I was doing some math this morning, just for fun, and I calculated that over the course of this past semester, I spent at least $358.19 on coffee alone. That math accounts for only a single cup a day, so I'm thinking my coffee bill certainly surpasses $500 (especially considering all the times I added French Vanilla swirl in my coffee- bless you Dunkin). Cornell should really take these expenses into account when determining financial aid. I've always been a coffee addict, but I was especially dependent on its energy-granting powers this fall as I spent the majority of the semester working on my YMA FSF Scholarship Case Study project.
YMA FSF is an organization whose mission is "to advance the fashion industry by encouraging gifted and enterprising young people to pursue careers in design, merchandising, retailing and business." The organization sponsors an annual case study competition in which undergraduate fashion students can participate. In the past, companies like Birchbox and Lululemon have been the focus of the competition, but this year, YMA presented a more extensive challenge: to design a partnership between the niche online marketplace Etsy and the old-school department store Macy's. I was thrilled to be nominated for this year's competition and to represent Cornell University through my work. And after months of stressful work, intense research, and many sleepless nights, I am so honored to announce that I have been selected as one of the winners for this year's case study competition!
The name of my project was "A Room to Grow," and in my work I targeted a niche demographic, millennial mothers. These are women who are on the older end of the millennial age group and are now entering into the early stages of motherhood. Their shopping habits are very millennial-driven, with a heavy reliance on embracing technology and seeking the approval of others, however their desire for thrift, comfort, and quality reflect the classic preferences of their own mothers. In my case, I proposed that products from Etsy-based company Baby Jives Co. be introduced into Macy's stores across the country. Baby Jives Co., founded by millennial mompreneur Jahje Ives, is known for its luxury baby mobiles and nursery decorations, which range in prices from $50 to $200.
Even though this project stressed me out beyond belief, when all was said and done, I really appreciated the opportunity to take a real problem in the fashion industry and create a thoughtful and calculated solution, and I can't wait to see what comes next from my relationship with YMA FSF! I also wouldn't have been able to complete this intense project without the help and support of my parents, my faculty advisors, and all my friends who shared their opinions and answered my surveys, so big thank yous to all!!!