Locally grown

Student-led market invites creatives to the scene

Micah Lim, Staff Writer

Sophomore Cara Hiroyasu and Senior Caila Armour-Brown discuss the upcoming entrepreneur opportunities of the SPU Creative Market. (Gabrialla Cockerell)

It happens across the canal where the air sometimes smells like sickly chocolate on the corner of Evanston Avenue North. From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the Fremont Sunday Market is host to wares and whatnots: produce, art, accessories, clothing and food sold by local, independently owned businesses.

While students at Seattle Pacific University are familiar with this weekly event near campus, something closer to home is in the works. 

Senior apparel design and fashion merchandising major Calia Armour-Brown and senior political science major Dominique Shipman are planning an SPU Creatives Market, a place designed to host student creatives and their work. Whether it be art and crafts, photography sessions, STEM showcases, clothing projects, club fundraisers or service-related drop-ins, the Market invites all. 

Armour-Brown first had the idea in response to the hurdles vendors must navigate to attend events such as the Sunday Ballard and Fremont markets. 

“I just thought bringing this to campus would make all the accessibility way easier,” said Armour-Brown. “Supplying different things for entrepreneurs and people that just want to know how to get their business and creativity out there.” 

The SPU Creatives Market is sponsored by the Center for Career and Calling as a means of loopholing the necessity of the Market being an official club. Fostering a community seems to be a priority for all involved, and for the CCC, it provides a space for workshopping resumes. The first of hopefully many meetings will take place in the Hill Hall lounge on Friday, May 20 from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m., and it will be open for anyone to attend.

Carson Wong, a freshman acting and performing arts major, is aspiring to be a vendor at the event. He feels that the campus is in the process of rejuvenating its student life. 

“That would be so cool for SPU to do something like that. I wouldn’t say it’s something SPU is lacking, just missing to brighten up the community,” said Wong. “People just want to [get] out of their classrooms or just their dorms and go do something.”

Currently, Armour-Brown and Shipman have had one informational meeting, but since then, their efforts have largely gone towards inviting vendors and increasing the visibility of the event. 

“We’re having meeting times where you can consult with me and Dominique as a vendor just to stay on track. Right now, we’re saying for vendors to make around 50 units of whatever they’re making,” said Armour-Brown. 

Students interested in becoming a vendor can consult with Armour-Brown and Shipman for consultation. As for now, the required number of units is a recommendation. Vendors are encouraged to produce products or perform services to the best of their ability. 

“I’m not too worried about the [number] of people that show up or the outcome, I just want quality over quantity. I want the people that do come to have a good time and have a space where they can hang out with friends and bring what they do out in the open to show some of their skills,” said Shipman. 

The in-person aspect changes everything. COVID-19 looks much different than last year, and while the virus is still an important health concern, events are back at SPU. Between seller and customer, this dynamic makes all the difference. 

Cara Hiroyasu, a sophomore psychology major, has been making and selling jewelry made out of spoons through her small business, All Things Utensils, for several years. As a future vendor, she anticipates the paradigm shift of selling online to selling in-person.

“When I sell online, I have a set number of rings that I will sell and that’s all I will sell. But when I do this, such as markets or bazaars, you pre-make them before in a variety of different sizes so people can come and try on different sizes,” said Hiroyasu. 

Although online shopping may be more convenient, the change to meeting clientele face-to-face is a welcome one. 

“It’s more personal when you can sell it in-person because most of the time at markets, the person making the product is selling it as well, so not only are you getting the product but you’re getting the face behind the product too,” said Hiroyasu. 

Hiroyasu may have some experience under her belt, but the market is an opportunity to try anything for the first time. If a student feels compelled to sell a product or provide a service, the SPU Creatives Market will be the perfect opportunity to bring it into fruition. 

“For students that want to participate but don’t know how, I would say to come to the event, take a pamphlet, stay in contact with us for the future or you can start now and we can brainstorm some ideas,” said Armour-Brown. 

Stay up-to-date with SPU Creatives Market on Instagram at @spucreativesmarket, and go to spu.edu/administration/center-career-calling/events/spu-creatives-market-event for more information about selling or displaying products at the event.