In Ursinus’s Summer Business Assist Program, local businesses are typically grouped with a pair of Ursinus students. Shelby Carmichael and Etta DiMarco, however, are switching it up by collaborating with two local storefronts. While each student is working with a different business, the similarities between the two stores enable teamwork between the Ambler competitors.
Shelby is working with XTRA 101, a small retail business that sells women’s clothing, accessories, and gift items. XTRA 101 encourages homegrown creativity by selling products made by local artists as opposed to using commercial brands.
Wild Lilies, Etta’s business client, is another women’s accessories store that sells jewelry. This business is a bit more established and has a recognized online presence. Their store’s mission is to empower women through jewelry that is both fashionable and affordable.
As with most businesses, XTRA 101 and Wild Lilies joined the Summer Business Assist Program in search of digital creativity from Ursinus students. For example, the owner of XTRA 101 needed help to create a website.
“Her main goal is getting the online store set up,” confirmed Shelby. “She admitted that she’s not that technologically savvy.”
Alternatively, Etta is tasked with enriching the online presence that already exists for Wild Lilies. Her business client is interested in planning out content for her blog, Facebook page, and Instagram.
Etta explained, “She just wanted to have more scheduled posts and content to post. Since it’s just her that’s working, she’s always really busy.”
When it comes to Shelby and Etta’s personal experiences within this program, they agreed that they are both learning a great deal from their respective business clients.
“For me, since my business owner took a lot of classes and she graduated with a degree in entrepreneurship, she knows a lot about her business and how to run social media,” Etta said. “I just figured out different ways to market to different people.”
While learning about the technological side of business, Shelby is also learning about the sense of community found in local business.
“It’s nice knowing how you can keep close contact with the consumers,” she explained. “You’re not just being capitalistic; you’re giving back.”
Because each student is tackling one business, there is certainly a lot of work ahead for Shelby and Etta. However, with the progress the two have made so far, it’s certain that their work will greatly impact Ambler’s local business community.