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Hidden Gems: Shrunken Head Boutique

(Image courtesy of Shrunken Head Boutique)

As you journey on Franklin Street, there is one store that stands apart of the rest. Nestled on this famous street is the Shrunken Head Boutique. Visitors, students, and locals journey into this store to get all of their Tar Heel merchandise. I had the opportunity to speak with the store to learn more about this iconic Chapel Hill institution.

(Image courtesy of Shrunken Head Boutique)

1. What makes Shrunken Head Boutique different from other UNC themed stores? The Shrunken Head Boutique is the oldest UNC Fan Shop in Chapel Hill, opening in August of 1969. The Shrunken Head has remained owned by the same family for 51 years and counting. We have stood out amongst competing stores by adapting with trends in the collegiate market as well as catering to the tradition that is UNC. Our mix of classic Carolina and modern trends is what makes The Shrunken Head a place to shop for every Tar Heel generation. On our walls you can find decades worth of UNC history and collectibles that make visiting The Shrunken Head not only a shopping trip but also a must-have fan experience.

(Image courtesy of Shrunken Head Boutique)

2. How does Shrunken Head Boutique incorporate its mission and vision into its product offerings?

We have a wonderful team of students and alumni that help with curating our collection of UNC products. We have always strived to be different from competitors with both our product selection and our prices. We custom design a large portion of products in our store and choose items we know can fit any UNC fan style and budget.

(Image courtesy of Shrunken Head Boutique)

3. How did Shrunken Head Boutique evolve during the COVID-19 pandemic?

During the worst of the pandemic, our store did have to close it's doors for a couple months. During those months we still operated and grew our online presence and are excited to continue to grow our social and online channels.

(Image courtesy of Shrunken Head Boutique)

4. What are some quintessential Shrunken Head Boutique products?

The must haves of any fan shop are t-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats. While we carry plenty of these, what makes Shrunken Head unique is the very eclectic feel. We have a large variety of small and unique novelties that canvas our entire store. From Rubix cubes to playing cards- we keep every surface of our store full of fun items. The Shrunken Head would not look the same without them.

(Image courtesy of Shrunken Head Boutique)

5. What is the future of the company?

The Shrunken Head will celebrate our 52nd anniversary on Franklin Street this August! We intend to continue being a Carolina Fan tradition for 50 more! We will strive to continue to spread the Tar Heel spirit in Chapel Hill and online.

(Image courtesy of Shrunken Head Boutique)


Me on my first day of graduate school

Rachel Huss

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