Melanie White and Jordan Jackson have partnered to bring Greek & Life boutique to North Philadelphia.
Located at 2152 North Broad St., the boutique specializes in offering Greek paraphernalia for sororities and fraternities.
With its close proximity to Temple University, the duo is hopeful that the boutique will become the destination for fraternity and sorority members who seek Greek wear.
For Jackson and White, the Greek & Life boutique represents a creative collaboration of their passions.
“We both have that entrepreneurial spirit so we’re always brainstorming,” said White, 25, who is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.
When Jackson realized that the nearest Greek store was located in Delaware, he began working on the possibility of opening a shop in Philadelphia. After a four-year stint in the military, Jackson decided that he wanted to launch his own business.
“A Greek store in Philly was something that I thought would be beneficial and lucrative. I felt there was a need for it,” said Jackson, who is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity, Inc.
The boutique gives White, the owner of costume jewelry line Melanie Marie, an opportunity to showcase her collection and incorporate her love of fashion.
When shoppers step into the boutique, located on the lower level of 2152 North Broad Street, they will encounter a colorful mural featuring the colors and letters of Black Greek-lettered organizations.
Recognizing that there are certain times of the year that members of sororities and fraternities are more prone to purchase Greek gear, the business partners decided to offer more than paraphernalia.
Half of the shop showcases Greek gear such as bags, hats, jackets, pillows, paddles, pins, lanyards, license plate holders, stoles, hats and tee shirts, while the other section displays trendy men’s and women’s clothing. The boutique will carry clothing from designers including Funktional, Life after Denim, Aphillyated and KRSP. Greek & Life also carries jewelry, accessories and knick-knacks such as books for cocktail mixers.
“There’s something here for everyone,” says White, who is a Hampton University alum.
The challenging economic environment did not deter the duo from wanting to set up shop.
“I’ve wanted to open my own business since I was in the military, and I didn’t want to let anything stand in my way. My dream was to start my own business, so I just went ahead and did it,” said Jackson, who is 28.
White says the lower-level boutique reminds her of the basement shops in New York.
“When you go to New York there are stores that are basement level, and that gives (them) a kind of hang-out, pop vibe like an underground hidden gem. If you’re looking from the outside, you wouldn’t expect this to be here,” White says of the boutique.
“We’re trying to make it a trendy spot to be, whether you’re Greek or non-Greek,” Jackson added.
A grand opening, hosted by Philly’s EmEz of Hot 107.9 will be held at Greek & Life on January 21 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The grand opening features music by Wale DJ and Temple alum DJ Omega.
Contact Staff Writer Ayana Jones at (215) 893-5747 or AJones@phillytrib.com.