OCC Fashion Club encourages small student businesses | arts and culture

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The Orange Coast College Fashion Club is proud to support student small businesses through their many on-campus events.

The Fashion Club is known for its creative events and raising awareness for small, student-run businesses.

“We all want to make valuable connections with our peers and with anyone on campus interested in being part of the community,” said Vice President Felina Fontaeus. “We help our members connect to industry opportunities and profiles, as well as support our members in their goals.”

The club recently held an event on April 27 titled Connekt: The Summit. During this one-day event, in the form of a conference, students and professionals came together to discuss all aspects of the fashion industry. The club were hoping for an attendance of 50 people and 100 people showed up, according to Fontaeus.

The event supported various aspiring students, including hiring a student photographer and videographer to distribute a student-designed notebook. There was also a market to showcase student brands and small businesses.

“When we came back in January, things were uncertain about the semester and getting people back on campus,” said Michelle Craner, professor of fashion merchandising at the OCC. “Then seeing that outpouring of support and the people who wanted to be in person was powerful, and everything that we accomplished in person together through this event.”

The club uses the fall semester to focus on creativity. During the fall 2021 semester, they held a contest where members submitted a graphic design. The graphic design was everything they wanted to see printed on a tote or sweatshirt.

“We all vote together and then a winner and a graphic are printed on shirts, and we sell them to raise money for the club,” Fontaeus said.

Officer positions for the club will open next fall semester and will be chosen at the first meeting.

“We have a lot of officer meetings and communication messages between officers. Leadership meetings include creating agendas reviewing our goals and ideas, then bringing those ideas to club meetings for feedback and approvals,” said President Caitlyn Hicks. “We also like to post polls on our Instagram to get our members’ opinions on different ideas and topics.”

The Fashion Club meets once a month through hybrid meetings via Zoom and the OCC Student Union. The meeting time and place are announced via the club’s Instagram page, FashionClubOCC.

“In meetings, we mostly talk about other news happening in the industry. We [also] let our members know about all the projects we launch,” Fontaeus said. “We always end the whole semester with food and drinks and have a great time.”

A major theme of the club is to enable members and students to come together and collaborate with peers and industry professionals.

“It’s cool to see what can happen when faculty, students and industry all work together,” Craner said.

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