Students showcase their creative skills at the annual business market


GVL | Annabelle Robinson

Clemence Daniere, Staff Writer

On Sept. 17, Grand Valley State University students gathered on the Kindschi lawn to put on display their art, jewelry and other creative skills. The Student Business Market invited 25 students this year to decorate their own tables and showcase their creative work. 

The students were selling their hand-crafted items from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., garnering attention from people walking by. Every student had their own creative spin on their items. 

Maisha Marriott, a freshman, sold handcrafted jewelry made by wire wrapping crystals and other small items into necklaces. She started making this jewelry when her grandmother handed down a lot of her vintage jewelry to her. She upcycled the pieces to give them a modern twist, which caught the attention of her friends and family and has been making jewelry ever since. 

Another jewelry vendor, Clare Mcfarlane Parrott, said she has been finding joy in making jewelry for years. She began making jewelry in elementary school when an entrepreneur fair helped her discover her love for creating it. 

“Making jewelry is about connecting with people,” Parrott said. “When I meet someone new I bring out all of my supplies and ask them to make something together.”

Some of the vendors said they fostered their passion during the pandemic when they suddenly had more time on their hands and their creative hobbies evolved into a business rather than a pass-time. 

However, juggling school with a business has proven to be hard for some vendors.

Marriott said she increased her productivity by doing school work, reading and even eating while working on her wire wrapping. Maximizing the time she spends on school work and crafting has allowed her to keep her passion alive while also focusing on her degree.

For others, school has actually been a way to help their business grow.

GVL | Annabelle Robinson

Rachael Brown, a senior business major, has found that the skills that she learned in class profited her business. Spending time in her classes learning about revenue, profit and margins has helped her understand and grow her business. 

Summer break has proven to be a great time to create a lot of stock for the upcoming year.

Arianna Krajlic, a GVSU graduate, said she takes advantage of the time off during summer break to get ahead in her crafts. This has helped her create backstock for the year when she is not able to create as much jewelry as she would like. 

For most, making art, jewelry, garments and other crafts has been a way to channel their creativity into something that has proven to be profitable as well as fun. 

“Making jewelry is something that I like being creative in,” Brown said. “I thought it would be fun and I started to become passionate about it.”

The Student Business Market is an annual event that resumed this year.

Students who are interested in joining the market next year can find more information on social media and in the Campus Activities Board newsletter.