By Kevin Keenan, communication intern in the Office of University Relations
In the same vein as other popular online marketplaces, Marquette students can now showcase their entrepreneurial spirit on Student-Made Marquette, a largely student-led arts collective made up of creators and innovators within the campus community. It officially launched on Feb. 1, 2023.
Kelsey Otero, senior director for community engagement in the Office of University Relations, says the goal was to find a unique way to support entrepreneurs and creatives at Marquette to grow their businesses.
“We explored doing pop-ups but wanted something with more opportunities to buy beyond the market and something that could engage those not in the Milwaukee area,” Otero says. “This is why Student-Made is a perfect program — the online platform allows anyone to purchase at any time and support the Marquette entrepreneurial ecosystem.”
None of this would be possible without the 707 Hub, a space designed to foster collaboration and innovation at Marquette. The hub provides support to the student managers and sellers who make Student Made Marquette successful.
“All sellers have access to the 707 Hub resources, which include mentoring, funding and access to the law and entrepreneurship clinic,” Otero says.
This partnership helps Student-Made Marquette community engagement manager Will Eikenbary’s job easier. Eikenbary, a sophomore digital media, advertising and philosophy major, is one of six managers supporting sellers behind the scenes. They coordinate outreach to creators on campus and plans events throughout the year.
“The organization has served as the perfect way to build a community of young creators, managers and friends on campus,” Eikenbary says. “I think it’s impactful to offer opportunities to people that not only allow them to think outside of the box, but also gain crucial life experiences like being involved with Student-Made Marquette.”
Since the launch, the site has attracted over a dozen sellers who are trying their hand at creating and selling their own products.
Junior marketing major Josh Meitz sells photos of Milwaukee and his hometown, Minneapolis. He first heard about the business opportunity in one of his classes.
“I thought it was a perfect chance for me to showcase my work and have a little side hustle,” Meitz says. “After launch, I’ve had my hands full— fulfilling orders for alumni, parents and students. It’s died down a little, but there is definitely traction within the Marquette community. That is what it’s all about!”
Meitz says this opportunity has provided a great way to invest in the future and continue doing what he loves, which is making images.
Jonalie Zamora is a seller on the site. The first-year marketing major sells handmade crochet products, including hats, scarves and stuffed animals.
“My favorite thing is to make custom orders. I love the challenge of designing things from scratch,” Zamora says. “My experience so far has been educational. I’ve had a lot of people come up to me while I’m crocheting on campus, saying things like ‘wow, that’s so cute!’ It’s very motivational and it feels nice. My dream job is to be a crochet designer in the future.”
Although Student-Made Marquette is smaller in scale, Zamora hopes her current business will teach her to navigate the larger craft world after graduation.
“There are online platforms like Etsy and art events that I have yet to learn about, but I appreciate that Student-Made Marquette makes it easier for me to ease into the art world and potentially get my name out there.”
In the future, Otero says she would like this site to be the first place people think of when they want to find a new or unique item while shopping local.
“I hope this site provides the spark for current and future Marquette students to put their ideas and dreams into action and bring new creative endeavors to life,” she says.
- Student-Made Marquette online store launches
- The 707 Hub: where Marquette students create and innovate for tomorrow
- Marquette names 707 Hub leader Kelsey Otero to senior director of community engagement