Ball State Style Merchandising Affiliation’s pop-up store in Muncie helps sustainability

On Oct. 26-28, Ball State College college students mingled contained in the Warehouse beneath the Village Promenade, sifting via garments to search out one thing they love. College students might discover all kinds of garments — all thrifted and chosen by Ball State’s Style Merchandising Affiliation (FMA) members.

Maureen Kirk, Ball State third-year vogue merchandising main and FMA president, stated tons of of scholars attended and described the pop-up store as “chaotic however so wonderful.”

“One in every of our largest occasions for fundraising is the pop-up store,” Kirk stated. “This occasion is principally the place we collect a bunch of clothes from folks round campus and our household and pals … and we create a completely functioning retail retailer.”

As a result of COVID-19 pandemic, FMA couldn’t host the pop-up store at its present stage till 2021. Previous to then, it was held within the Atrium on campus. Whereas this was the group’s second 12 months internet hosting the occasion within the Village, Kirk stated there have been some main variations from final 12 months.

“Final 12 months, it was a really quick turnaround for setup as a result of we discovered fairly late into the semester that we have been going to have the ability to do it,” she stated. “This 12 months, it’s been rather a lot higher as a result of we had packed an overview of what we did final 12 months. We carried over quite a lot of issues we did, which made it simpler, particularly in the event you already know in regards to the area.”

Membership members started organising for the three-day occasion the day earlier than it opened, and Kirk stated they bumped into “some bumps within the highway” however have been capable of simply open the pop-up store Wednesday.

“It was so enjoyable to see everybody’s expressions and reactions,” Kirk stated. “Particularly [first-years] and new members, they don’t actually know what to anticipate till they see it for the primary time.”

Previous to the opening of the pop-up store, Kirk stated FMA was anticipating round 600 prospects. On the finish of the day Oct. 28, the group noticed 500 prospects in three days and raised $2,500.

Jessica Wolfe, Ball State third-year vogue merchandising main and FMA’s Nationwide Retail Federation scholar ambassador, was most excited to work together with prospects and assist them discover garments they love.

“I look ahead to seeing their reactions to what we’ve completed and what we’ve labored in direction of,” she stated. “I’m additionally wanting ahead to seeing the setup and the way prospects are going to work together with it.”

Jakota Fisher, second-year vogue business research main, was one of many prospects on the pop-up store and stated he loved it a lot he got here again a second time.

“It’s an effective way to buy sustainably, and it’s shut,” he stated. “They usually have cute issues donated by quite a lot of different school college students.”

Throughout his visits to FMA’s pop-up store, Fisher purchased two sweaters, two shirts and three tank tops. He heard in regards to the occasion from his pals who’re concerned within the group. He additionally stated he lives within the Village Promenade, so it was handy for him to assist the membership.

A show sits at FMA’s pop-up store fundraiser Oct. 28 within the Village whereas prospects store. Previous to the occasion, the group anticipated 600 Ball State college students would attend. Maya Wilkins, DN

Whereas Kirk considers the store a hit, it was not with out its challenges. The most important challenge with the store was getting the WiFi to work, which they wanted to make the most of their cost providers. As soon as they overcame that, she stated the whole lot went easily.

Kirk stated she and her fellow FMA members heard constructive critiques from quite a lot of the shoppers.

“This actually simply helps FMA as a result of we’re capable of present those who thrifting is an effective choice and in addition that the style merchandising program exists,” Kirk stated. “And that we could be larger than what we is perhaps recognized for on-campus.”

Wolfe believes FMA’s members have backgrounds that helped the pop-up store succeed, particularly with jobs they’ve labored earlier than. She stated the vast majority of their members have labored in retail however by no means within the place they’d with the three-day retailer.

“It’s actually thrilling to only be capable of file that information to the pop-up store as a result of in retail, you’re in all probability going to be decrease on the chain,” Wolfe stated, “however with the pop-up store, you get to take cost, and everybody’s concepts are so welcome.”

Avery Martin, Ball State second-year vogue merchandising main and FMA’s secretary, stated membership members put quite a lot of arduous work and time into the fundraiser this 12 months, assembly each week to plan for it. Through the build-up for the store, Martin was answerable for the promotions workforce, spreading the phrase via social media.

She posted on FMA’s Instagram and TikTok accounts previous to the occasion, which can be how Fisher heard in regards to the pop-up store.

“I’ve simply heard quite a lot of [people saying]‘It’s so cute,’ and compliments on all the garments,” Martin stated. “We’ve been getting so many garments. We needed to restock, and it’s wonderful to see how many individuals donated.”

Martin stated she believes the pop-up store is setting FMA up for fulfillment, and it’s one thing the group ought to make a convention.

“It simply reveals what vogue merchandising college students can do,” she stated. “We will make a complete retailer in three days with a theme, and I feel it’s so enjoyable.”

Whereas the pop-up store is the group’s largest occasion, Kirk stated in addition they have smaller fundraisers equivalent to sticker and poster gross sales within the Atrium or different locations on campus. Sooner or later, she stated she hopes members can create different giant fundraising occasions.

Kirk additionally stated she has excessive hopes for the group’s future, with members pitching new concepts and testing the bounds they set for themselves.

“I need folks to have the ability to experiment with new occasions which are actually large … and work with different golf equipment like Skilled Design Society, Girls in Enterprise and different enterprise golf equipment as properly,” Kirk stated. “I simply need us to have the ability to increase on totally different concepts and never restrict ourselves.”

Contact Maya Wilkins with feedback at or on Twitter @mayawilkinss.

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