Fashion Merchandising Students Plan to Launch 3D-Printed Jewelry Company
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, an instructor is a person at a university who teaches a subject or skill but is not a professor. Instructor Girish Sreevatsan Nandakumar went above and beyond this semester in his Marketing Principles and Problems class, by inspiring fashion merchandising students Jasmine Piggie and Shalyse Whitfield to partner with 3DXtremes to launch their own line of 3D printed jewelry called, “The Statement Collection.”
Nandakumar asked the students to develop a marketing proposal for an existing student business, 3DXtremes, with the three best proposals receiving a prize.
“Shalyse and I both had no idea what 3D printing was, and we felt under pressure since we were in a class filled with students studying marketing, I.T. and engineering,” Piggie said.
Piggie and Whitfield hope that their unique line of jewelry becomes popular among the innovative female fashionistas attending Old Dominion.
“Our accessories will be easily accessible to students, which is a huge plus since online shops like Etsy charge for shipping and you have to wait for days to receive your merchandise,” Piggie said.
Their jewelry line will be distinct because rather than being made from inexpensive materials, “The Statement” collection will be made out of recycled plastic which is both eco-friendly and hypoallergenic for people with sensitive skin.
They plan to work with Blade Taylor, owner of 3DXtremes, to use different colored recycled plastic to create their product. Their line will initially consist of necklaces, rings, bracelets and earrings. Along with being hypoallergenic, the accessories will be made with nickel-free chains that are non-tarnishable. Depending on which style of jewelry one chooses, each accessory piece will come with its own set of advice on how to match it with your favorite outfits.
The duo plans to have booths in Webb Center during activity hour on Tuesdays and Thursdays. They aim to make students aware of their product line with hopes of them purchasing jewelry for themselves or their loved ones. Eventually, products from “The Statement Collection” will be offered on both their own stand-alone website and the existing 3DXtremes website.
Piggie and Whitfield also plan to hold events where members of the ODU community will have the opportunity to produce their own jewelry on-site, in a no rules, avant-garde environment. The event will likely have a $5 entry fee for ODU students and $10 entry fee for non-ODU students. Initially, jewelry aficionados will be able to make their own necklace pendants to put onto a necklace chain.
In the future, the two inspired students plan to expand their product options to include wall decor, light fixtures, gloves, sunglasses and other products. They hope to partner with the many offices all across campus to have their products featured in them. They also want to partner with local businesses in Ghent, downtown Norfolk and beyond to sell their products across the region.
With plans to find students to intern for the company, both Piggie and Whitfield intend on continuing with the business after graduating.
“We would definitely continue doing this! Fashion has always been a passion for both Shalyse and I, and I definitely think that we have found our niche in designing 3D-printed jewelry,” Piggie said.
Students and members of the community who are interested in learning about the new 3D printed jewelry line should be sure to attend “The Statement Fashion Show,” scheduled for Sept. 17, 6 p.m. at the Ted Constant Convocation Center.