How many colleges or universities have an on-campus shop that sells non-cliché school specific apparel as well as other goodies? Not too many. The Marist MPorium, which does all of that and more, has officially made its long awaited return for the 2017-18 school year.
The brainchild of the fashion department, the boutique is run by students enrolled in the Fashion Entrepreneurship class, and is described by Marist Fashion as “an entrepreneurial boutique operated by Marist merchandising students.” MPorium, which re-opened on September 21, is carrying everything from products created by innovative Marist students, to socks, notebooks, jewelry, home décor, and even clothing from River + Stone, a brand specific to Marist.
“When you are in the class, you are required to work in the store…which is really fun,” says Senior Katie Heaton, a Business Administration/Marketing major who is also minoring in Fashion Merchandising. She feels her experience with MPorium has been impactful. “You are learning to do things and not just sitting in class and learning material. You’re getting to put forth into action real things,” Heaton says.
It’s a win-win; students studying a related field are able to gain real-world experience with running a business, and other Marist students are able to visit MPorium when it is in operation three days a week to purchase products sold in the shop.
MPorium also provides talented students with the ability to sell their products. Kamryn Hill, a sophomore Fashion Design major minoring in Fashion Merchandising and Product Development, had her own custom-designed change purses for sale at the store during the Spring 2017 semester. “My favorite part about this experience is when you go to the store and see that someone bought something I had designed,” says Hill. “It’s such an incredible feeling and made me so happy to know someone bought something I created!”
Students of all majors and interests can enjoy MPorium. “I think that the MPorium is great to have at Marist because it gives students hands-on experience to work a business, and it’s great that students can buy student made products,” explains sophomore Patrick Wrynn, a Psychology/Special Education Major.
“The River + Stone clothing is a nice alternative to your basic college apparel,” adds Shannon Gilhuly, Class of 2020.
As for Heaton, she loves working with MPorium. Her favorite part of it all? Watching how people react to the store and the effort her class put into it. “It’s so fun to watch the tours come through [MPorium],” Heaton says. “They get so excited about River + Stone. I’ve talked to a couple of families already, and it’s really fun. It’s really unique.”