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Students support small businesses at Northeastern’s Valentine’s Day Market

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Students support small businesses at Northeastern’s Valentine's Day Market
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Northeastern students packed the tents at Robinson Quad Feb. 11 to fill their hearts and dorms with an array of items sold by small businesses, many of them founded by students and alumni, at Northeastern’s Valentine’s Day Market. 

The market was open from 1-5 p.m. and featured a variety vendors selling everything from handmade jewelry to self-care products to unique baked goods. 

The market attracted a lot of people to the hand-crafted jewelry and accessories. Studio Saya — a Filipino-American-owned business founded and run by Mia Narciso, a 2021 Northeastern graduate. Studio Saya accepts orders online via a link Instagram

“Saya means happy in Tagalog … So I just wanted to make fun, bright pieces that bring people happiness,”Narciso said. “I’ve always liked making things. My mom growing up taught me how to make jewelry. It’s always been a dream of mine to have an Etsy, or a small craft business, and I was able to do that this past year.” 

For delicious treats, guests headed over to the table. Sweet Piglet Bakery + Cafe — an Asian and women-owned bakery located in Randolph, Massachusetts. The bakery is owned and operated by Meghan Phan, fourth-year philosophy student, along with her mother Armanda. It sells a variety Asian-inspired treats like lychee crepes, ube cheesecakes and pandan cremebrulee.

BGM Apparel features Northeastern alum Jae’da Turner’s original designs on a variety of products, including journals and bookmarks. Alexa Grayson.

Attendees visited the venue to purchase empowering apparel, stationary and notebooks, as well as stickers, bookmarks, bookmarks, stickers, and headwear. BGM Apparel, which was founded by Jae’da Turner, who graduated from D’Amore McKim School of Business in 2016. Turner’s hobby of using Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Illustrator turned into a lifestyle brand with the empowering message of “presence and purpose.”

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“I started while I was in grad school here — really kind of just a space for self-expression,”Turner said. “Then also kind of like [flexing] new, creative skills and tools and different things in design, and has since expanded … I would say the crewnecks are definitely my favorite.”

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Mallory Gothelf (a Northeastern alumnus) offered carefully curated services “Find Your/self Boxes,”This site is designed to promote health and wellness. Photo by Alexa Grayson

Students also bought their own items. “Find Your/self Boxes” — curated and customized research-backed boxes filled with wellness products that promote healing and foster relationships between people facing mental health challenges and their loved ones. 

Mallory Gothelf is a 2019 College of Science alum and founded the company in order to give people a tangible means to show support for each other. The boxes contain products that range from lotions to a variety of other items. “badass button,”Kosher honey lollipops, pain relief salves to help joint and muscle pain, and lavender chamomile from Asheville Tea Company are just a few of the many relaxing products. 

“I wanted to create a physical way for people to say, I’m thinking about you, you matter, and I’m here to support you,”Gothelf stated. “And couple that with products that would help people and empower them in their self-care journey and their healing journey.” 

Many people practice self-care by taking care of plants. Market visitors could also find this information at the Market. Emerald City Plant Shop vendor. The first Black-owned plant shop in Boston — founded by Quontay Turner, an alum of Worcester Polytechnic Institute — has an array of “green babies”Both avid plant parents as well as newcomers will be satisfied. 

The plant shop does more than just sell plants. It also sells pins that are labeled “Plant Parenthood,”A shirt that says “Support Your Local Plant Dealer”Also, a crewneck sweater marked “Mother of Plants.”

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“I opened up Emerald City Plant Shop, which is New England’s first Black-owned plant shop, last May,”Turner said. “Now I’m kind of running it and growing it. So we have our flagship store in Norwood, and hopefully have more locations soon.” 

There were also many vendors who were specifically focused on sustainability. Kaolin Beauty, which is a “mission-driven, ethical, non-toxic, zero-waste makeup company that strives for both spiritual and environmental excellence.”Founded and operated in 2005 by Michelle BeaudetteThis skincare company is owned by a fourth year business administration major. It sells a range of products, from the Rose aloe Purifying Mask to the gold cup highlighter. 

“I essentially started it because I saw a major problem with plastic pollution in the cosmetics industry. I wanted to create a sustainable solution that aligns with all my values,” Beaudette said. “Each product is made with non-toxic ingredients and are sourced ethically… and packaged with completely zero waste.” 

At third-year Northeastern student Rachel Domb’s table, students could shop a selection of plant-based snacks offered by her company, Rooted Living. Alexa Grayson.

Rooted LivingThe company is also student-owned and has a strong focus in sustainability. Rooted Living was founded by Rachel Domb, a third year psychology major. It uses compostable packaging to replace single-use plastic, and sells healthy snacks that are free from refined ingredients. Their products include maple almond granola and peanut butter crunch cereal. 

“They are both good for you and good for the planet,”Domb stated. “I was an athlete in high school, so I snacked a lot, but was frustrated by the lack of something that was both healthy and sustainable. I noticed this huge gap in the market that nobody was solving … and then came Rooted Living.” 

The Market was also prominent in the area of sustainability. Loch TreeHenry Turner, 2020 alum, founded e-store, which is an eco-friendly shop. This company focuses on a “fresh approach to sustainability,”Making it easier for consumers to find eco-friendly products. There are many products available, including zero-waste deodorants and coffee filters, shampoo bars and conditioner bars, sunscreen, and sunscreen. 

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“We go out and source and identify the best eco-friendly products for your home and life and bring them together in one convenient place,”Turner said. 

Another company that emphasizes convenience and ease is Suite BellaYari DeJesus and her childhood friends Gina Montes De Oca, Jackie Merino, founded, a team made up three makeup artists. They offer workshops and makeup services to Massachusetts women. Their expertise includes makeup for “photoshoots, formal events, bridal, fashion shows, special effects, makeup classes or just a girl’s night out.”

“We started in 2013, basically just had a passion for doing makeup and for the arts,” DeJesus said. “We wanted to express our love for art by delivering makeup to people.” 

Robinson Quad had two tents that students used to shop for gifts and support small businesses. 

“I just wanted to walk around the shop and see what great businesses Northeastern students are making and maybe buy some stuff for friends or family,”Jason Kobrin, a second year mechanical engineering major, attended the market. “It’s all just really cool to know that like students who graduate from here or are still here are going on and doing cool things.”


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