Airbrush Business Owner Says Unjustly Evicted After Mall Shooting

hotspots airbrush

(Memphis) A Memphis business owner claims she is the target of racial profiling after getting eviction notices from two area malls.

Hotspots Airbrushing is losing its lease in 30 days from Oak Court Mall and Wolfchase Galleria.

Both malls are managed by the same company, Simon.

Both had high-profile crimes committed at them in recent weeks and now one retailer believes they’re putting the blame on them, and it’s not fair.

“It affects our livelihood and it also affects the workers that we have at both locations,” said Kemicia Sims.

Husband and wife, Reginald and Kemicia Sims, own Hotspots Airbrushing.

One is a store in Wolfchase, the other a kiosk at Oak Court.

Notice has been given that the mall is terminating both leases.

The Sims say it’s not right.

“When the guy got shot in front of our kiosk, how does that have anything to do with us,” questioned Reginald Sims.

The Sims say they didn’t know the suspect or the shooter in Oak Court Mall.

The victim just happened to be purchasing a shirt from them.

“We felt like what if this had happened in front of Boost Mobile, would they have gotten an eviction?” said Sims.

Sims says prior to the eviction notice, he got a visit from security saying mall management was cracking down on businesses bringing an unwanted element into the mall.

Sims had no idea, they were taking about his business, “At Hotspot Airbrushing we do not do anything that’s gang related or anything dealing with profanity.”

The eviction notice indicates the lease is terminated because of section 3 of the lease.

WREG checked section 3 it says the landlord has a right to terminate the lease early.

It doesn’t say a reason has to be given.

Sims’ wife believes she knows what mall management is thinking, “A majority of the clients are African-American youth. If I remove them from the scenery, will that give me a clean up there to make the civilians think it’s safer to come into the mall?”

Mrs. Sims added, “Let me assure you, that is not the answer.”

WREG reached out to Simon, the company that manages Oak Court and Wolfchase Galleria.

We have not heard back from them about why they’re asking Hotspots Airbrushing to leave.

The Sims also say they don’t know of any other business being kicked out.

They’ve hired a lawyer and started a petition to protest.

20 comments

  • Nonya Bidness

    When “be’in all urban” runs off the cutomers with cash changes have to be made.

    Ghetto culture …. the road to ruin.

  • Carlie

    I think she has a good point though. If somebody got shot in front of the Gap or Old Navy they wouldn’t be kicking them out.

  • Thomas H. Evans

    They need to take all Kiosk out of the Malls; they look like Flea Markets; can’t even walk up and down the mall for these things. I think they should have addressed the dress code and behavior of those in the mall before closing down just one Kiosk.

  • Joe

    the people that Gap and Old Navy bring into the mall are not generally the young black crowd that has gang affiliations….

    Most of those kids were just shopping….but there are always a few idiots that screw it up for everyone…

    What do you want mall management to do…..let it go the way of Hickory Ridge mall?

    I imagine security will be increased…..but mall traffic there has probably dipped a lot in the last couple of weeks.

  • John Snow

    It has dipped because I will not longer go to either one of them. I do my shopping in Germantown or on line. I value my life more than to get caught up in gang violence.

  • Real Talk

    How is it so easy to miss the entire message of the text…because we as people rather focus on darkness. The light of it is several hard working individuals are facing the uncertainty of feeding their family, paying bills, or finding another place of employment within 30 days. Because of an immutable situation that man-kind can’t rid of (senseless crime). But Im praying the doors of a new building open so the company may continue to serve the communities and blossom even the more.

  • Jena Guzman

    Reading this story makes me very sad. I have went to this mall many times for nothing other than HOTSPOTS. I hate to hear that these days and times there is still racial ignorant people. Makes me wonder did they want to terminate the lease of the Arabic business owners after 911??????. I don’t see myself going back to this mall for anything after this. REGGIE and his business was the only reason I went in the first place.

  • Kevin Lewis

    Where are our community activist…I live across I-40 from the Wolfchase Mall. I don’t go to the mall much…but I would support a protest against both malls. This is a racial thing and we need to take action. This shooting had nothing to do with any of the businesses at the mall…but if HOTSPOTS has to suffer behind this decision…so shall the other businesses.

  • Jimmy

    Ask the owners of the former Mall of Memphis what happens when thugs take over a mall. I wonder why Sears and Macy’s left the Hickory Ridge Mall? Reggie’s place should have been closed years ago.

  • April

    We live in AR and have gone to the malls for years to purchase items fom Reggie. It is a family business who care about their customers. My family is middle class and Caucasian. People need to look past race,religion,and creed. This is 2014 not 1914 or 1814. We will support the Sims to the fullest.

    • Ahad

      Sims played the race card. I will tell my friends not to shop at any of his businesses. The malls only mistake was not shutting down this business sooner.

  • Go-Go Gorilla

    Hey, the cash gotta keep flowin’ baby! It’s not a racism thing, it’s a economic thing. If a business attracts only window shoppers and wanna-bees who do nothing but wreak havoc, while making the people with real money to spend (the ones who are spending thousands of dollars every time time they shop there) uncomfortable, guess what’s going to happen folks? If it was a record store in that mall, owned by Samoans, and it started effecting the cash flow of the mall as a whole, guess who’s got to go? And, it’s not that they hate Pacific islanders either. They are in business to make money, not friends. It’s harsh to say that, but it’s the truth. I know the air-brush shop owners can’t choose the type of clientele that they attract, but it is what it is. Money is the only thing that counts to the owners of that mall, and if you or your customers are perceived as disrupting that, guess what’s going to happen?

  • Soul Beat.

    I want to know where have they been for the past 5 years. I see they are asking all blacks to stand up with them and protest on there behalf. LOL LOL LOL kids been out here dying, O-O now you want to get a call to action for your self. How much of that money from the two malls have you and other black business owners put together to do a T.V ad to stop the killing.
    So, I say to there call M-F-Please.

    • Ahad

      Just move your business to the Hickory Ridge Mall and the Southbrook Mall brother. Lots of vacancies….lots….and at a fair price.

  • To shady

    Every time I walk by this business is it filled with people with sagging pants, guys holding what they think is their wang- wang and they are not holding a thing but their pants up. It is filled with kids all the time. Hardly any adults in the place unless mom is paying for a shirt or something small and is in and out. To many just hang around. I would NOT shop this store at all period. To many just hang out there and watch people walk by and it makes you feel like you are the victim at anytime you at or even close to this place. It needs a building all of its own not in a mall or strip mall even.

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