Barsema's Closet Aims To Help NIU Students Dress For Success

Feb 20, 2019

Barsema's closet is a pop-up resale shop that provides Northern Illinois University students with casual and business professional clothing, plus accessories such as padfolios and briefcases.

It was created for the university's business students, but co-founder Emma Stettner says they realized this is a problem affecting all students.

Credit Andrew Heiserman

"Not only are we available for business students but wer'e available for all students across campus," she said. "Because obviously students at NIU all over campus have interviews and go to the job fair."

During the Feb. 13 grand opening, students entered a room with racks of clothing and tables of accessories arranged into different categories. Everything in the room was priced from $1- $25. Student Tristen Thomas says he liked how everything was set up.

"It was really organized. I liked how they clearly labeled the men's section, the women's section and the prices," Thomas said. "I really liked that a lot, so it's very organized and well thought out."

Thomas says when shopping for a suit at a store there are many different steps and problems that can occur.

"It's kind of a huge problem just because there are so many things that you have to go through just to get a suit," he said. "Like you have to first go find out, it's probably going to range from $100-200 or even more. Have it tailored, make sure it's the right fit, you know, so it's a whole process. And just the fact that there is something specifically on campus at Barsema -- it is really nice that they offer it."

Credit Andrew Heiserman

Stettner says she got the idea when she was a freshman and needed to dress professionally but lacked the proper clothing. Co-Founder Cordnei Gibson explains where all the clothes came from, and where you could donate.

"All the clothing comes from alumni, faculty, staff, also business partners and some students have donated clothes as well," Gibson said. "We are always accepting clothing donations and also monetary donations. If anyone has any gently used clothes they would like to donate they can just bring them to Barsema Hall Room 145 and we would greatly appreciate it."

This was the first event of its kind but Stettner has a goal already set.

"There will be more, we do not have a set date for the next opening," she said. "However, our goal is to eventually be open at least once a week. Right now, will probably be just a couple times a month until we get ourselves off the ground."

More information on future dates will be posted when they become available.