Rachel Hancock '14 Rachel Hancock ’14As many of us know, the square is the heart of the city of Georgetown. The square attracts visitors from all over Texas and is frequented by Southwestern students and Sun City residents alike. With restaurants such as 600 Degrees Pizza and Sweet Lemon Kitchen, interesting antique stores and boutiques, and great coffee from 309, Lamppost, and Cianfrani, there truly is something for everyone. Unfortunately, because of COVID-19, many of these iconic Georgetown businesses have had to temporarily close their doors. 

Thankfully, these beloved places are held in the hearts of many of Southwestern’s current students and alumni. Rachel Hancock ’14, for one, has truly gone above and beyond to help the businesses that were part of her Southwestern Experience. A small-business owner herself, Hancock devised a way to help create income for the Georgetown shops and restaurants that would otherwise have none. “The historic downtown square is the heart of the community. I had to do something to help the local business owners,” Hancock says. “That was my inspiration.”

In order to accomplish this goal, Hancock set out to paint portraits of the storefront of every single small business in the square. She then sells prints of those paintings through her store, Something Social. Considering that the whole collection consists of 60 different prints, the project has been no easy task. Hancock says, “It’s challenging, but man, I’ve got a real strong drive to complete it.”

Rachel Hancock '14 Credit: KXAN

The prints are being sold for $10 a piece, which means that every print purchased is $10 toward helping your favorite Georgetown store in these trying times. Hancock explains further, “People purchase [a print of] the business they want to support. For example, if you were to purchase the print of The Exchange, 100% of the profits would go back to The Exchange business owners.” Purchasing a print, then, is a way of directly supporting your favorite business even if you cannot physically shop there.

Hancock’s Southwestern Experience helped her develop a love for the Georgetown square, as well as the skills she needed to take on the daunting task of painting the square. “As a theatre major, I learned how to create something out of nothing,” she reflects. “As a classmate, I learned how to contribute to my community. As a student, I learned responsibility, pride, and honesty. Now, as a Southwestern alum, I feel confident in every project that I pursue.”

With these skills, Hancock has raised more than $11,000—with room to grow, as the sale officially ends May 31st. You can access Hancock’s store and support the square’s iconic businesses, including institutions like the Palace and up-and-comers such as the Lark and Owl. Hancock also takes commissions on other artworks, videos, and photography. Thanks to Hancock, Georgetown lovers can still support their favorite business in new ways and help make these challenging times a little brighter.