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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


Students hold pop-up shops in Tucson Mall

Isaac Andrews

Amani Latif stands in front of her pop-up shop Pure at the Tucson Mall on March 29. Latif says that the products are great moisturizers.

Three pop-up shops, carrying products created by UA retailing and consumer sciences students, are open at the Tucson Mall through Saturday, April 1.

The product lines were designed by students who will receive credit for an independent study course. Students apply to be in the independent study course yearly, which is managed by Scott Hessell, director of the Terry J. Lundgren Center for Retailing.

They have been developing their products for almost a year. The students’ work has culminated in this one-week pop-up shop availability; the shops opened on Sunday. Profits from the shops will go toward scholarships for retailing and consumer sciences students, according to Erica Robinson, a senior in the major.

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Students in the course pitched individual business ideas to three investors. They could pitch any idea, but they were expected to consider what would sell best at this year’s location, the Tucson Mall. Previous years’ shops were located downtown, according to Andrew Long, a  retailing and consumer sciences senior. The investors picked three winners and separated the class into three groups.

Each group created their own business plan from scratch and had to devise an aesthetic for their product line, including labels, packaging and fonts. This year, all three shops feature skin care products. The budget for each group was a minimum of $500, which was mainly intended for marketing costs.

 Robinson pitched the idea for Botanical Beauty Bar, a shop currently open at the mall. Robinson said her group divvied up roles and performed jobs applicable to each individual’s skill set.

Robinson said the experience has helped her understand how to start a company from the ground up. The students learned how to market to a target audience, find distributors and create their packaged products.

“Of any class, I have learned the most from this class,” Robinson said.

Robinson said the final product turned out better than she could have expected.

“I think we all are really excited with how it turned out,” she said.

Botanical Beauty Bar’s products invite the customer to choose various dry flowers and essential oils to combine into their own bath salts, lotions and body sprays. Students working at the shop will help customers personalize their products for a desired effect.

Sergio Aragon is a retailing and consumer sciences senior who is part of the Botanical Beauty Bar team.

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Aragon said his group wanted to make their products intimate and personal.

“It has been really fun, trying different scents, for different people, for different moods,” Aragon said.

Aragon said this process has taught him that developing a product takes time, patience and knowledge of the customer. He said the process gave him an understanding of the skin care industry by working with various vendors and suppliers.

“It’s really cool to know how it all works behind the scenes,” he said.

Long helped open the Naturix pop-up shop. Naturix features all-natural, organic, handmade bath bombs, lip balms and custom lip scrubs.

Long said he earned real-life experience through dealing with wholesalers, budgeting costs and reading demographic reports.

“I’ve learned how to delegate and manage a team and make real-life decisions spending real money,” Long said.

Amani Al-Abdullatif is a  retailing and consumer sciences junior whose group opened Pure, which carries body scrub products made from sugar or salt and coconut or essential oils.

Al-Abdullatif said she learned a lot about the backside of opening a business, including managing money, and she is happy with the way their products turned out.

“They turned out really nice,” she said. “They have a good consistency, and they work really well [for] moisturizing.”

The Tucson Mall is located at 4500 N. Oracle Road and is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. through Saturday.

Follow Isaac Andrews on Twitter.

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