By Melissa Cancel, FSU Student Chapter President
The Florida State AATCC student chapter coincides with the new Retail Entrepreneurship major, which was previously Retail, Merchandising and Product Development. We meet biweekly on Wednesdays and have guest speakers ranging from FSU Alumni who have started their own companies to our NRF student ambassador. At each meeting we like to have a DIY to serve as a creative outlet for members. Previous crafts include tie-dye, embroidery, iron on patches, dream catchers, etc. We try to include history of the craft or a scientific fact to make it educational.
For fundraising purposes, we have share-it nights at local restaurants such as Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, Blaze Pizza and everyone’s favorite – Chipotle. This is an excellent way for members to catch up, make friends, and hang out in a more social setting.
One of our favorite things to do is visit local retailers in the area to apply what we have learned in the classroom to the real world. We visited Wonsaponatime Vintage, which is a local clothing company, where we spoke with the owner about how she purchases her vintage pieces, how she marks up her prices, how she creates eye capturing visual displays and what her keys to success are. We also visited our newest Target location where they showed us how they planned and allocated merchandise to different areas of the store along with management tips.
Every fall semester we plan a fashion show that is completely student run. We have two co-directors, creative director, production director, art director and marketing director that each has a team ranging from five to ten students. All looks are created by hand as well as the decorations, flyers, promotion videos, venue décor, flyers, invitations, etc. It is a wonderful way for students to have leadership positions on their resume and explore what their creative abilities hold.
This semester we also hope to implement our very own Florida State Chapter scholarship to include some expenses paid to the AATCC International Conference in Dallas. Students will apply online and advisors will review to see which candidate fits best.
The Florida State AATCC chapter allows students to get involved, network, and meet others with like interests. I know my AATCC story stems from the fact that it has allowed me to meet all of my friends in this major – and I mean every friend. It truly is a resourceful network to be apart of that provides students with opportunities that cannot be found anywhere else.