From golf paraphenalia to pop-up tents, College Corner has a variety of college-themed products for sale.
From golf paraphenalia to pop-up tents, College Corner has a variety of college-themed products for sale.
RIDGELAND - Scott Werne was on a mission to find a knit shirt to buy and wear to a college football game, when he ran into some problems.

First, he tried the big-box stores first, but came away disappointed at the lack of selection and quality. He drove around to several different stores, but ran into the same issue - he just couldn't find anything to his liking.

He ended up visiting the bookstore on campus, which had what he was looking for, but was so crowded it took him over an hour to find what he wanted, check out and get back to his tailgate.

It might have ruined his morning, but it also sparked his interest in what could turn out to be a great career-move.

"It gave me an idea," Werne said Friday afternoon. "What if I opened a store, right here in Ridgeland, in the Jackson area, that carried all kinds of college apparel?"

Two years later, former independent roofing company representative did just that - he opened College Corner in the Trace Station Shopping Center on Hwy. 51 in Ridgeland, and he's since found the answer to his question.

Friday around lunch, at least 15 different customers bustled through the door in a 20-minute period, all looking to gear up for the upcoming football season, which begins tonight when Ole Miss takes on Boise State.

"I opened in mid-July, and the business has picked up week-by-week since then," Werne said. "People are coming in, getting their gear to wear to the game and their tailgate stuff together."

At college corner, there's plenty of gear to gather.

There are tailgating tents, including all Ole Miss, Mississippi State and Southern Miss (and some house-divided tents, if you're into that sort of thing). There's coolers, chairs, plastic cups and glasses, plus decorations of all kinds.

When it comes to clothing, the quality is better than you can find at the big-box stores Werne visited, and the prices are better than he likely paid at the campus bookstore. The selection is what really stands out.

College Corner also offers top quality products from the best brands of men's, ladies' and children's apparel and game-day gear, including jerseys, hats, gifts, accessories and tailgating supplies. Merchandise includes popular brand names like Nike, Adidas, PING and Cutter & Buck.

The store carries some local high school gift selections, as well as a variety of sorority items all of which can be delivered to Oxford or Starkville.

"I've had a lot of people comment that the prices are better than you can find on-campus," he said. "I just wanted people to have a good, local option, because there wasn't one."