The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

The Student News Site of Grand Valley State University

Grand Valley Lanthorn

CAB supports students’ small businesses with market event

GVL/ Trenton Estrada

Grand Valley State University’s Campus Activities Board (CAB) held its student small business market on April 4 in Kirkhof Center. 

At the event students were able to showcase the products their small businesses offer and sell them. The event is held a few times a year, typically with two markets during the fall semester and one during the winter semester.

Brianna Conway, Director of Transitions at CAB ran the event. Conway said having opportunities on campus for students can open up more possibilities for them. 

“It’s good to have a space for GVSU students to show their talents. It also encourages others to be more confident to do the same thing,” Conway said. “It brings awareness that these businesses might not have otherwise. It also brings students with the same niche together.”

Student Javion Ward’s clothing brand, Money Over Fame, was one of the small businesses featured at the market. His business focuses on streetwear style branded clothing. 

“Having a clothing brand is like art because I am designing products to put out into the world and have people see it,” Ward said.  “When I see good reactions, it’s definitely a good feeling to see that my hard work is noticed.” 

Ward said this event is important to student small businesses owners like himself because it helps to expand their brands’ reach.

“The more events I am at, the more people will be able to see my brand in person and be able to meet who I am and see (and learn about) my brand,” Ward said. 

He said the small business market was a good way to connect not only with customers, but other businesses. Ward said the event allowed people to exchange ideas and network in the space.

“I feel I always have more room to grow. So, meeting other people they may know some things you may not know and vice versa- to be able to help each other out and help each other grow,” Ward said. 

For now, Ward sells his clothing online and at future small market events, but one day he hopes to open his own clothing store. 

“It’s cool to see different products people make that you wouldn’t find in a normal store,” Ward said. “(The market) provides that extra help to push their name and brand out to people and be able to sell their products too.” 

Another student small business featured at the event was Arianna Kraljic’s handmade jewelry business AriKsJewlery

Kraljic said at other markets she has attended, businesses had to pay for a spot. However, the CAB event was free for vendors and did not have a fee. She expressed that events like this help her student small businesses gain exposure and sell products without having to spend money on an entrance fee. 

Kraljic said with each market she attends, her business gains more followers. She said the social aspect of the market makes the market even more enjoyable. 

“Even if I don’t make that many sales, it’s fun to see people’s faces with what I’ve made,” Kraljic said.

Like Ward, Kraljic hopes to further expand her business in the future. 

Conway said there was, what she considered, a good turn out of people walking through Kirkhof Center to stop and talk with the business owners. Conway said there were positive reactions from both students shopping at the market and from businesses. 

“Every person I talked to was so happy this was happening. There was not one student I came across who seemed to not like it,” Conway said.

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