What do a candlemaker, a nail technician and a photographer have in common? They are a few of over 20 vendors to be featured at Shop the Loop, an event hosted by the communication department’s event and venue planning class, PBR 455. The event will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 23 from 6 – 9 p.m. in the LaRita Boren Campus Center.
Other services and products to be showcased at Shop the Loop include handmade macramé items, pottery, journals, jewelry, nail services and thrifted clothing, among several other creative student businesses. Payment methods for each vendor will vary, so bringing cash or downloading Venmo is recommended. There will also be free donuts, cider and chai for all who attend the event.
Junior Leah Selk, one of the event and venue planning students bringing this event to life, said all of the proceeds from the vendors reserving booths will go toward those affected by Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas.
“A huge part of our event is raising relief funds for the Bahamian students on campus, so we’re trying to meet emotional and physical needs for the Bahamian students,” Selk said. “So I think (going to Shop the Loop) is both supporting people’s products and showing the Bahamian students that we care about the tragedy that struck their home.”
Selk came up with the idea to host an event for student businesses after attending Upland’s Farmers Market. Seeing the vendors’ products reminded her how many students she knows who sell products and services on campus.
She presented the idea to her peers in the event and venue planning class, and together they came up with the event Shop the Loop.
Junior Maddy Miller, a student in the event and venue planning class, hopes Shop the Loop encourages students to support each other in their entrepreneurial pursuits. She and her classmates want students with businesses to have a platform to share their creativity.
“I think it’s very important to have a passion, and sometimes it’s hard to exercise a passion in college because you’re so busy with different things,” Miller said. “I think it’s really fun that people have little things they do on the side on campus, and for them to be able to have a place to advertise so the whole student body will get to see is really important.”
Adjunct Professor Karen McTague, who teaches the public relations event and venue planning course, oversees Selk, Miller and five other students who have worked hard to make the event a reality. In event and venue planning, students learn to plan a major event while cultivating the foundational core objectives of civic mindedness, communication fluency, critical thinking and responsible stewardship.
McTague believes the event will not only be of value to student entrepreneurs, but also to her students on the planning side of the process.
“My hope is that my students will learn and experience professional organizational development, community collaboration, responsible stewardship and God-inspired motivation,” McTague said. “God has a plan for each one of their lives, and I want them to have the knowledge of creating and planning as a foundation to any position where they will be called to serve.”