Georgia Southern’s Square 1 Entrepreneurship Club hosted their first ever Maker’s Market in Downtown Statesboro on the evening of August 27.

The Maker’s Market gave nearly 50 young entrepreneurs a chance to advertise their products. Guests were able to walk along Main Street while listening to live music played by student bands. 

“This is the first time that we’re aware of, with Georgia Southern, that there has ever been a gathering of student run businesses in one place,” said Steve Stewart an associate professor of Entrepreneurship in the Department of Management at Georgia Southern University who was an advisor for the event. 

Student Business Owners

Selling Sunshine owner, Shelby Smiley holding up her favorite creation at her stand. Credit: Kristen Kelly

For student business owners The Maker’s Market is the perfect way to network and meet past, present and future clients.

“It’s where you’re actually getting to talk to the people and seeing who’s gonna be wearing your stuff, or just being reminded that a real person is buying your stuff,” said Shelby Smiley who is the owner of the online apparel shop, Selling Sunshine. 

“I love seeing the people that also make up Statesboro. And we’re interested in photography so we’re definitely here to see that,” said Charlotte Bythewood, an attendee of the event whose favorite stand was Brushstrokes by Sarah Conner. 

Charlotte Bythewood and Leah Watford posing at their favorite stand in the Maker’s Market, Brushstrokes by Sarah Conner. Business owner, Sarah Conner is posing with them. Credie: Kristen Kelly

Those who attended the event had the opportunity to meet and talk with the owners of whichever business out of the 45 they were interested in. 

“She’s really nice and she paints beautifully,” said Bythewood about Conner. “I want her to paint a mural of my friend for her 21st birthday with her being all crazy but sweet at the same time and Sarah said she can make that happen.” 

Sarah Conner posing in front of the Maker’s Market with her favorite painting at the event.

Brushstrokes by Sarah Conner started with showcasing her art on social media which turned into a business when she made an Instagram page dedicated to her work, said Connor. This event helped her reach her goal to show people what she had to offer and get commission. 

Square 1 Club

Benjamin Youngstrom and Emma Tirlot are the president and vice president of the Square 1 Club who Stewart says produced the entire event.

However, Youngstrom explained that Brianna Allen, the owner of Zynergy deserved recognition. 

“Brianna reached out to the Square 1 Club with the idea of a small makers market similar to a farmers market but for businesses,” said Youngstrom.

Youngstrom and Tirlot then turned the small idea into an event where the city of Statesboro can enjoy.

President of Square 1 Entrepreneurship Club, Benjamin Youngstrom.

Youngstrom is hoping that the event will be annual but he is counting on students who attended the event to see what the club had to offer and join Square 1.

Square 1 provides aspiring entrepreneurs a chance to turn their creative idea into a reality by providing them the tools, training and connections they need in order to do so, said Youngstrom. 

“Everybody is encouraged to apply,” said Youngstrom. “We need creative people, we need analytical people, we need engineers, we need electricians, we need all of it running the gambit, everyone is invited to apply.”

Kristen Kelly

Kristen is a native Savannahian and current journalism major at Georgia Southern Universities Statesboro campus.