California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

California Lutheran University's Student Newspaper Since 1961

The Echo

Students show off their work at Entrepreneurship Flea Market

On Thursday, Nov. 9 California Lutheran University’s Entrepreneurship Club hosted its semi-annual Entrepreneurship Flea Market, which welcomed students and alumni to market their products to the campus community.

Handmade jewelry, secondhand and upcycled clothing and baked goods were among the businesses on display. Patrons and vendors were welcome to participate in several raffles and enjoy coffee and tacos from local food truck vendors Makenna’s Koffee Company and Famous Taco Bar.

Jaida Burgon, president of Cal Lutheran’s Entrepreneurship Club, said the event has grown over the years that the club has been active.

“Our very first flea market was not even close to as successful as it is now,” Burgon said. “From there, I kind of wanted to build because I really did see the potential in it.”

Burgon said the event supports Cal Lutheran’s campus community in multiple ways, both for vendors and patrons, and gives the club a chance to promote entrepreneurial skills to its members. 

Through practicing one-on-one customer service, Burgon said vendors can leave a lasting positive impression on clients and buyers, who may in turn continue to support their small business.

“For people with startups, we really want to give them that opportunity to sell, because sometimes just Instagram or word of mouth can be kinda hard,” Burgon said. “In this one event each semester, it really gives students a chance to promote what they’re selling and then hopefully have returning customers in the future.”

Brittany Starks, founder of Starks Street Vintage, was one of several secondhand clothing vendors at the flea market, and has been running her small business for several years.

“Getting your name out there, showing up to little events like these, and meeting people to network with is really important,” Starks said. “There’s so many people out here that have little businesses that they do on the side as well as being students, and I think it’s super cool and I think they should do more.”

Allison Pine, founder of her company, PiklPals, was in attendance at the event, selling originally designed pickleball paddles. Pine said she found inspiration after being introduced to pickleball over the last five months, and plans to officially launch her product later this month. She said she has learned many valuable skills since starting her small business because of how independent the work can be.

“You’re doing everything yourself,” Pine said. “I’ve learned Adobe Illustrator, I’ve learned how to communicate with manufacturers who live in different countries…just a lot of things you don’t expect.”

Burgon said there are a lot fewer restrictions placed on vendors for the event, making it a good starting point for those wanting to take that first step into the entrepreneurial world. Vendors, Burgon said, do not need to worry about obtaining a permit ahead of the flea market, and can instead focus their attention on how to sell their products. 

In addition, vendors can market their products to their peers, which Burgon said helps make the overall experience less intimidating to first-time sellers.

Eden Benezra, founder of Twinkly Jewelry, said the flea market provides an easier way for vendors to be able to sell their products.

“It’s hard to find a place where you can sell your stuff,” Benezra said. “Even if you do, it’s usually really expensive to get a table, it’s like $100 usually.”

Burgon said her advice to prospective entrepreneurs is to utilize the resources provided at and through Cal Lutheran, including faculty members within Cal Lutheran’s business and marketing programs and Hub 101, which is Cal Lutheran’s startup community hub located in the Steve Dorfman Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship in Westlake Village.

According to Burgon, the club welcomes students from all majors, leading to unique ideas, products and services offered by student entrepreneurs. 

“With all of them, it’s definitely still centered around what they still do,” Burgon said. “No matter who you are or what your major is, you can definitely still have a startup and have an idea.”

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