An Interview with Erica Swiatek of Innovate Faster


By: Jewel Watters, Fashion Merchandising Major

I interviewed our keynote speaker for this year’s Creativity Conference that is coming up on Febraury 28th, 2018. If you are looking to learn more about becoming an entrepreneur, and tips and tricks to help you get there, come to the Creativity Conference!

1) What made you want to open up your own business?

Swiatek says that she actually fell into business, she was working for a consulting business in learning and development and creative studies, and she wanted more than that. Swiatek was approached about doing the Escape Room, and she wanted to do assessments, playing and teaching personality problem solving, and taking over just fell into place.

2) What are your responsibilities as a business owner?

Swiatek says that her responsibilities are pretty much all over the place. There is lots of stuff to do every day involving marketing, paying the rent, creating the Escape Room classes, and usual day to day stuff.

3) What is one piece of advice you would give to someone wanting to become an entrepreneur?

Swiatek says that you should always make sure that you are really passionate about it, because it involves a lot of day to day stuff that you are not going to love, and you will feel like this is not what you wanted, her piece of advice is to always be realistic.

4) How do you exhibit your creativity?

Swiatek says that she exhibits her creativity through playfulness. She tries to be an ambassador at play, she likes to play first learn second. She says it gives her such a different experience, and that she still plays with a slinky toy, always has fun colored nail polish, and likes to showcase her playfulness.


Experience the Creativity Conference This Semester!


By: Jewel Watters, Fashion Merchandising Major

When you were growing up, did you ever look around at all the businesses around your local town when your mother was driving you around, and think ‘owning my own business might be a fun thing to do’? You probably were also thinking that owning your own business will make you lots of money, fame, and a big nice house to live in. Well, what if I could tell you that there is a chance to learn more about what being an entrepreneur really is, and what it can do for you if you choose to pursue entrepreneurship?

Next month on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018 in the Conable Technology Building at Genesee Community College’s Batavia campus, the Business program will be hosting a ‘Creativity in the Entrepreneurial Zone’ Conference to inspire people to become entrepreneurs. This conference will have a keynote speaker, multiple breakouts with lots of speakers from different industries, and will also have a continental breakfast, and lunch. Registration will be beginning at 8:15 am, and the conference will start at 9 am with a keynote speaker.

Our keynote speaker will be Erica Swiatek, who is an entrepreneur from a company called Innovate Faster, she is also the one who does the Escape Room activities you have probably heard about. We are also hoping that Erica will demonstrate some of these escape room activities to the students here. Swiatek blends the stuff she knows best into activities, courses, and programs for other people to enjoy. These activities, courses, and programs are all about innovation, professional development, change management and team building.

Pull Out The Plaid & Support Your Vendors and GCC Students!


Turkey Day and Black Friday are just around the corner, and I’m sure you’re looking forward to it just as much as I am! However this year instead of Black Friday, why not try out Plaid Friday! This is an alternative to your typical Friday after Thanksgiving, a day in which consumers could and should support small local businesses, instead of the big box stores.

You may be wondering how Plaid Friday was born, and the answer is in Oakland, California in 2009 with gallery owner Kerri Johnson. She got fed up with the holiday shopping focus always being on big businesses, and she wanted to create a way for local and small businesses to “weave together” and create their own event and economic opportunity! This idea has since grown and is now known across the nation.

You can join this great event, and support the cause by wearing plaid and shopping the best sales on November 24th! No need to wake up at the crack of dawn! Sleep in! The deals will be there all day. Some of the participating local merchants in our community include:

  • Batavia Bootery: $10 off any shoe purchase
  • Batavia Marine: 5% off browning camo t-shirt
  • Batavia Stage Florist: 20% off one item
  • Charles Men’s Shop: $20 off $100 merchandise or gift certificate purchase
  • Hearth and Soul: 25% off select items
  • Lambert’s Design Jewelers: 5% off red ribbon clearance sale
  • Pudgie’s Lawn & Garden Center: 10% off gift cards, 50% off pottery, 30% off massarelli statuaries, 25% off wind chimes and more
  • R+D Outlet: 50% any item in the store
  • Steve’s Styles: $5 gift certificate for every purchase of a $20 gift certificate
  • Walking in The Woods Gifts: 20% off entire purchase
  • Welch & Craine Trading Post: 20% off one item
  • Wortzman Furniture: $100 off any purchase over $999.99
  • McKay’s Antiques & Curiosity Shoppe: see specials in stores
  • Ms. B-Haven Alpacas: bring in the ad and get 10% off
  • Country Cottage: receive a free candle if wearing plaid
  • Lake Street Florist & Gift Shoppe: 10% off Star Vine Gift Line
  • The Divine Tree: 20% off one item
  • Vintage & Vogue Shop: 20% off one item
  • Nor-Web Leasing, Inc.: 15% off excluding appliances


Always ahead of the curve, Genesee Community College’s Fashion Design program created a plaid/tartan design several years ago. GCC’s plaid is registered with the Scottish Register of Tartan, National Archives of Scotland. The College’s official plaid is used by faculty, staff, clubs, and students at various events, particularly the College’s recent 50th Anniversary celebration where it helped to build the collegiate spirit.


Genesee Community College is one of the very few community colleges in the nation that has our own plaid design, especially one registered in Scotland, designed by alumni with various  related projects managed by students! The plaid design has been used on men’s neck and bow ties, women’s silk scarves, as well vests, kilts, t-shirts (short and long sleeve), socks and stationary. New GCC plaid products will continue to provide students with merchandising opportunities.

