Aug. 30, 2022
Contact: Deidra Ashley, firstname.lastname@example.org
The University of Missouri community and campus visitors can now shop for clothing, candy and other products at four new student-run retail stores in the MU Student Center. The brick-and-mortar experience provided by the Griggs Innovators Nexus, the Missouri Student Unions and U.S. Bank supplies each Tiger merchant with $2,000 for startup costs, a credit card reader and an iPad to manage sales. This year’s businesses are:
- Aged Ivy
- Fisch Flips
- Kogo’s Kandies
Additionally, two student businesses were awarded incubator office spaces for companies focused on building an e-commerce presence, developing software and other activities that do not require a storefront. They are:
- Rad by Design
- Relevant Youth
“Students selected for these 300-square-foot retail spaces learn firsthand how to run a store in a high-traffic venue,” said Greg Bier, MU executive director of entrepreneurship programs. “They gain practical skills designing their space, supervising employees, handling inventory, marketing their products and a lot more.”
Read on to meet the retailers.
Location: Room 1206
What it is: Vintage apparel for customers who love streetwear and other fashion finds.
Operators: Mason Schaedel, a senior finance major from Lake Zurick, Illinois, and Hallie Wilt, a senior graphic design major from Macon, Missouri
Schaedel and Wilt, who both have a passion for thrifting and second-hand clothing, have been working together since they were sophomores. Their brand of sustainable clothing is inspired by a desire to help reduce the textile industry’s carbon footprint.
“We are planning to use the store as a content-creation space for our social media accounts and to house our inventory while allowing customers to come shop,” Schaedel said. “We hope this space will help us expand our business even after college is over.”
Location: Room 1212B
What it is: This location offers the Black Mizzou Clothing (BMC) brand to raise funds for the Knowledge Is Wealth student organization, which focuses on enhancing the experience of Black students and promoting campus inclusion, diversity and equity.
Operators: Kansas Citians Zeph France, team leader and a senior business administration major, Christian McDonald, a senior journalism major, and Christian Ricketts, a senior accounting and sports management major; Josiah Kaboga, a senior health science major from Houston, Texas; and Jermaine Hollywood, a senior health science major from Caruthersville, Missouri.
Knowledge is Wealth started as a group of friends who wanted to empower each other and create change at Mizzou and in the broader Columbia community. They created the BMC brand to help develop an appreciation for and bridge different cultures.
“Our goal this year is to create an accommodated space where minority culture is celebrated,” France said. “It will serve as a place where all are welcome to come and engage with African American heritage. “
Location: Room 1210D
What it is: A sustainable fashion brand for women that includes tops, bottoms and bags made from repurposed denim and offers an alterations service.
Operator: Clare Fischer, a junior marketing major from St. Louis.
In addition to designing and producing the off-the-rack denim pieces sold in her store, Fischer creates custom pieces to fit her customer’s aesthetics and exact measurements. Participating in the Trulaske College of Business Entrepreneurship Alliance program helped her finalize her business plan and build a website.
“I created a thrift flip business because I was tired of paying for clothes that did not fit correctly and were not ethically made,” Fischer said. “I have always wanted the opportunity to sell pieces of my own design and to design for customers.”
Location: Room 1212A
What it is: Candy products, including sweets from other countries.
Operators: Kansas Citians Henry Accardo, a junior marketing majoring, and Jacob Burrell-Kogo, a sophomore business major.
Accardo and Burrell-Kogo see their retail space as a great learning opportunity and a chance to build something “unique and different” at Mizzou. They also offer advertising space on the store’s 65-inch display.
“Candy is something that has always put a smile on our faces, and we strive to share that happy experience with others,” Accardo said. “We are bringing everyone together by creating an inclusive environment with a product so many people love.”
Rad by Design
Location: Room 1207C
What it is: Custom clothing made from upcycled materials.
Operator: Georgi Gnibus, a third-year law student from Carlsbad, California.
Gnibus, who previously operated her business in one of the Student Center’s retail spaces, transforms used clothing into new, one-of-a-kind garments. This year she is focused on growing her online presence and expanding her e-commerce capabilities.
“I wanted to create unique pieces that stand out in a crowd while also combating the massive amount of waste in the fast-fashion industry,” Gnibus said. “Customers can stop by the incubator space to try on items, pick up orders, get alterations or just say ‘hi.’ ”
What it is: A consulting group that provides creative marketing solutions.
Operator: Kristen Rogge, a senior business administration and textile and apparel management major from Kansas City, and Relevant Youth’s internal director.
More than 100 students are involved in Relevant Youth, a student-run marketing agency that offers opportunities to work with real clients, build portfolio pieces and explore career paths. Rogge said she discovered her love for event planning while working on an experiential marketing team.
“I want to help other students discover their talents and passions, and I'm looking forward to leading this talented group,” Rogge said. “The incubator space is the perfect opportunity for Relevant Youth because it gives us a central location on campus and it will help our students be more connected to the school and each other.”