Students on campus got into the holiday spirit a few weeks early during the UH Holiday Market and Pitch Fest, hosted by RED Labs at the C. T. Bauer College of Business.
During the second annual market, 75 student-run small businesses had the opportunity to sell items such as jewelry, vintage clothing, handcrafted pieces, food and more, as well as pitch businesses through an additional competition.
“This is a good opportunity to show students entrepreneurship and give them a fun environment to do that,” Professor of Practice Kelly McCormick said. “I think it also makes it more approachable for other students who are seeing it as well to see ‘all the people who I go to school with also started their own business’.”
For those who wanted to get more involved, the event hosted holiday-themed competitions such as a festive sweater and cookie decorating contest to go along with free hot chocolate.
“One of the great things about the market is that people have an appreciation for other business,” RED Labs Managing Director Liana Gonzalez said. “They enjoy talking to each other and swapping tips. It is pretty intimidating to just go out and apply to a holiday market and a lot of times there are a lot of barriers. We wanted to make this event free and easy for the students.”
Here are what student vendors had to say about the market:
Digital Media, Senior
“I make 3D Pokémon cards. It was a hobby that turned into a small business that I really enjoy doing. The University of Houston has a bunch of different students with diverse interests, and they have given me and others the opportunity to sell to many different people and I really appreciate that.”
Don’t Be a Grinch Co.
“My business is fully loaded waffles and dessert mystery boxes. The school gave me the opportunity to show off my business and be out here so more people can see it and get to know about my business better.”
Industrial Engineering, Junior
“I have a rug making business that I started earlier this year. I have a couple friends who have their own business, so I was motivated to start my own. It has been nice because a lot of other events are expensive, and it is always a question of how much traffic there will be. I appreciate this event because it was free for all students and has produced a lot more traffic than I’ve experienced before.”