If you are interested in purchasing GCC plaid products and supporting the Fashion Business program during this holiday season, visit!

How did I earn the blisters on my feet?

By: Donna Rae Sutherland, Associate Director of Marketing Communications, GCC
The past three days I’ve had the distinct pleasure of being the ‘chaperone’ for a terrific group of GCC Fashion Business students on their annual sojourn to NYC.
We toured FIT & LIM and I saw some amazing sites & sights! I got to know my colleagues, Professors Ehrhart & Taylor, and appreciate their dedication to their craft as well as their creativity. (I also was wowed by Busdriver Bob who maneuvered our vehicle through some tight spaces in mid-town Manhattan.) 20171006_111705_resized
Besides FIT & LIM, the places I saw for the first time that truly impressed me were The High Line, Ocula, Miss Saigon, and definitely, The 9/11 Memorial.
We were blessed with summertime weather & a full moon to boot!
#GCCinNYC was a blast in 2017 and well worth the blisters. I can’t wait to see what these students will do in April for the 37th Annual Fashion Show.

A Fantastic Year


To all my fellow fashion majors,

Most of us are nearing the end of our journey here at Genesee Community College and we all have different plans of what we would like to do after we graduate. Some of us will be going to a different state for schooling, some of us will be going to New York City, and some of us are still not sure what lies ahead.

I am still not sure what my future holds, but what I do know now is how much each and every one of you has inspired me. I am so grateful that I decided to come to school here and join the Fashion Merchandising program and I am so thankful for all of the wonderful friendships I have made over the past 2 years and for all of the amazing opportunities that I have been given.

Not only have the students, my peers, inspired me, but my incredible professors, Professor Dudkowski and Professor Ehrhart, have also had an enormous impact on me. When I first came to college, I was very shy and didn’t speak up in class or talk to anyone, but these two professors were able to make me feel very comfortable talking in front of the class; they made me feel welcomed and like I belonged. They were always motivating me and everyone else to be the very best we can be and they taught all of us how to take charge.

It’s been 8 days since the fashion show and I can’t help but feel a tinge of sadness amongst the settling excitement we felt then. While this was an exciting moment for all of us, the thought that this is the last project we all worked on together saddens me.  We have all been working extremely hard on this since the fall semester, and I have enjoyed every single minute. With that being said, we gave it 110% and had a record breaking show!  Congratulations everyone.

Author: Bailey Johnson

Instagram: baileyyyroseee

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Inside Momoka Fukatsu’s Inspiration for Elysium


The 36th Annual Fashion Show: Elysium is less than a week away.  I am excited and can’t wait to see how it works out!

I’m a scene coordinator for the scene Chloris. I major in Fashion Merchandising, but also have an interest for all things related to fashion, including designing, styling, and sewing. I decided to be a part of the 36th annual fashion show this year. When I worked as an intern last year for “Fashion Is…Diversification”, I saw how difficult it is to plan the scene and control all of the models, but at the same time, how amazing when we made it.

However, I’m not majoring in fashion design, so I thought the best way to join the fashion show was to borrow clothing from apparel stores and styling them. When I thought about that again, I finally decided on making the clothing by myself. Once I made that decision, my mind moved forward to create apparel by myself. I like challenges in whatever I want to do, even if it is difficult. My potential will be nothing without execution. So, this is really the first time in my life that I have made clothing. I didn’t know how to sew or make patterns at all, but this wonderful opportunity drives me to learn more about making clothing by myself. This would be definitely valuable for my career.

Basically, our outfits focus on femininity with sexiness. This spring summer trends are involved in sheer fabric so that we obtain the style of translucency as well.


Being an international student, I wanted to take in kimono textiles, which are used in traditional Japanese clothing. I like to mix different field of fashion, just like coordinate street style with high-end brand.  I don’t want to show kimono as a traditional Japanese wear, and I want to show kimono as a part of modern fashion. Our fashion show is going to live stream internationally (link here), so I hope my family and friends will have fun watching our production.


S/S 2017 Trends:

  •                Shocking pink (bubble gum)
  •                Yellow
  •                Flower print
  •                Underwear as outerwear
  •                Round shoulders
  •                Puffball shoulders
  •                Off shoulder (one shoulder)
  •                Polka dots
  •                Patchwork
  •                Space style
  •                Stripes (art/pop)

Look for these trends in my scene: Chloris!


Author: Momoka Fukatsu

Instagram: @mf_0313

Terpischore | Goddess of Dance & Chorus


When you think of fashion you probably only think about the women’s wear and men’s wear, active and lounge. There is more to fashion than the basics. Terpsichore is one of the nine muses, the goddess of dance and chorus. I thought about Terpsichore because I love dancing. My inspiration for this scene came from my background of dancing. I have danced 11 years of my life in a dance studio in my hometown. I then continued dancing in college on the dance team for the past 2 years now. Seeing how I could choose any god or goddess, I thought if there was a god or goddess of dance. Soon enough I found there was a goddess of dance.


If you look into the fashion behind a recital or a team routine, there is more to it than you think. There are millions of different outfits for dancers, from lyrical to jazz, tap to ballet, contemporary to pointe, and so much more. There is also a lot of work put into the choreography the dancers will be performing. When learning a routine, it takes several months; this includes learning the dance, putting the dancers into spots, and then finally perfecting the routine so it is ready for either a competition, recital, or festival. I have been in over 15 dance recitals in my lifetime. The number of hours spent in the studio is more than you could imagine.


Author: Kayla Suchanick

Instagram: @kayla_rebecca15

Twitter: @kayla_rebecca15