Alumna owned shop offers green and gold attire for women

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Alumna Catherine Becnel and nursing major Kelsy Rivet are both models for Obsession Boutique. The two have their hair and makeup done every week and are photographed in attire from the store in Hammond. 
Courtesy of Tori Hoover

University alumna Tori Hoover serves as co-owner alongside her mother Stephanie Bankston of Obsession Boutique, the official boutique for university athletics. 

Hoover believes that Obsession was created about 12 years ago. Hoover and Bankston purchased the boutique in March of 2013. It was originally located in downtown Hammond and moved to Hammond Square Mall in 2015. 

Accounting Executive for Lion Sports Properties Blake Borgstede explained that although Obsession contacted the university’s athletics department to forge a partnership, both parties benefited as a result. According to Borgstede, this is the first time that a boutique was dubbed the official clothing store of the university’s athletic department. 

“Obsession Boutique has done an excellent job at representing SLU Athletics through their business,” said Borgstede. “We are beyond appreciative of the businesses like them that choose to invest their time and money into athletics. It truly is a partnership.”

Hoover, who graduated with a degree in communication last May, explained her reaction when the university’s athletics department contacted them about their new role in the community. 

“We jumped on it because we love doing anything with Southeastern and giving back to the community,” said Hoover. “We were able to do both of those things by partnering up with them. We have signage all over there, and we carry Southeastern apparel, like our Southeastern T-shirts. We’ve done give back nights with the cheer and dance teams. It’s been a lot of fun.”

Beginning in March up until the first game day of the season, Hoover searches for green and gold attire.

“I stack up on them because July hits and everyone starts shopping,” said Hoover. “I want our location to be the place where people can come in and for sure find something to wear for tailgating.”

With the availability of a local boutique that specializes in providing green and gold attire, Hoover hopes that the local economy will gain a boost.

“The women are shopping for these items,” said Hoover. “If they don’t have something local, they’re going to shop somewhere else outside of Hammond to find what they’re looking for. It benefits businesses like us whenever we do the work to benefit Southeastern.”

Obsession Sales Associate Emily Glascock is celebrating a year and half of service at the boutique. Although she attends Northshore Technical Community College to study nursing, she supports the university and enjoys providing assistance to local women while simultaneously expanding her own style. 

“I just love this style,” said Glascock. “They have such a variety. I can wear dressy to casual. Plus they have all the shoes that I want to wear. I get the best of both worlds. We’re so involved with the community and the school.”

Green and gold shorts, skirts, dresses, rompers, tops and more are available in the university’s signature duo of colors in small, medium and large.  

Hoover previously attempted to expand the store to include plus sizes and attire for men, but did not find success in those projects. She explains the difficulty of marketing for males in Hammond. 

Hoover said, “For Obsession, we’re really just zoning in on our target market at this point. The male side of it, I’ve tried that too, and I don’t know if Hammond is ready for that. We did a T-shirt line for males, and we heavily advertised for that. What we got was either the girlfriends coming in and buying for the guys or they got them for themselves because they thought they were just comfy. A lot of boys don’t want to come into Obsession to buy clothes. I guess it has that stigma of being a girl store, so they don’t want to come in.”

Hoover released her own line of T-shirts called Bishop Tee’s in August in honor of her fiancé Taylor Bishop. Hoover introduced this line to the university after noticing a lack of specialized shirts that are dedicated to the Lion Nation. Shirts in this line include a size range of extra small to 3X. 

Purchases can be made on Obsession’s website, or through their Instagram page, shopatobession. Customers who wish to order through Instagram can use the PayPal invoice system. 

“If you want something, we shoot you over an invoice, you pay over email, and we ship it for free,” said Hoover. “By following us on social media, you can always call and place an order over the phone.”

Although there is not an exclusive sale for the university’s Homecoming Week, Obsession shoppers can expect their annual Black Friday sale in November.

“We actually do like a big, crazy midnight to 2 a.m. sale,” said Hoover. “The first 10 people in the door get 50 percent off everything. Everyone else who comes in gets 40 percent off.”

Hoover describes Obsession as a “trendy and affordable boutique.” She explains that one of Obsession’s prominent goals lies in customer satisfaction.

“We really wanted our store to be a place where people could come in, and no matter who was working, they could feel like they were shopping with their sister or best friend,” said Hoover. “Anybody can pick out cute clothes, but it’s different when somebody comes in and is welcomed with a friendly face. That makes the experience.