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scene

Ali on the Boulevard: A tad too pricey

| Friday, September 24, 2021

Claire Reid | The Observer

Ali on the Boulevard is a store located in Downtown South Bend, and while there are many parts about it that are amazing, truthfully, some of the items are not in a typical college student’s budget. However, there are still many great things in the store that won’t break the bank, despite the jewelry table on the first floor, the $15 candles and the clothing outside of the sale rack. The items on the racks are marked at varying prices, but I am still in shock about the $50 fluffy white sweater found in a college-town shop.

Nevertheless, don’t lose all hope — there are several great things you can still buy! For a steal of $3 you can have the signature scent of Sweet Grace and beautiful silver and gold bracelets, and they truly do not look like $3 bracelets. They are exceptionally beautiful for the price and blend perfectly with other bracelets; my only wish is that I would’ve gotten the gold one too. In addition to the cute bracelets, I also found an adorable rainbow bracelet for $4 and cute silver earrings for $6!

Throughout the store there were also cute Notre Dame magnets scattered about and a fun sock section with a range of eccentric catchphrases. My personal favorite was “Go away; I’m introverted,” even though I’m an ambivert. The socks paired with a cute card, found right by the register, would make a great present. By the checkout you find yourself drawn to the items on the counter: miracle bracelets and the cute wire ponytails. Overall, I don’t believe this store is meant for college students due to its prices. As college students, we can only wish to afford these items, and left to feel badly that we cannot afford the $30 necklace.

One might question if stores want us to feel a certain way, to get to the point where we wish that we could afford the price point. They might think, What’s the big deal? I can just put it on a credit card. No, we can’t. 36% of college students with credit cards have more than $1,000 or more in debt. 50% of millennials have maxed out their credit limit at least once. Whether or not we admit it, we are more susceptible to spending too much money anywhere.

Ali on the Boulevard is not the place for college students — but maybe for middle-aged individuals who are financially secure enough to afford the products. Despite liking the experience of shopping at this boutique and liking the overall environment, I can’t see myself going back. For now, I will stick with the $1 rack at Marshalls, and the accessories I already own from Ali on the Boulevard. As always, I encourage everyone to support small businesses — but don’t sacrifice your own financial security. 

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