Broad Street is home to some of Temple students’ favorite hot spots: U Got Munchies, Pearl Theatre and many more. Now there is a hotspot for fashion emerging: Greek & Life Boutique, located at 2152 Broad Street.
Opened in January by Jordan Jackson, a former Temple student who participated in Greek life on campus, and co-owner Melanie White, the store has been a success among the campus community and especially with the fraternities and sororities of Temple.
“Back in 2006, during my sophomore year at Temple, when I was pledging a fraternity, in order to get our Greek merchandise we would have to go to University of Delaware,” Jackson said. “I was in a Greek community, I knew a lot of people in the Greek community and everybody had the same issue – there was nothing around here, no place really to get what you need to rep your fraternity or sorority to the fullest.”
When someone walks into the lower-level entrance on Broad Street, they are instantly immersed in the cool factor of Greek & Life. Murals dedicated to the different Greek organizations at Temple, Greek memorabilia on display, racks of trendy threads for fashion-forward students and even a cozy corner customers can veg out in can be found at the location.
Sophomore marketing major and employee of Greek & Life, Nafisa Rawji, said she is proud to be a part of the Greek & Life atmosphere.
“[I’ve been working there] since September, but I’ve been a loyal customer long before then,” Rawji said.
However, many students have been hesitant to make the trip to the boutique, with the notion that the store is only for those in the Greek community, Jackson said.
“That’s why it’s called Greek & Life. Greek life is kind of a seasonal thing, so we wanted to make sure that we had other things in the store that anyone can come buy any time of the year,” Jackson said. “You don’t have to be Greek to walk into the store – there’s something for everybody here.”
Besides the colorful and bold paraphernalia available to members of the Greek community, there’s a variety of items featured at the boutique. Accessories like backpacks, snapbacks and jackets are available for men, while women have an abundance of clothes, iPhone accessories, hair adornments and fun and flirty jewelry pieces, some of them designed by White for her line Melanie Marie.
“We have something for everybody, as far as the Greeks go, and for the non-Greeks. I mean there’s clothes, there’s jewelry, anybody can walk in here get something, not even just students, we’ve had people come in here from the streets,” Jackson said.
Another misconception of the boutique is that it’s specifically catered to the historically African-American fraternities and sororities. Contrary to this belief, Jackson invites all to take part of the Greek & Life lifestyle.
“If you look on the wall, you’ll see every fraternity, every sorority that Temple has, whether it’s a black one, whether it’s a white one, or Latino,” Jackson said.
The boutique opened in the beginning of Spring 2012, and its success, due to the prevalence of Greek activity in the spring semester, has been on the rise. While the summer months were, as Jackson put it, “stupid slow,” plans are in the making to assure that the boutique will be filled with customers ready for the Greek & Life experience.
“We’re just trying to get the word out more, we’re talking about getting a table to put in the Student Center, especially in the spring, with just more marketing,” Jackson said.
Rawji said she believes that the brand’s popularity will expand to the Temple community.
“It’s a baby in terms of business,” Rawji said. “I really hope that since we go to such a diverse and large school, it becomes an integral part of the Temple experience.”
Events are also the key for inviting in more customers as well as keeping a fresh perspective on the boutique. Jackson said, one event that’s in the works is the “Sip, Swap, and Shop.” More targeted for the female customer of Greek & Life, fashionistas can sip on a mixer while being able to either swap one of her older and unwanted garb for other fashion maven’s items, or just purchase new items featured in the store. The event is planned for the end of this month.
Indira Jimenez can be reached at email@example.com.