To bring in the holiday season, the IDEA Bank will host a student-led holiday showcase to show off student entrepreneurs and their businesses.
The showcase on Wednesday, Dec. 1, was an idea brought forward by sophomores Hannah Dinkel and Arthur Penn.
Dinkel said the idea came to her last year, but she wasn’t able to bring the project to life just yet.
“It’s a lot of planning and it was just so last minute,” Dinkel said. “Whenever I saw that the city was doing it, I was like, ‘Oh, it would be so good if we did one, but for students only.’”
To get the showcase started, Dinkel “drug” Penn along with her.
“This was a great opportunity for everyone to showcase their businesses because a lot of people have good products, good ideas, good workmanship, but they need a place where that can be shown,” Penn said. “This would be the perfect place to do it and I had no problem tagging along.”
Despite organizing one of these events for the first time, neither of the students were stressed or found the process difficult. Instead, they found it fun, exciting and an opportunity to meet people within the community.
“We had to go around the square and network with other businesses and see if they would like to contribute to our giveaway basket,” Penn said. “We’ve met a lot of different people and everybody that we went up to was generous enough to contribute.”
“Besides the chaos, it’s been really fun,” Dinkel added. “I’ve met a lot of different people that aren’t already part of the IDEA Bank.
“I’ve met a lot of different students, and it’s something that they’ve never done so I’m excited for that.”
Dinkel’s also excited for all the students to meet one another and network with each other.
“Some of them have never had this opportunity before,” Dinkel said. “This is a different experience for them. I did a pop-up shop in the Spring, and it was really fun, so I want them to experience that.”
Both students want the showcase to become an annual event and are already looking ahead to next year.
“We want this to be an ongoing tradition,” Penn said. “That way, students always have an opportunity to showcase. We don’t want that to die out.”
Dinkel and Penn also applauded Lynne George, the director of the IDEA Bank and economic development at Troy University.
“I’m super excited because it’s fun to see Hannah and Arthur running with it and doing a good job,” George said. “It’s cool to see [how] the community is so supportive of them.”
The showcase will feature student businesses, vendors, Dinkel’s shop Hannah Katherine’s Boutique, Penn’s food truck Legendary Fries and Things, live music, a giveaway, and photo sessions with Mr. And Mrs. Claus.