has been the case with many careers, that was before the pandemic intervened.
The mother of two, with a son who's also a Heights graduate and a daughter still in elementary school at Noble, was asked how she manages to keep all of the plates spinning.
"I'm asking myself that now," Green said with a laugh, noting that she also co-chairs the Cleveland Heights Business Community Task Force.
Green’s work ethic, fashion sense and couture consciousness in general also garnered the attention of regional labor leader and Cleveland Heights City Councilwoman Davida Russell, who made some nominations of her own recently.
“The Biden campaign called and asked me to locate Black-owned businesses that have been affected by COVID-19,” Russell said. “Because the Noble-Taylor area does not get much publicity or attention, I chose to involve businesses in that area.”
Russell actually came up with four prospects: Lenore's Healthy Hair Spa, Networkz Restaurant & Lounge, the Front Stage Metroplex (formerly Severance Regal Cinemas) and of course Chemistry 11 Boutique.
"After I interviewed them I felt they had compelling stories to tell," Russell said. "So I recommended all four businesses and Chemistry 11 was chosen." Keynote to vote
Up to now, Green said her overt political involvement has been negligible, focusing more on the mechanics of democracy.
“As far as politics go, some of it has been in mentoring young students,” Green said. “We talk about credit and etiquette with kids, but politics are also an important part of becoming an adult -- you need to understand the facts of voting and who our representative in Congress is and things like that.”
At the same time, Green noted that the country has become "more political than ever" with more young people and minorities speaking out about racial and social injustice, the Black Lives Matter movement, women's rights, fairness to the LGBTQ community and societal reforms in general.
"And in order to make those changes, you have to make sure that you vote," Green said of her most recent political campaigning efforts in an era where even that civic duty doesn't seem as easy as it used to be.
Back on the fashion front, Gurnee' noted that the twin sister tandem of her mother, Annette Green and her aunt, Gennette Tanks, previously ran the La'Sheek Resale Shop on Mayfield Road in Cleveland Heights.
Hours for the Chemistry 11 Boutique, located at 1918 South Taylor Road, are currently Tuesday through Friday from noon to 5 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. and closed or by appointment only on Sundays and Mondays. Read more from the Sun Press. ___ Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.