Rebecca Padgett
Opinions Editor

If you are a girl in a sorority or have ever met a girl in a sorority, you know how much they love to show their pride in their organizations.

This is mostly done through brightly colored tee shirts, buttons and even hair bows with their respective Greek letters.

If you are a sorority member in Lakeland, you also know how difficult it is to find sorority related items in the area.

Well, gone are the days of ordering sorority items from sketchy websites and wondering when they will ever arrive at your doorstep. Boutique Greek has arrived in Lakeland to solve that dilemma.

Located at 938 East Main Street, Boutique Greek is a charming little boutique that is sure to make a big impact on the local Greek community. Upon entering you are greeted by the cheerful face of business owner and executive director, McKara Laine Calhoon, who lets you know she is at your assistance.

As you look around you see that there are specific tables and racks dedicated to all of the sororities that Florida Southern currently has.

It also contains merchandise of chapters from surrounding schools such as the University of South Florida and the University of Tampa.

T-shirts in eye-catching colors and fun knick-knacks all devoted to sorority life fill the entire room.

The walls are bold colors, there are paper chain streamers and a plate of cookies and treats. There is even a green velvet couch, which looks perfect for your boyfriend to sit on while you shop.

Photo by Rebecca Padgett

It truly is every sorority girl’s dream and it’s just a few blocks from campus.

You may ask, what did Lakeland do to get so lucky? Well, Calhoon saw a need in the area and set out to fill it. Three years ago, Calhoon began Boutique Greek as a retail website for sorority girls.

As a sorority member in college, Calhoon was always in search of the perfect apparel, but it was always too large, too expensive or just plain unappealing.

With her father’s help, Calhoon set out to change that trend and began the business.

“I wanted to offer something that girls want to wear if they saw it in a regular store, not just because it has letters on it,” Calhoon said.

Calhoon grew up in Lakeland and is appreciative of the support the town gives to local businesses.

So, Calhoon decided to make her business not only online but also right here in our very own community.

Now, you can visit the store to find one of a kind tee shirts, gifts for your big/little and alumnae items.

The online store specializes in bulk orders.

Calhoon will work with a chapter’s budget and design ideas in order to come up with the perfect bid day, socials or philanthropy shirts.

Since Calhoon was involved in a sorority herself, she is very passionate about the Greek community.

She realizes the importance that the Greek community plays, therefore, 8 percent of the sales go directly to each sorority’s headquarters.

She is eager to hear what her customers want from the store, and is always coming up with fresh, inventive ideas on her own.

She is excited to work with sororities in the area, and already plans to be a part of Florida Southern’s Block Party.

Photo by Rebecca Padgett

In her opening week, Calhoon was particularly impressed by the support of Florida Southern, and is excited to continue to see the school’s sorority members in her store.

“I’ve worked with a lot of schools across the nation, I’ve been all over, and FSC has a really special culture that I think is really excellent,” Calhoon said. “FSC has one of the best Greek lives because the women are so sharing, so considerate and so polite. I don’t mind helping FSC because I think they have a top notch Greek system that I think should be an example for other Greek systems.”

Boutique Greek is a new treasure to Lakeland and will soon be a filling up many sorority girls’ closets.

Be sure to find Boutique Greek on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Tumblr and on their website: