For a little over a week now many of the “Divine Nine” have been celebrating their respective Founders’ Days; the day in which those members honor and remember the founders’ of their fraternity or sorority. So it seems like no better time than now for Melanie White and Jordan Jackson to open their new boutique, ‘Greek and Life’, on Temple University’s Main Campus.
There has never been a store like this on campus before at TU. Jordan who is a member of Kappa Alpha Psi and pledged at Temple, recalls having to drive to the University of Delaware to get Greek paraphernalia after crossing. Upset at this, and recognizing an entrepreneurial opportunity, Jordan dropped out of college during his senior year and joined the military. His plan was to save enough money to start a store that catered not just to the Greek life on campus. It was Melanie’s idea (a member of Delta Sigma Theta) to add the everyday fashions, citing the need to generate income outside of the “Neo’s (new members) that crossed during Spring and Fall semesters. Fast forward to today, and this couple is now days away from opening their boutique in the heart of Philadelphia.
He and girlfriend Melanie (I know it sounds like a Malik line from ‘The Game’ to me too!) decided to merge their two companies (Melanie Marie Accessories and 100% Ventures) with the main focus being Greek and Life Boutique. “We offer something for everyone. We wanted to appeal to the whole campus, so we have items that are urban or preppy or lace and silk for women”, says Melanie. The boutique will carry shoes and accessories as well.
With hopes of being more than “just a boutique”, Melanie and Jordan are still focused on their independent companies. The two intend to host various events in a separate open space connected to the boutique, such as art shows, networking events, and beauty seminars. Recently Jordan’s company 100% Ventures hosted a fitness workshop.
The boutique, located at 2152 N. Broad Street (a few doors down from White Hall if you’re familiar with Temple’s campus) is having its grand opening on Saturday January 21st from 3p-7p. Providing music for the event will be none other than Philly’s own DJ Omega. Author Kevin Carr is scheduled to be on site to sign copies of his book “If All Men are Dogs…”. And ‘Makin’ it in Philly’, Philadelphia’s new African American entrepreneurial reality show will be taping (see The Limelight Series for an interview with Kevin Carr and a Behind the Scenes with the cast of Makin’ it in Philly). Greek and Life boutique will also be offering 15% off all merchandise during that time.
This young couple (yes they are still in their twenties!) has bought to Temple University Campus what no one else ever did… I mean at least to my knowledge. And please do not be fooled by the Broad and Susquehanna location. This is an upscale boutique that offers upscale brands in fashion and accessories for both men and women. And the grand opening of this store will serve as a ray of light for Temple University’s African American community more than one way. Yes, it is a physical acknowledgement of the historical ‘Divine Nine’s’ importance by providing a local retailer that supports those organizations. But it is also a physical example for Temple University students, Black and White, past and present that we can do what no one else has ever done. As a Temple Alumna, I am honored to have met them and excited for their success! Make sure you check out Greek and Life, grand opening on Saturday, January 21st!