Store ownership gives Delevoe fresh start on life
By MarKeith Cromartie
He was arrested on battery charges before his 21st birthday. Before that, he ventured into business as owner of a home-based restaurant that went belly up.
Coming out of Godby High School, that wasn’t the way that Patrice Delevoe imagined his life would be. He was a scholar student, who earned a free ride to college, then was kicked out of school.
“I was going through it, I was breaking down,” he said. “Friends were around but weren’t helping me.”
But Delevoe was too ambitious to let his setbacks slow him down, although it took another dose of misfortune for him to begin changing his life.
Just before taking a planned trip to Las Vegas to celebrate his 21st birthday, Delevoe was involved in an auto accident. He didn’t put off the trip despite being in a coma for a few hours.
He eventually made it to Vegas and even added a side trip to Hawaii to meet with potential business partners, whose name he didn’t disclose. He also had talks with other investors that didn’t pan out.
He persisted, though.
“It was very challenging because everybody else were getting theirs and I had to remain humble and remain patient, knowing that my blessings will come soon,” he said. “I had to grind myself and mold myself to be the best I can be.”
He had a point to prove, too.
“I want to show people you can do this without having to be a dopeboy,” he said. “You can still make a way by being honest.”
With a business partner intact, Delevoe is diligently working on his new life as a businessman.
He calls it Delevoe’s Lobby, which is located on 1702 South Adams Street. He sells everything from costume jewelry to products made by famed jeweler Franky Diamond.
The Tallahassee store is one of three owned by Delevoe, with the others located in Orlando and California.
He and his partners have even bigger plans in stow.
“We plan on expanding globally,” said Kahlil Bethea, who manages the Orlando store. “We are trying to look at the bigger picture.”