Maker Market gives students business exposure

Peach Carr, Season 8 Project Runway contestant mentored students at the Maker Market on April 11.

Alison Pfaff, Assistant Photo Editor

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Twenty-seven student entrepreneurs showed off their products at the Maker Market at College of DuPage (COD) on April 11 in the SSC Atrium. hosted by the E2 Emerging Entrepreneurs program, the events special guest, gave students the opportunity to meet COD Distinguished Alumna and Season 8 Project Runway Contestant Peach Carr. They discussed branding and the key decisions to improve their businesses.

Carr graduated from COD in 1980 and was in the Radiography program. She learned to sew at an early age and is mostly self taught. Her daughter had a big hand in her pursuing Project Runway.

“I learned how to sew in 4H when I was 11. Believe me, you can Youtube just about anything. It’s just trial and error. I made kids clothes for a long time, just for my friends. I had never made a women’s dress until I had to for Project Runway,” Carr said. “My daughter was the one who signed me up for Project Runway. She downloaded the application, filled it in and sent it in.” Carr was the expert entrepreneur on site, walking from booth to booth talking personally with students.

Fairy Funk, owned by Jackie Rose Bullard, promotes sustainable fashion using eco-friendly fabrics and dyes as well as spirituality and Reiki energy (which is said to activate and heals chakras) into her products. Bullard’s booth gave onlookers vibrant colored tops, candles and body care, as well as jewelry and accessories.

“I always knew I wanted to do fashion, but I really didn’t know what, and I’ve always had a passion for the environment. I really wanted to do something that was more geared towards eco-friendly fabrics and methods of construction,” Bullard said. “I’m interested in the chakras and in Reiki. I am actually Reiki certified. So all of the essential oils, candles and even the body butters are infused with healing Reiki energy intended for the user’s highest good.”

Dan Stantz is an automotive major with a certification in photography and owner of Darn Sturz Productions. He focuses primarily on photography, both digital and film.

“My mom was into photography years ago. I found photographs in the basement, sort of got interested in it, and that’s when I first started to shoot for a basketball camp, doing a slideshow at the end of the week for them. I think that’s what really got me into it. I got my own camera, my own gear and started into it.”

Katie Tumavich, owner of Morbidden Things, is a Theatrical Design and Technology major at North Central College. Tumavich sells unique vests and jackets with patches, pins, studs and other decorations. She started her business after receiving a six month internship at Walt Disney World.

“I was a little bit nervous. It was the first time that I would leave home for half a year. I found doing the meticulous work was a good way to keep my mind occupied, and it had a positive result too,” Tumavich said.

The Maker Market at College of DuPage gave students a learning experience that is just the start to their business journeys.

“This event today is giving everybody that opportunity to kind of put your baby on the table and see if somebody says it’s pretty,” Carr said.