By: Tasha Saint- Louis
Here at Lincoln University, students are encouraged to push envelopes and create their own legacies. Students have been able to create organizations, organize forums or political discussions, build traditions, and even develop businesses.
One of the growing businesses on campus is a thrift store named “The HUT.” Owned and managed by graduating senior Tyler Murray, the store holds a variety of trendy clothing and accessories for students to sift through and ‘thrift.’ The HUT began getting notoriety after it opened last semester after being in the works for years.
When Murray first arrived to Lincoln as a freshman, she believed that the campus would have more options for students to enjoy themselves and found herself disappointed. In thinking of how to bring something to the campus for students to enjoy, she thought of what she enjoyed and what she knew: ‘thrifting.’
While some students believed that she would run into challenges from administration, it turned out not to be the case. On the contrary, when Murray asked to retrieve the key to the former storage room of the modular, the Physical Plant did not hesitate. Before she knew it, things were in full force. Murray shared the defining moments of during the creation of the well-received thrift store:
“When the racks went up, when people were actually buying stuff, when people actually liked the store, [that’s when] I realized, ‘Wow, I’m really running a business’”
However, there is more to The HUT than just being a store. The proceeds from the sales go back into the store and donations. For Spring Fling, Murray and her associates will be going out to other stores to buy ‘fancy’ dresses and accessories with some of the store’s proceeds to resell them at a more affordable price for students. Additionally, a percentage of the store’s proceeds frequently goes towards donations to Women Against Abuse in Philadelphia. Murray uses the percentage to buy feminine and hygiene products to donate to two of the shelters in the area.
As for the future of the store, Murray has plenty of things in mind. As she approaches graduation, Murray is planning on passing the store down in order to leave her legacy. Most of the associates that volunteer at the thrift store are freshmen that she has been teaching and mentoring in the hopes that they take over and continue to pass it down. Her plans, however, do not stop there.
Murray would love to see The HUT move to a bigger space to accommodate more exposure, people, products, and more business hours. She also wishes to work with administration to create work study options for the store considering all the work her associates put in as volunteers. Her biggest dream is to get the store listed and formally recognized as a non-profit organization so that donations to the store can be written off during tax season.
Ultimately, Murray believes that The HUT will continue to grow and one day be taken over by the school as an official store for Lincoln students. As of now, The HUT has sponsored business attire fashion shows, forums, and other events—a tradition Murray hopes will continue once she leaves.