Culture Rocks is an Ankara/African inspired clothing and accessories brand and retail store which opened about a year ago in the Gloucester Premium Outlets.
The locally based mother and daughter team Anita and Diya started out very small just a few years ago selling from an outdoor table at the Berlin Farmers Market, and today they have a full-sized beautiful retail store at the Gloucester Township Outlets, in Blackwood NJ.
I recently toured the store with Anita and as I pointed out one beautiful garment after another, she very frequently would say ” oh that was created by my daughter Diya”!
Diya was in the store also that day, hard at work designing her next creation at the back of the store.
It was very cool to see that within this same space, the entire life-cycle of a designer’s capabilities are on display…. ideas are developed, turn into amazing clothing and accessories, they have an allocated space for creating Social Media fashion videos, and of course… the store to sell the products!
It was like being inside an episode of Project Runway!
If you’re unfamiliar with Ankara clothing, It is a very colorful fabric with bold and lively designs. It retains its bold and bright colors for much longer than traditional fabrics because it uses a “wax resistant” technique in the printing of the fabric.
But the fabric it’s just one part of the full African clothing style that is well represented at Culture Rocks.
And with the Juneteenth commemoration this month (which celebrates the end of slavery)… it’s a perfect time to visit Culture Rocks at the Gloucester Premium Outlets.
By the way… the State Of New Jersey will honor Juneteenth on Friday June 16th, which means State courts and MVC offices will be closed. But the Federal holiday is set for Monday June 19th! NJ.com has those details.
Culture Rocks is located in the Gloucester Premium Outlets which sits at Route 42 and the Black Horse Pike. Their store is close to Friendly’s in the longer row, next to Crocs and directly across from Corningware.
Keep scrolling and reading for more.
Culture Rocks – Beautiful Designs, Beautiful Family
This may surprise many but I don’t regularly walk through the Outlets or the Mall… but when I do I’m always looking for new stores.
So I had completely missed that Culture Rocks had opened in the Gloucester Premium Outlets during one of my visits earlier this year… so I stopped in and left a card.
A few weeks later, owner Anita reached back out to me and asked if I would stop back in to check the store out. Absolutely!
What I found was a very professional and attractive store, which overflowed with beautiful colors from the clothing and accessories, with many interesting things for sale to explore.
So first and foremost this is a clothing line. A custom created brand which has become so successful for the mother and daughter team, that they’ve quickly been able to evolve into a full retail store offering.
Anita tells me they started out at the Berlin Farmers market, selling their clothing and accessories in that outdoor open table area.
Around the pandemic time they moved into the Cherry Hill Mall, leasing one of those small carts that are in the center of the center walkways.
But soon after, an opportunity came along to move into full-sized store at the Gloucester Premium Outlets, which enable them to share so much more of their design vision and accessories!
Not everything is created by them, but it seemed to be a repeated comment when I would point something out and the response would be “Oh my daughter Diya created that!”
And when I say created… these are literally handmade products! The sewing machine area is right inside the store at the back.
And even much of the jewelry and accessories are made by the Culture Rocks team such as Ghana krobo bead jewelry.
But they also sell products from other designers and creators.
Shea butter is a prominent product in the store, and I know some of the varieties they were selling at my visit were created by other local talented people.
Anita and Diya are also becoming very savvy at promoting their designs in multiple ways and have allocated a corner of the store as a photo/video area… videos with models wearing the Culture Rocks designs, which are then posted to a variety of social media platforms.
And even if Ankara is not your style of clothing, it’s still a fun and interesting visit to check out the store. Likely you’ll find something of interest from the line of jewelry, shea butter or lotions.
And you’ll also enjoy meeting Anita and Diya who are just awesome people, truly deserving of the growing success they are having… and they would love to have you visit their store to help the Culture Rocks experience grow!
Links and Location
Gloucester Premium Outlets
100 Premium Outlets Drive
Blackwood NJ 08012