Kevin Barber has been thinking about opening his own jewelry store for the better part of a year.
The timing wasn’t quite right in 2020 with the COVID-19 pandemic taking hold, but now, Barber and three of his friends — Irone Revely, Justin Vincent and Reco Clark — have made that dream a reality.
Barber said their main goal with The Missing LNK, 942 Massachusetts St., is providing jewelry that is both moderately priced and that can’t be found at other area stores.
He and his friends all wear jewelry, but realized Lawrence stores really don’t sell the types of jewelry that young people usually wear.
“Once we figured out you really couldn’t even get just a basic rope here, we (thought) we might as well try and make a jewelry store here,” Barber said. “Let’s see if it works … we’re more aimed toward them and college kids, some high school stuff, and a lot of the middle-aged women, that’s what we’re shooting for.”
The Missing LNK — the name is intentionally missing the “i” in link due to copyright issues, Barber said — will offer custom chains and various smaller jewelry items that customers typically like to have personalized.
The store will also be the only one in the area, at least as far as Barber is aware, that will sell grillz, though they aren’t in stock quite yet.
Barber said he’s excited to be one of the faces of a Black-owned business in downtown Lawrence, and that he didn’t know exactly what to expect when the store opened July 2, but it’s “been pretty solid so far.”
“We’re new, we’re local, we’re from Lawrence, so we just want people to come support us, at least come check it out and see what we’re doing,” he said. “I just like that message more than anything. There’s not too many minority-owned businesses downtown anyway so I really just like to match that sense of people that attempt to try something different in your life — don’t be afraid.”
“That’s just what I like about it when people get from me,” Barber said. He noted that the store is willing to help “everybody, with all budgets … and you know, just doing the best we can to help people, kind of build a decent reputation and stay here for a while.”
For more information, you can call the store at 785-856-0561.
Conner Mitchell (he/him), reporter, can be reached at cmitchell (at) lawrencekstimes (dot) com or 785-435-9264. If you have sensitive information to send Conner, please email connermitchell (at) protonmail (dot) com. Read more of his work for the Times here.