Trace George

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By: Jewel Watters, Fashion Merchandising Major

The annual business idea pitch competition is fast approaching us now, and will be here in about two weeks! By this time, all participants should have already signed up for the competition, and should have at least attended one workshop to be able to participate. If you still haven’t attended a workshop, there is only one more left and it will be happening on April 12th during the common hour in T122, and will be about pitch prep.

This competition would be a great first step to making your dreams come true. One of our very own alum, Trace George, opened up his own business after graduating and has had a lot of success ever since. Trace George opened up the VSP Graphing Group Company in 1995, and his business went from a small sign shop in his garage to the successful business it is today.

According to Business First’s Fast Track 50, George’s business is the 10th fastest growing business here in western New York which is a real achievement. George’s company is also the official graphic provider for the Buffalo Bills, and the Sabres which are both amazing achievements.

Hopefully hearing about all the great things Trace George has accomplished for his business since graduating here inspired you, and made you more motivated to do this pitch competition coming up on April 19th! We hope to see you all there, and can’t wait to hear your business ideas! If you have any questions or concerns regarding the pitch competition, you may contact Lina LaMattina at lmlamattina@genesee.edu.

Student Entrepreneurs

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By: Jewel Watters, Fashion Merchandising Major

The annual pitch competition is coming up quickly, and there is only one workshop left for you to attend if you haven’t gone to one of the workshops already, the last workshop will be on April 12th during the common hour in T121 and this workshop will be an Idea Pitch Preparation.

If you are still unsure about whether your business idea is good or not, I’m here to tell you that there is no idea that is stupid, all businesses are creative in its own way, and there are many entrepreneurs out there that are students also just like we are.

There are student entrepreneurs out there that you could research into and learn many great things about. There are student entrepreneurs who have created a fashion company with clothing designed from wet-felting and shibori. There is also a student entrepreneur out there who provides restaurants with computer tablets for guests to pay right from the table. The point is you can make any business that you want to, no idea is stupid or too small.

If you do your research, you will find out many of the things that keep these fellow student entrepreneurs motivated to start a business, and keep it going. Some of these things being students researching founders who are also in the startup phase as well, and being motivated because they want to create a legacy that means something to someone.

If you are interested in looking up more information about what being a student entrepreneur can do for you, or if you are interested in attending the annual pitch competition then come attend the last workshop on April 12th, and come out to the pitch competition on April 19th and get a chance to win a cash prize. Hope to see you all there!

Contact Lina LaMattina for the application form, or any questions.

LMLamattina@genesee.edu

An Interview with Erica Swiatek of Innovate Faster

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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!

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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!

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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

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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.

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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 www.gccfashion.live!

How did I earn the blisters on my feet?

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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.
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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

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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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