Student entrepreneurs showcased their businesses during a pop-up shop

October 02, 2023

Students shop at a clothing business on the quad.

More than a dozen students came together on the Quad to promote their personal businesses and sell their products on September 20.

The M&T Bank Center for Innovation & Entrepreneurship hosts this event each semester to support business owners who offer everything from handmade jewelry to crocheted creations.

Zeikii Olayude ’25 sells South Korean streetwear clothing that is authentic to the city of Seoul. One of his friends, originally from South Korea, inspired his recycled fashion brand, Kimchi Kloset. He expressed how this experience benefited him and his company.

“This is the first step in a long journey,” said Olayude.

Another undergraduate, Sydni Stuart ’25, began giving manicures last year, offering different nail services on campus, particularly for students. Her passion grew into a business by the name of Sets By Sydni which led her to book a table at her very first pop-up shop at Quinnipiac.

“I’m able to interact with more people and just let them know there is someone here on campus to do their nails for them,” said Sydni. “Some people have already come up to me sharing that they follow me on social media or don’t have a car, so this is very convenient for them.”

Dior Barnes ’24, offers custom-designed clothing through his brand, ModeDeVie, which manufactures products overseas. Barnes’ business has appeared at numerous Quinnipiac-hosted pop-up shops and even sold out at the previous event.

Jessica Theodore ’25, MS ’27, launched her business during her sophomore year of high school, crocheting bumblebees, stuffed animals and other types of custom college-related gifts. She also shared how affordability and convenience for students looking to purchase products hold major importance in her business model.

In addition to products, there were also some student-run businesses that sold intangible memories.

Ryan Holden ’24, of RCH Photography, aims to create the art form of true-to-life photography. He offers photoshoots for graduations, athletic events and more.

“I have been doing this for a bit now and I am excited to be back this year,” said Holden. “As a photographer, it is important for me to get engaged in the Quinnipiac community.”

All of the entrepreneurs agreed that this Quinnipiac opportunity has significantly supported their business growth.

“I’ve been very grateful to gain an audience and customers from this,” said Nia Braccidiferro, founder of Nia’s Earrings Etc. “I have been growing ever since."

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