Anyone that attended a historically black college or university boasts about their incomparable experience and proudly bears their schools logo any chance they get. While there are over 100 HBCUs in the U.S, many are only familiar with a handful of them. While they all are molding the black excellence of tomorrow, all of them don’t get the acknowledgment they are entitled to. Prairie View A&M University alumnae Derreka Shelton and Danielle Simmons have partnered to make sure that each HBCU gets equal exposure. They came up with the idea to launch My HBCU Box, a quarterly subscription box that is equipped with all the threads needed to represent your HBCU with pride.
“For us we were just not seeing our HBCU apparel and things that we could find to [represent] our HBCUs and we knew we were not alone,” Simmons said about their decision to launch My HBCU Box. “There are 107 HBCUs and only a select few get visibility.”
Each box, which can be masculine or feminine, comes equipped with four items that exemplify the HBCU experience. For $49.99 each quarter, subscribers receive $175 worth of apparel that can include merchandise like t-shirts, fanny packs, hats, a bowtie and even a Letterman jacket.
“We put the HBCU experience in a box,” Simmons said. “No matter what phase you are in in your HBCU experience this box is for you.”
Each box is not only customized based on what college you attended, but it also has a theme. Like the “Do the Right Thing” box that doubled as a homecoming survival kit or the “HBCU-ish” box, a play off of ABC’s hit show black-ish.
Simmons and Shelton recognize that only certain HBCUs get shout-outs. It’s crucial to them to make sure their boxes are all-inclusive and no school is forgotten.
“What we do is we tailor your box to your HBCU so that you can represent no matter what,” Simmons said.
“You don’t have to have gone to the Howards and Spellmans of the world to represent your school.”
Simmons and Shelton aren’t just stopping at this subscription box when it comes to spotlighting the HBCU experience. In 2020, they hope to gift two future HBCU students with scholarships. They are also planning something special for their alma mater, the PV Camping Event, which Shelton dubbed as “homecoming in the woods.”
Shelton said with everything that the HBCUs have done for them and other alumni, the least they could do is pay homage to these illustrious institutions.
“Our HBCUs have given us so much. We can’t take from a culture and not give back.”
Sign up to get your subscription box here.