Nettie Cohen is the founder of The Changing Room Boutique, an online shopping experience that is unlike any other because of the foundation it is built upon.
Nettie knew from a young age how empowering the right clothes could be. She was raised by her grandparents in North Carolina. She says, “Most of our clothes were from yard sales. My grandmother worked at a crab factory and my granddaddy was a fisherman. They worked hard for what we had.”
With her family’s encouragement, she pursued her undergraduate degree in the criminal justice field and went on to earn her Master’s degree from Liberty University. During that time, she also became pregnant with her son. She was a single mother for most of his childhood. When he was 10, he contracted Meningococcal Meningitis and was hospitalized for months. Nettie says, “With the help of Ronald McDonald House Charities, our basic needs were met daily.” This experience later shaped the Changing Room Boutique’s mission to give back to nonprofits that help children and youth.
After overcoming that medical challenge, a woman she called Momma Dot took Nettie and her son in to help them get back on their feet. “She taught me how to be a lady. She taught us how to pray. To this day, I still hear her voice.” While living with Momma Dot, Nettie met her husband and moved to Kentucky. Here she opened her own private investigation business and began contracting capital murder cases for the Department of Advocacy.
Until the spring of 2020, business was flourishing. When the world shut down due to COVID, cases for Cohen Investigations slowed to a halt. With an empty office suite and extra time on her hands, it was time to bring her dream business to life. She opened the Changing Room Boutique last June.
Since announcing the opening of her boutique, she has had orders every single day. Most of her initial support came from people in her hometown in North Carolina. Now that the buzz has grown, she’s filling local orders for strangers and even shipping across the country. Nettie calls her shoppers “Changers” and says they take their confidence and spread joy to others, uplifting women of all shapes and sizes (they offer styles in size 3 - 6x).
Though not originally from Lexington, Nettie calls this her “Blessed Place,” since she found faith, community, and friendship, and started two successful businesses here.