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.

CEO Trip To The Business Incubator: Harvester Building

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By: Christi Lotempio

mancusoThe CEO club took a trip to the world’s first business incubator. Dr.LaMattina was able to schedule the tour of the facility guided by owner, Mr.Mancuso. The tour was started with beverage at the Moon Java Café. They serve delicious coffee, teas and other beverages and have a selection of lunch items. Mr.Mancuso gave some background information on the Harvester Center explaining that a true business incubator offers more than just space. A true incubator should offer services such as the use of forklifts, or other larger equipment that start up companies may not be able to afford, as well as secretarial services, fax machines, and mail services. One of the most important parts of starting a business is networking and flexibility. Mr.Mancuso believes that talking to people and always re-evaluation of your business plan are a must.

He brought us to the Hodgins Printing Company that has been in the Harvester Building since it started, they actually made the sign that is still hanging. Hodgins Printing Company talked to us about the fact that their company has been in business for two generations. She stated that being able to look into the future and keep updating your business was really important to their success.

ceoOur next stop was OATKA Glass Studio. Mr.Lance Taylor, the owner of OATKA GLASS, was the tour guide. The OATKA GLASS offers many services such as making your own piece, taking classes and they sell artwork. Mr.Taylor expressed the importance of knowing how finances working and the importance of Networking. You need to be able to get out there and meet people and know who you are, to know what your goals are. He has a lot of experience with entrepreneurship, and expressed that it is important to have one person you trust to talk your business plans through.  At this stop we were able to make our own glass creation.

Back to the Moon Java Café for lunch. It was delicious! All of the students were discussing what they learned and how it can be applied in their own circumstances.

The last stop was One World Project.  We discussed their business goals, how they procure products from local artisans in developing countries, and their inventory management processes.  We also had a chance to shop in their gift shop.

If anyone is interested in joining the CEO club please contact Amy Conley.

Student Support Services Visit Local Business

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By: Christi Lotempio

Celina and Erin from Student Support Services arranged a tour of T-Shirts Ect in Batavia. This is a T-Shirt company located at 37 Center Street in Batavia, or mytshirtsect.com. The company offers screen printing, canvas prints, wall graphics, embroidery, Decals, Banner and so much more. The owner, Brian Kemp, was a graduate of SUNY GCC.

Our group was able to walk through the entire business to view the printing and the embroidery being completed at the time of our tour. We learned about everything from taking a customer’s order, how the T-Shirt is printed or embroidered, and their checks and balance system. Mr.Kemp was very informative and gave us many tips on running an effective business. Some of the most important things he noted were networking, providing great customer service and being honest (The Golden Rule). He was able to share with us some of his marketing ideas, such as the wooden coin (if you find one and you return it to T-Shirt Ect – you get a free T-shirt!) and the logo printed on the sleeve of the left arm of a shirt. He was able to give us a complete outline of being an entrepreneur, and encouraged to think outside of the box to make your company stand out.

Not only was the tour fun but we all got our own shirts. Thanks for the T-Shirts Mr.Kemp!!

An American Dreamer: Tommy Hilfiger

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While on the annual GCC fashion trip to NYC we were able to meet with alumni, Connor deGuehery, from Tommy Hilfiger.  We were able to look at the Tommy Hilfiger store, on 5th Ave, find out what really goes on behind the scenes of planning and putting together each floor.

In our fashion buying class, we got the opportunity to watch a video of Tommy Hilfiger being interviewed and introducing us to his book, An American Dreamer: My Life in Fashion and Business.   Tommy informed everyone of how he started out struggling in high school with his grades and concentrating on schoolwork, but transformed into a  hardworking, successful ,businessman. Fashion is his purpose for the world.

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Some of the highlights that stood out to me from this video were that the company is in the process of adding new technologies within the business and they are quickly changing the rules of the fashion world. They now are working with a new concept where you can buy their clothing with a touch of the screen in the store. You are able to get that quick, and efficient order while still getting that shopping experience that allows you to touch and try on the pieces. This allows the customer to purchase an item, but walk away hands-free!  Also, for the first time in fashion history, the Tommy Hilfiger company is looking to change the whole fashion calendar. They are taking the newest designs on the runway, and selling them instantly, no more waiting! This concept is called See Now, Buy Now.This could potentially be a whole new approach for brands. I think it will positively impact the fashion industry in that more people will want to buy the product, increasing sales.

Tommy Hilfiger also grew up in a small town right near GCC and the  town, Batavia NY. He grew up and had his first small boutique in Elmira, NY; just under two hours away from our college. It would be a honor to have Tommy come back to Western New York and speak with all our fashion students. That would be such a memorable experience for our college and every fashion student. We are constantly keeping up with the latest news within the Tommy Hilfiger company, as we have alumni a part of it, and are very interested in this ever growing company!

This blog post was written by Kourtney Shearer

 

 

NYC Visual Diary Day 2

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Hello everyone! Day 2 in New York City started off right with a visit to the Gitman Brothers Showroom. After Gitman Brothers, we headed to the Tommy Hilfiger flagship store, on 5th Ave, to have a tour of the store from GCC Fashion Program Alum, Connor. Following Tommy, we headed to the fashion forecasting giant, The Doneger Group. It was an amazing day and in the coming weeks I will be posting more in depth on each of the wonderful places we were able to visit. All of us in the GCC fashion program want to thank the individuals who were willing to take time out of their day to meet with us. We cannot thank you enough.  Be sure to follow us on Instagram, @trendy.gcc, on Twitter, @trendygcc, and on Snapchat, @trendygcc.

Dalia’s Delightful Donations

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A wedding dress symbolizes new beginnings and I want to be the individual who makes that new beginning happen.  My name is Kourtney Shearer and I am a Fashion Business student currently in my second year here at GCC. Bridal is something that has always stood out to me in the fashion world and I plan on working in the bridal industry when I finish my schooling. I love the fact that a wedding dress has so much meaning on a day  people say, is one of the most magical and significant days of your life. I believe in helping people find their dream dress, the dress they have been dreaming about since they were little. Seeing the happiness on their face and the awe from the family is something so special and I would feel honored to witness something so special. With that being said, I am going to be the scene coordinator for the wedding scene in this years annual fashion show.

A few weeks ago, we were given gorgeous gowns from Dalia’s bridal, in Snyder, NY. These dresses are going to be used in this year’s fashion show, which will be seen by over 1,600 people! I am overjoyed that we get to use these incredible dresses. We got to go through all the dresses and I was able to select an amazing assortment for my scene in the show. Everyone enjoyed looking at all the styles and fabrics used to make all these dresses. We can’t thank Dalia’s enough for giving use these unique gowns.

With the dresses that aren’t going to be used in the wedding scene, our fashion design students will create new designs and pieces. As students just starting out in the fashion design world, these projects are such a great step in the right direction. It allows us to become inspired and create new, never before seen items and collections. The opportunities this company has given us is such an honor and we can’t wait for you all to see what we have in store for you on April 29th.

 

Stay tuned for recreated items and pictures from the wedding scene in April!
Kourtney Shearer