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Field Center’s second marketplace showcases entrepreneurial students’ products

Judah Duke

Baruch College’s Lawrence N. Field Center for Entrepreneurship held its marketplace event from Dec. 5 to Dec. 7, where students once again showed up to buy and sell merchandise from student-owned businesses.

The Baruch Marketplace’s inaugural event, held in December 2022, showcased 13 businesses run by current students and alumni. This year, many of these businesses returned, joined by several new ones, offering products like baked goods, candles, clothing and jewelry.

The organizers asked students to sign in at the entrance before handing them a blue raffle ticket that could be used for a free hot chocolate or apple cider.

Inside, Naomi James sat surrounded by her treats from Sweet[ish] by Nae: red velvet and ginger cookies and pies in small tins.

James, a sophomore, founded Sweet[ish] in 2020, baking pies during the COVID-19 pandemic.

She sold cupcakes and chocolate-covered strawberries at last year’s event. 

“I had peaches that I wanted to turn into something sweet, something everyone can enjoy,” James said. “That’s when it started.”

Senior Sindaya Diack also returned from last year’s marketplace with Sindis.Luxury, founded in 2020. She spoke about what’s challenged her since then.

“I have a passion for self-care,” Diack said. “As a marketing major, I’m looking for ways to market my business so it can go in the right direction. I did have to stop for a little bit just to kind of focus on school, but now since I’m a senior, I’m picking it back up. Balance is key.”

This year’s new businesses acclimated quickly. 

One newcomer, Prince Mananu, was so successful that he spent most of the event assuring CUTOFF STUDIO’s booth visitors that sold-out items would be available to order on the streetwear brand’s website the following Monday.

Prince founded CUTOFF in January. The brand’s most popular item, the “Denim HXH CHROLLO Varsity Jacket,” sold out on the first day of the Baruch marketplace event.

Luzmary Aybar, a sophomore and finance major, returned this year to sell her skincare company, Honey Gloe’s expanded product line with a new hit item.

“I saw lip oils were very trendy, that’s why I made them,” Aybar said about the new product. “Ever since I made these they’ve been a bestseller, and everybody keeps wanting more and more, and they keep selling.”

Also returning to the marketplace was the College Entrepreneurship Organization Baruch chapter-operated business Homme D’Affaire. Launched in 2021, Homme D’Affaire was Baruch CEO’s first business with a physical product line. 

One co-founder, Zena Ally, said the team was celebrating the launch of Homme D’Affaire’s website on Dec. 5 and a new partnership designing and creating t-shirts for Baruch’s “Initiative for the Study of Latin America” group. This year, Homme D’Affaire expanded its product line to various pastel-colored t-shirts, each sporting the script logo on the collar. 

Nearly 20 students make up the clothing retailer’s team, and Ally shared that it is an opportunity for students interested in launching their startups to familiarize themselves with how to begin with business planning, market research, design development and more.

“We give fluidity for our team; if you want to be in this department or that one, or both, we can give you that experience,” Ally said. “We are expanding our team, too.”

Sandra Smith’s 100% handmade pencil bags lit up her table with a wide assortment of bright colors and inspirational quotes. 

Smith shared that she first chose the “family route” — starting college relatively later and filing her LLC in 2016 — and is now set to graduate with Baruch’s entrepreneurship degree in May 2024.

Safiya’s Candles, founded at the age of 16 by first-year student Safiya Mohammed, featured scents like sugar cookies, sparkling strawberry champagne and pina colada. 

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Judah Duke
Judah Duke, Business Editor
Judah Duke is the Business Editor of the Ticker.
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