Photo above: Tha Style Loft; below, owner Sharkeya Revels
By Kharisma McIlwaine
Fashion designer Sharkeya Revels grew up in Southwest Philadelphia. With a knack for creativity and a love for fashion, Revels spent a large part of her teenage years dressing and styling her friends. It wasn’t until years later that Revels found her calling and turned her love for fashion into a business.
Revels is the proud owner of Tha Style Loft, a clothing boutique located on Woodland Avenue. And it’s not only become a place to go for the latest in trendsetting fashion– it also serves as a way to combine two of the things Revels is most passionate about: fashion and giving back. She spoke with the SUN about her efforts to transform her community.
Revels remarked, “I was doing some styling and I was doing hair too. So I rented out this space because initially I thought I was going to get a hair salon. Something just said, “no, I don’t want to do hair.” I returned all my hair salon equipment and bought racks and inventory. So my whole idea for this hair salon… I turned it into a completely different thing which was a boutique.”
Life has a funny way of not going the way you planned; Revels set out to be a hairdresser and took the necessary steps to make that dream a reality. But along the way, she realized her heart was being pulled in a different direction.
That same boutique became Tha Style Loft. In December of this year, Revels and Tha Style Loft will be celebrating three years in business. After experiencing success as both a retail business owner and property owner, Revels wanted to use her success to give back to her community.
“About two and a half years ago I was inspired to give back. We started with clean up days. We do these cleanings once a month. We’ll get a team of people and we clean up and down Woodland Avenue. It’s not a lot of trash but people are consistently throwing things on the ground and we want to keep our community clean. We’re building up down here… we want it to have a certain look. We do a lot to give back to the community. Twice a month we offer free vending spaces at the store to help other brands build themselves up. We also gave away fans in the beginning of the summer to help fight the heat and throughout the year we do back to school drives and toy drives.” said Revels.
When asked about the significance of giving back, Revels stressed the importance of the give and take necessary for communities to flourish.
“If you’re taking from the community or earning from the community… You should give back to the community. If I have people around me that are supporting me, I want to give back to them and I want to do something that shows my appreciation. There are people that walk up and down Woodland Avenue that stop in the store and they might spend their last with me. I need to turn that back around.”
Revels continues to do her part to give back to the community. On Friday, August 24th, she will sponsor a “Back to School” fair and book bag giveaway. The event will take place from 3-6pm at the Bartram Village housing located at 5404 Gibson Drive.. The fair will have a variety of games, rides, bouncy houses and more. Children of all ages are encouraged to come. School supplies for the book bags can be donated at Tha Style Loft located at 6039 Woodland Avenue.
Visit www.thastyleloft.com for more details and be sure to follow their page on Instagram @thastyleloft.