There are many stores in West Chester, but lately people have been saying good things about Nich, a new clothing store for men and women located on High Street. “I was so impressed with the prices and quality of clothing,” fourth-year student Julie Sgrigniolo said.
Owner of Nich, Kristy Mak, opened the store in June 2007. Nich sells everything from t-shirts and hoodies to denim to casual and formal dresses.
Mak also wanted to sell some different pieces other than basic shirts, and according to Mak, the t-shirts have a burnout treatment, or a crocheted cutout back.
She said the store gives off a more Philly style boutique feel with some of the more fashion-forward pieces and eclectic sensibility. In men’s wear, there are a lot of artist graphic tees, although in the spring, they will be adding more polo and button-down shirts to the assortment.
“Nich is a mix between Urban Outfitter and Anthropology, with better prices,” fourth-year student Lauren Whitaker said. “When you walk into the store, the first thing you notice is the hardwood floors; they give the store a really stylish and new feel.”
Mak wanted to gear the prices towards college students, knowing that students usually do not have much money to spend on clothes, but love to look good.
“When I was in college, I always wished there was somewhere really cool to shop that I could get some special and not pay a fortune for it because let’s face it, students are usually pretty broke,” Mak said.
“I think it’s extremely important to support independent labels and small companies,” Mak said. “I have some brands that consist of one-person screen-printing. I also carry a brand called RISE UP, which is really important to me. They donate 100 percent of their proceeds to prevent the exploitation of children in third world countries. They use the money to build and staff schools in impoverished communities so that the kids have a chance to make a difference for themselves when they grow up. Not only does RISE UP do a lot for children’s futures, but they design really awesome clothes too”
Mak started the business by herself, with the help of her boyfriend, who is an artist and worked on the look and style of the store.
According to Mak, “he did everything from paint colors to fixtures, to the huge painting in the first room of the store. We just put all of our ideas together and opened the store!”
She decided early in 2007 to start her own store because she wanted to work for herself. She started researching what it would take to open a store, and within six months, Nich had its grand opening.
“I chose West Chester because the town is great and the retail aspect of West Chester businesses is definitely growing and I wanted to be a part of that,” Mak said. “I want people to remember that they liked the clothes, but also that the store itself looked cool too. Hopefully that was accomplished.”
Katie Moyer is a fourth-year student majoring in professional studies with a minor in journalism. She can be reached at KM604798@wcupa.edu.