When Drexel Design & Merchandising seniors enroll in a class called Visual Merchandising, they become something that not all students get to be: a maker. Throughout the term, students get out of their comfort zones and embrace the entrepreneurial spirit of the D&M Pop-Up Shop by making some products of their own to sell.
This fall, students took inspiration from classic holiday gifts, products, and decorations. Somehow after weeks of hard work, a unique line of student designed-and-made gifts featuring laser-cut, hand sewn, and hand-painted products was finally ready. Some D&Ms even consigned pre-existing products of their own design that have been sold in both the D&M shop and their Etsy stores alike.
However, most of the class has not had the experience of collaborating with a brand as artisans. Much of the Design and Merchandising curriculum is centered around buying and merchandising a product, so this assignment truly turns the tables for the D&M major.
Becoming a maker for a pop-up shop has been a very valuable experience for many of the D&M students. Through it, you are able to gain the artists perspective of what it is like to work with a vendor, and we’re pretty impressed with the results.
So, what exactly is the D&M Pop-Up Shop?
This pop-up is a once-a-term godsend for any of us needing unique gifts for the holidays, or maybe just a little retail therapy. Many of us seek to support local artists and designers but don’t quite know where to start. Students and local Philly artists alike have their product in the shop! The D&M Shop allows artisans to go from inspiration, use-cases, and designs to a physical product, all for your affordable gifting purposes.
Many of the products created are ideal for the holiday season, like homemade candles, hand-sewn Christmas tree skirts from upcycled fabric, laser-cut Christmas trees, and etched wood cards that are fit for any occasion. The etched wood greeting cards have been a niche product of the D&M Shop for years and are something that the students really enjoy designing and making because of the different themes. From thank you cards to birthday cards, they’re truly Millennial approved.
When the class reflected on the making process as a whole, they unanimously agreed that it is much more difficult than expected. The time, materials, and budget they planned for were very difficult to stick to without going above and beyond the time they expected making a product to take. However, the students were able to gain a new respect for local artisans and understand the true cost of their products.
Catch us at the D&M Pop-Up Shop supporting our fellow students on December 5th from 2-5PM in the URBN Center. You won’t want to miss it! And be sure to stop by the Her Campus Bake Sale on Tuesday from 11AM-2PM for an exclusive pop-up shop voucher!
By Carly Kandler