About Cortese C. Walker
Cortese C. Walker is the owner of Love Leo Vinyl and Apparel in Warner Robins, Georgia. The company was originally founded in 2016 when Walker and her husband Alex started a t-shirt business from their home. Walker decided to shift the business module from making t-shirts to supplying the material for others in the same shop. Love Leo Vinyl and Apparel launched at their home in January 2017. The sale was so successful that in March of that year they opened a clothing retail store specializing in Siser brand heat transfer and self-adhesive vinyl. In 2019 Walker moved to her second location and in 2021 she moved to her current location which is over 6500 square feet. With the expansion, she is able to offer more products and cover the entire Middle Georgia area.
Walker, an Air Force veteran, married while actively serving. However, after sustaining an injury while on duty that led to multiple back surgeries, she was forced to relinquish her active duty status and retire. With Walker’s military career behind her, she took on the responsibilities of staying at home with her mother while she graduated. She successfully ran a photography business for 10 years while still in school and volunteered in the school system, but was not fulfilled. Then she started the t-shirt business and the rest is history. Walker said she’s proud of how far she’s come and grateful for the support of her husband and children every step of the way.
Walker says she recalls a recurring dream as a child in which she was working at a cash register and calling people from around the age of 10 into adulthood. “I now see that dream being realized,” Walker said. “I didn’t know what that dream meant. The dream didn’t feel big enough for my own goals. Now I run my own register every day, but I run it as the owner. And even better, I can hire other people, especially other moms like me.”
Most importantly, Walker hopes her success inspires her daughters Zoee, 19, and Nyla, 13, to defy stereotypes and pursue their dreams. “They don’t remember my active duty days and all my struggles to get to where I am. I want them to know that because I’m a survivor, I can do anything I set my mind to do,” Walker said. “I want them to know that there are no limits.”
Love Leo Vinyl and Apparel was awarded Best Craft Store in 2019, 2020 and 2021.
For more information, visit www.loveleovinyl.com, email: [email protected] or phone: 478-225-9771.
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