B-CU alumnus fills void with Greek paraphernalia shop
Voice of The Wildcats reporter Kalen Murphy sat down recently with Charles Thomas, owner of Greeknalia business located just a few steps away from campus.
As a B-CU graduate, what inspired you to open Greeknalia?
"We didn't have a store here in Daytona Beach that catered to the fraternities and sororities when I was here. So with being a part of one myself, we didn't have places that we could go that were Black-owned.... I also opened it to bring a lot more culture. When we first opened, we were the only store in the city to carry Black reads, such as 'Miseducation of the Negro'.
"I've seen somewhat of a surge in the market for selling Greek paraphernalia, was that something that led you to pursue the market yourself?
"It might look like it's a surge, but it's actually probably shrinking. One of the things that did lead to it was the idea of being creative, that's really been a push for me."
Are most of the apparel and paraphernalia you sell in the shop handmade?
"Yes, we do full embroidery as well as manufacture. We have various factories around the world where we come up with these products to sell and our own machines inside our store as well."
What is your ultimate vision for the store?
"My vision is for the store is actually changing. I would like to get full service into different streams of business. For example, we're currently doing printing a lot of the hotels on the beachside, manufacturing for other schools and organizations. I don't want people to just think of this as a Greek store, but I'd like to be able to expand it. We're actually looking at another location in Tallahassee and Atlanta. Our main goal is to get into the more corporate style of business to produce mass amounts of products for people, I know we're capable of it."
Charles Thomas is also a proud member of Alpha Phi Alpha.