Lancaster Strong

When COVID-19 hit, Nicole Vasquez purchased several skids of bottled water and toilet paper. “We handed it out to the disabled and elderly first, then we opened it up to economically-disadvantaged families who really needed it,” Vasquez says.

As a business owner, she had access to placing those orders, but they were a far cry from her typical, more fashionable products. Nine years ago, with a passion for fashion, she opened her first boutique, That Shuu Girl, rebranded three years ago into Nicole Taylor Boutique.

“I love helping people feel beautiful and confident, not only in the store, but by giving back to the community,” Vasquez says. “My number one goal for the store is to give back, so I do prom dress swaps for economically-disadvantaged high school girls and clothing drives for the homeless.” A year ago, she opened Blazin’ J’s, “home of the hot chicken sandwich” with husband Jabron Taylor.

What does it mean to be a Woman of Strength?

“Wow, it’s gratifying—it’s doing things for the community because that’s what I love to do,” Taylor says. “It’s an honor—I don’t do things for glory.”


Amid the pandemic, and still happening today, the couple developed a program that supplies food to the hungry. Customers can pre-order meals that are given to Lancaster’s homeless. Vasquez says it’s an amazing feeling to give back to her hometown.

“My parents always taught us to give back and put others first—it’s something I was brought up with,” says Vasquez. “Where I came from, I did not grow up with a silver spoon—that’s why I want to give back.” Her future plans include growing Nicole Taylor Boutique’s website and opening more Blazin’ J’s. All the while, she wants to continue giving back. Learning how to overcome her own challenges has empowered her to help the community meet their own.

“I’ve definitely faced challenges, especially being a woman business owner. As women, we sometimes underestimate ourselves,” says Vasquez. “I had to talk to myself a lot—‘You got this.’ I became strong.” That’s why there’s a quote prominently displayed in her shop: “She believed she could, so she did.”