Featured photo: Owner MarTeekia Sweat and her friends at the Rich Girls Museum (courtesy photo)
What appears to be a soda machine in the lobby at the Rich Girls Museum is actually a door.
“They don’t even know this is back here at all,” says owner MarTeekia Sweat, referring to the museum situated behind the Rich Girl’s clothing shop.
“They’ll think they’re going out the door like, ‘Okay, where are we going?,’” Sweat says. “Then I open the door and they’re like, ‘Oh, my God. I didn’t know that was a door. It’s a soda machine.’”
The Rich Girls Museum opened on Oct. 22 in Greensboro to tremendous popularity due to a Tik Tok posted by Sweat that went viral. The museum is composed of a set of rooms designed to “provoke imagination and creativity” from its visitors. It offers unique backdrops for photos taken in the museum. It’s basically Instagram paradise.
The traffic the first day was heavier than the sparkly rock Sweat dons on her left ring finger given to her by her fiancé Josh, according to Sweat. Josh works at Underground Rich Studios next door to the museum. When the space where the museum is located became available, the couple couldn’t resist the opportunity to claim the suite.
After graduating from North Carolina A&T State University in 2012, Sweat relocated to Los Angeles for what she described as a “new experience” to contrast with mundane Greensboro. It was there that she got the idea for a selfie museum, visiting one every two to three months to learn more about how to operate it and to gain inspiration for the museum’s eight rooms.
Selfie museums are in the category of “Instagram museums” — museums with exhibitions designed to be as photogenic on social media as possible. They’re popular with those that want their page to be aesthetically pleasing or those hoping for sponsorships from companies in exchange for advertisement of their products.
Upon entering the Rich Girl’s Museum, the visitor is perpendicular to the bubblegum room, with plush, yellow benches and yellow-and-white striped walls. The walls are lined with what seems like endless mini gumball machines filled with all white or yellow gumballs. It’s just one of many rooms — a VIP club section, a bubble bath filled with blue and pink plastic balls to represent bubbles, and a pink private jet.
Ashley Fisher, another graduate of NCA&T who is also a blogger, enjoyed her recent stop at the pink private jet during her photoshoot at the museum by JamieJack Photography.
“The entire experience from start to finish was amazing,” Fisher says. “As soon as I walked into the lobby, the lighting and scenery impressed me.”
According to Sweat, one of the most popular rooms with visitors has been the Dirty Laundry Room. Its purple glow immediately draws the eye to the single white washing machine in the center of the room. On top of the washing machine is a laundry basket filled with imitation $100 bills for visitors to throw while a teal “dirty” neon sign hangs behind them.
Despite the sign, Fisher noted the museum’s cleanliness, an effort done by Sweat after each visitor.
Rich Girls Museum is also host to Rich Girls Collection, Sweat ‘s clothing line for women. The line features everything from track suits to tube dresses, aiming for versatility, yet comfort.
“Most of my outfits, you can wear sneakers and heels with it,” she says. “It depends on your personal preference and where you’re going.”
Some of the outfits from the collection hang on the walls in the front lobby of the museum, situated for the convenience of visitors seeking new outfits before their photoshoots.
Sweat says she opened Rich Girls Museum in the Triad for one reason.
“It’s boring,” Sweat says. “There’s nothing to do here.”
She chose the location knowing the unique business would be a refreshing change to common activities found in the Triad, like movie theaters or skating rinks, many of which are still closed.
“This is something Greensboro’s never had,” she says.
The Rich Girl’s Museum is located at 4000 Spring Garden St, Ste M. To book your visit, go to RichGirlsMuseum.com. To shop Rich Girls Collection, visit RichGirlsCollection.com