Mporium’s Multitude of Merchandise for Charity
The Marist College boutique, Mporium: The Collective, reopened for it’s second semester in the Steel Plant — this time, with a cause for the greater good.
“Not many people realize Mporium is a non-profit store,” said Noelle DiCamilla, a student buyer for Mporium. “We are self funded and the profits go towards scholarship, and most of the items we sell give back to charities or have meaning behind them.”
The products found in Mporium help a number of organizations such as Wounded Warriors Project, New Hopes Girls, and funds for women who have suffered from sexual assault. Bitchstix, a chapstick “to kiss domestic abuse goodbye,” is a charitable item that had become popular since the store opened during Alumni weekend, on Sept. 20.
“A gentleman from the class of ‘69 said to me,‘oh Bitchstix, how’d you get away with that?” said Professor Rebecca Brown, the supervisor of Mporium, recalling from opening day.
After she explained to the alumni that 10% of the proceeds went to fighting against sexual assault and domestic violence, he was more than impressed. “When it’s more meaningful...stuff like that really resonates with people,” Brown said, beaming at her students with pride.
Brown challenged the Mporium buyers to find unique and meaningful products, and the students turned it into a way to help others. The newest philanthropic addition to the store; environmentally-friendly totes that fund the charity New Hopes Girls, an organization that provides safehouses and jobs for women in the Domican Republic.
“If I could buy from one vendor or the other, why wouldn’t I choose the one that gives back?” DiCamilla said.
“I love when the items we sell give back to different causes,” said Isabela Bettamio ‘20, a member of the Mporium marketing department.
“They have so much more meaning,” agreed Gabriella Ciardullo ‘20, an Mporium visual merchandiser. Ciardullo relayed that her favorite item does not donate profits, but instead, gives back positivity and kindness through words of self-love beaded onto a bracelet.
“They are bracelets that say strength, kind, brave, beauty, all of these encouraging and positive words,” said Ciardullo. “You choose what you need, and then when you don’t need it anymore you pass it on to someone who does need it.”
“I liked mine so much I didn’t want to give it up, so I bought my mom the matching one when I wanted to pass it on,” Ciardullo laughed.
“Mporium definitely tries to give back in any little way we can,” said Bettamio. “We try to have a purpose behind everything we buy.”