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Rumors Boutique: Not your average thrift store

Katie Mullett, a sophomore psychology major, browses the clothing section at Rumors.
Katie Mullett, a sophomore psychology major, browses the clothing section at Rumors.

Rumors Boutique is not the average thrift store in Chapel Hill. 

Located behind Al’s Burger Shack off of North Graham Street, Rumors offers high-quality vintage clothes, sunglasses and accessories to students willing to leave the comfort of campus.

Owners Casey Longyear and Marshe Wyche opened the first Rumors store in 2007 in Richmond, Virginia, offering local and international indie lines of clothing. After a year, the budding store transitioned to become more of a thrift boutique with a focus on high quality, vintage items. 

Longyear and Wyche opened their second location in Chapel Hill in 2013, offering the same types of vintage finds to UNC students. The store celebrates its four-year anniversary this month. 

From the moment one walks into the store, shoppers will notice posters strung up on the walls, art covering the shelves and loud indie music blasting over the speakers. Ben Daughtry, a manager at the store, believes that the unique flair generates the store’s appeal. 

“We definitely have a look about the store that I think a lot of people like, it’s what draws people in,” Daughtry said. 

Daughtry said one of the strengths of the store is the ability to quickly adapt to new fashion trends.

"Our style grows and changes to meet the students that are here," Daughtry said.

For students looking for clothes over atmosphere, the boutique's buy, sell and trade business model allows for an ever-shifting supply of merchandise. Rumors employee Mason Stroud believes that the quality of the items in the store is what keeps people coming back each week. 

“Rumors has higher quality things, what you get here is a nice selection,” Stroud said. “We want to make sure what we get here is worth selling.”

Rumor’s website allows customers to browse curated goods online and offers nationwide shipping. The Chapel Hill location’s Instagram page also attracts customers from across North Carolina who come into the store to scoop up featured items. 

“Everyday we take about 20 to 30 pictures and try to set up the really good stuff on there,” Stroud said. 

First-year Grey Silverman, who was in the store in search of Hawaiian shirts for an upcoming fraternity social, first heard about the store during a professor's office hours. Silverman said he agreed that the vibes of the store are what attract people. 

“It’s kind of like an Asheville atmosphere,” he said. 

Despite the success of Rumors, there are not many other stores like it in the Chapel Hill-Carrboro area. While Raleigh and Durham have seen a rise in the thrift boutique model, Daughtry said he does not worry about the potential competition.

 “Around here, there’s not many other stores following the same model,” he said.


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