MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — Things are getting even busier for this week’s Minnesotan to Meet, who is already a busy mother of four.
Nicole Jennings, of Edina, just opened up a new shop called Queen Anna in the North Loop neighborhood of Minneapolis. It isn’t her first shop putting charity at the heart of the mission.
Community leader, entrepreneur and philanthropist are just some of the many roles Jennings has taken on in the Twin Cities community.
“For me there really is no day-to-day, every day is different. I plan for one day at a time. I like to tell my children one day at a time, one moment at a time, one second at a time,” Jennings said. “Once you get beyond that, you’ve missed something that’s going on right now.”
You can add chauffer to the list of duties, as she is constantly carting around her children, all of whom are under the age of 10.
When she’s not doing that, she’s at Queen Anna, located a block off Washington Avenue North, just around the corner from Red Cow.
“When people walk through the doors of Queen Anna, they will experience a sense of freshness,” Jennings said.
The shop carries a lot of rising designers that you likely won’t see anywhere else in the neighborhood.
Jennings credits her grandmother, Anna Lee Whitten, for this latest project. Whitten died last May.
“My grandmother has inspired me to be philanthropic, to be caring and just loving to all. She raised me as her own, and she was my great grandmother, and she didn’t have to do that,” Jennings said. “It’s that unconditional love I want to give to not only my children but to others around me.”
Whitten is the reason why Jennings partnered with the Tubman Organization and donated a portion of her opening day proceeds to the Minneapolis based nonprofit. Her husband, retired NFL star Greg Jennings, surprised her with photos of her grandmother just before the store opened.
Queen Anna is actually Nicole Jennings’ second retail business. Her first, One Posh Closet, started after her youngest child was born.
“One Posh Closet started after I had my son. I was in a place where I had clothes in my closet from size 6 to 16 just by being pregnant every other year,” she said.
One Posh Closet went from a way for Nicole Jennings to sell her clothes and give the proceeds back to charity to what’s now a style concierge business that sells designer brands at discounted prices. She teamed up with other women in sports who are doing the same.
“Posh literally started online and it just was something fun to do, and it grew into something I never would’ve thought,” she said. “When you let things happen the way they’re supposed to happen, with your hands off, it turns into something that you never thought it would. And that’s what happened with Posh.”
She is hoping Queen Anna catches on in a similar way.
Despite being a Michigan native and her husband retiring from the NFL, she said this is home.
“Just the philanthropic aspect of things,” she said, noting their lives in . “Even though Minneapolis isn’t a huge city, it’s the biggest we’ve ever lived compared to Green Bay and Kalamzoo and we like the city life.”