Design Archives Emporium provides a spotlight for local designers


By: Brittany Van Pelt, Register Contributor

Greensboro is known for its eclecticism and “artsy” uniqueness. Even with the city’s commitment to the unconventional, there are still a variety of hidden treasures unknown to many students who attend school in this area. The Design Archives Emporium of Greensboro, located downtown on South Elm Street, is one of the city’s most unique treasures.

As a locally owned business, the Design Archives Emporium is a trendy, alternative clothing store where one can get a variety of vintage and homemade pieces. The Design Archives also has another location in downtown Winston-Salem as well. What makes the Design Archives so unique is its commitment to selling items from local Triad-area entrepreneurs.

“Here we have about 80 separate vendors and they rent out space here and sell anything they want. Majority is vintage items, handmade jewelry, and beauty products,” said Joshua Rath, sales associate for the Design Archives Emporium.

It is safe to say that whenever you go into the Design Archives, you never know what you are going to find. I have visited the shop multiple times with my friends and have found true gems including a Lee jean jacket with suede cuffs.

“I like it shopping there because not only do they provide unique pieces, but they’re always rotating new clothes into their store,” said N.C. A&T Public Relations student Kaetlin Sifford.

As students, we should not only visit but shop at the Design Archives as well. It can be exciting to find clothing that is rare, an item that isn’t being mass-produced, i.e. something no one else has.

However, even such an illustrious notion should not be the sole reason we should patronize stores such as this. We should buy purchase their products because we attend school in Greensboro for the most of the year and it is a locally owned business, which circulates more capital into our community. Even though it is only temporary, we are still considered to be locals.

Nonetheless, many students object to this concept entirely. So why is it that most students prefer to shop at the mall rather than downtown?

“I think it is because money is the biggest factor. Most of us can’t really afford to shop at local business prices. Plus, stores in the mall are familiar and have a specific label attached to them, which is always attractive to college students,” said A&T Political Science student, Nya McNeil.

We are all a part of this community. Just like we uplift the many business ventures of students on campus, we should be just as equally passionate to the do the same for our local designers in Greensboro because they are our neighbors, and often times, our most avid supporters.

“I would say that definitely supporting local businesses equates to supporting local people and their entrepreneurial endeavors,” said Joshua Rath.

I believe the best way for us to get to know our community more is to venture and explore. You might not consider Greensboro to be anything but a temporary placemat in your life, but for the time being, we will all be residing here until graduation.

It is not solely up to us as students to have the community reach out to us but we must make an effort to engage in our community as well, and that starts by interacting with people who live here and utilizing local businesses and services.

Instead of perpetuating the divide between students and locals, we should help support the many entrepreneurs in this community just as much as they support us here at North Carolina A&T State University.

For more information on directions, shop hours, and vendors, visit:

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