Inaugural DAAP Maker’s Market Fosters Student + Alumni Creative Entrepreneurs

April 28, 2017

DAAP Makers Market 2017The entire building was buzzing. On a snowy Saturday in March, the first annual DAAP Maker’s Market was in full swing, hosting more than 700 people over the course of the afternoon. Exploring the maze of the Aronoff, community members, students, faculty and friends shopped student and alumni goods for sale and enjoyed local eats. Dreamed up by Industrial Design 3rd Year Audrey Torrence and inspired by the likes of City Flea and Crafty Supermarket, the event was the perfect platform for makers.

“A lot of DAAP students do projects outside of their studio work that they are extremely passionate about,” Audrey says. “However, they lack an avenue to show them off. DAAP Maker’s Market provides that. And DAAP alumni are always doing creative things, so we invited them as well.”

Having been involved in the DAAPtribunal and Alpha Rho Chi since her freshman year, Audrey knew it wouldn’t be hard to build excitement around the idea of this event. Setting the goal of encouraging an entrepreneurial spirit within the college and exposing UC and Cincinnati communities to the talents of DAAP beyond the classroom, she began planning.

DAAP Makers Market Founder Audrey Torrence and Marketing Co-Chair Ellie Friedman“We had a committee of DAAP students that helped make the event happen,” Audrey reflects. The committee included Communication Design 3rd year Ellie Friedman serving as the Marketing Co-Director, who created and developed the entire branding strategy for the Market.

Recruiting both students and alumni for the market was integral to the sales success. And with 45 vendors showing during its inaugural year, it speaks volumes to the clear niche that Audrey, Ellie and their team were trying to fill in the DAAP Maker community. And by blending DAAP alumni with the vendors, it gave current students exposure to what could be.

Audrey elaborates, “Not only were they able to show students what they can do after graduation (whether full-time or as passion work), but we were able to invite alumni back to their alma mater as part of a larger community event.”

And she’s still amazed at the response from the community. “Students were excited to sell, alumni were excited to return to UC, and members of both the UC and Cincinnati communities were excited to purchase handmade goods.” Unknown to the committee, the Market was featured as one of "Top 9 Things to Do In Cincinnati" the weekend of the event, aiding in the event’s overall success and exposure.

DAAP Makers Market 2017With Eli’s BBQ and Injoy serving tasty street food and event sponsorship from local creative companies People’s Liberty, Hyperquake, and FRCH the event truly encapsulated so much of what the Cincinnati creative community is: collaboration. Audrey mentions that sense of teamwork is one of the things that made her most proud. “Most of the team members, including myself, were out of town on co-op during the fall when the initial planning started.” Skype and e-mails were their best friend as they began planning and recruiting vendors. She says adding that, “Seeing it come to fruition after all that hard work was amazing.”

It’s the committee’s hope that that creative entrepreneurial spirit continues in the wake of the DAAP Makers Market. Audrey sees it as an essential tool for students who may want to start their own business making and selling products, while being able to value and price their time like a professional. And as for the future of the Market? “I hope to grow DAAP Maker's Market and turn it into a signature annual event for DAAP, students, alumni, the Cincinnati community and the organizations that help put it on, DAAPtribunal and Alpha Rho Chi,” Audrey says. “I also hope that it encourages other students to make goods to sell at next year’s event!”

DAAP Makers Market 2017Explore these links for more information on the DAAP Maker’s Market including images from the event, full vendor list and alumni and student spotlights:

All Photos: DAAP Maker’s Market



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