On Saturday, Jan. 21, Greek and Life Boutique, located at 2152 N. Broad St., opened its doors for lettered ladies and Greek guys.
Before the grand opening of the Greek and Life Boutique, senior psychology major Courtney Mick said she had to drive more than an hour to Delaware to pick up any clothing representing her sorority, Delta Sigma Theta.
Located on the corner of North Broad and West Susquehanna streets, the Greek and Life Boutique opened its doors on Saturday, Jan. 21, with a launch party hosted by Hot 107.9’s Emez and music from alumnus DJ Omega.
Shoppers were able to browse the newly-opened boutique, sip a Neuro water and mingle with friends and the store’s owners Melanie White and Jordan Jackson.
Jackson, a former student and Kappa Alpha Si brother, said he came up with the idea for the store out of necessity.
“We used to have to go to the University of Delaware to get all our Greek merchandise,” Jackson said. “I thought [the boutique] would be beneficial for [Main] Campus.”
Even though the store is new, members of Temple’s Greek community are already taking advantage of its convenient location.
“I’m the president of Delta Sigma Theta, and it [is] really good for a store to open on Temple’s campus because we had to go all the way to Delaware to get our paraphernalia,” Mick said holding a Greek and Life Boutique bag. “[The University of Pennsylvania] had their own store, but it wasn’t enough.”
The store’s location is important, but prices are also an important consideration for most college students when purchasing apparel.
“I purchased a hat and a T-shirt,” Mick said. “The prices are really good compared to the stores I’ve been to. The lanyards are $7.50. A lot of places try to rip you off and make you pay $10 for a lanyard. A regular [customized] T-shirt would run around $40, but the shirt [from Greek and Life] was around $25. It wasn’t bad.”
Jackson collaborated with the Greek organizations on Main Campus to stock shelves with relevant apparel, but they also offer clothing customization service for any organization.
While its selection of Greek apparel and customization services are an important part of the boutique, White and Jackson also carry an array of high-end apparel and accessories. Featured brands include Life After Denim, Funktional and jewelry by Melanie Marie.
“It started up as a Greek thing and then [White] suggested we make it a boutique as well because a lot of times, the Greeks are just the spring and fall,” Jackson said.
Unlike corporate stores like J.Crew on Chestnut Street, Jackson and White decide what hangs on the shelves.
“We [looked at] what we liked, and we have friends who are stylists. They sent us a list of things,” White said. “It’s pretty much what we liked, and what [is] popular.”
Men and women browsed the store’s apparel despite the high-end price tags. For example, a gray knitted sweater from Funktional rang up as $100, and a pair of men’s shorts cost $53. The boutique is one of the first places selling high-end apparel on Main Campus.
“For a long time, [developers have] been saying they want to build North Broad Street like they did with the Avenue of the Arts,” Jackson said, standing next to the Greek and Life mural painted by Asswad Jaleel. “If we can be one of the stores that did that move a little more, that’d be [great].”
Fashion-forward individuals like Jackson and White, much like the organizers of Philly Fashion Week are constantly making strides to put Philadelphia on the style map. Philadelphia’s couture industry is evolving, and students have the opportunity to help foster Philadelphia’s fashion image by shopping local at boutiques such as Greek and Life.
Mark Longacre can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.