By Jocelyn Colbert |Staff Writer|
The Santos Manuel Student Union (SMSU) is the focal point of the campus, shaping a home for learning and leisure for students.
Here students’ overall university and life experience is enriched through the Union’s celebration of culture and diversity.
Extending outward from the Union, sandwiched in-between University Hall, the SMSU offers an outside venue for merchants to sell their goods.
I’ve personally always looked to see what types of goods are being offered at the mini stores. The vendors sell all sorts of things, most definitely catered to the ladies, from nail polish to blouses.
“I always buy my girlfriend little trinkets from the stores out here. She’s in love with the earrings,” said student Jose Alvarez. “She has so many I think she’s starting to collect them,” he snickered.
What many of the males on campus do not realize is that there’s something for them too! Men’s tees, scarfs, sunglasses and hats can be found among the many items for sale.
While randomly buying little things from the vendors, one becomes familiar with the sellers, but this week I wanted to know more about them on a personal level. You know, get to know them, the person behind the table.
Arriving at the first little store I was greeted by Ellie Gutierrez. Her parents own Beauty and the Beat, which offers a mix of beauty supplies and accessories.
The “beat” part is where her father comes in. Mr. Gutierrez specializes in selling vintage vinyl records. He was showing a group of students some of the vinyls.
“We make the girls happy with these low, affordable prices,” said Gutierrez. “We try to do our best to get the things the kids need from beauty supplies to music, tax free.”
Beauty and the Beat is a small branch that originates from the Gutierrez’s larger store in Walnut.
Nely Garcia owns the second shop I visited. She doesn’t have a name for her shop yet, on account of her only being in business so far for a month now.
Her mom peeped up from the back of the store, “Call it Nely’s Fashions Nely!”
Garcia enjoys selling her products, offering blouses, professional and casual wear, scarfs, leggings and jewelry. She also sells merchandise through eBay.
The final mini shop I stopped by was Doreen’s Fashions owned by Doreen Davis. She is the definition of the phrase “more than meets the eye.” She was raised in London, England and has a charming British accent.
“Growing up in London I was always around fashion. It’s forever been apart of my life,” said Davis.
A huge people person, Davis loves interacting with the campus community. Davis’ story is very interesting.
She majored in management information systems and because of her passion for fashion also majored in retail merchandising. Davis ended up working in the aerospace industry, but was unhappy with the controlling 9 to 5 lifestyle.
“The transition wasn’t foreign when I left aerospace to go into business for myself because of my fashion background,” said Davis.
I asked Davis if her business was profitable in comparison to her job in aerospace.
“Why yes of course my business is largely lucrative. If it wasn’t I wouldn’t do this for a living. I’m able to keep prices at an affordable range for students,” said Davis.
“Doreen’s Fashions” offers a range of ladies trends and accessories with a few miscellaneous items for men.
Davis is also joining forces with the marketing department in the College of Business and Public Administration in honor of her late daughter and alumna Judy Davis.
In spirits of the holidays CBPA and Davis are holding the first annual fundraiser on Dec. 14 for the Judy Day Memorial Scholarship Fund to remember Judy’s annual Christmas parties.
For more information on the scholarship e-mail Victoria Seitz at [email protected].
My walk through of the shops was and has always been a pleasant experience. All of the vendors are wonderful people and invite you to come outside and see what they have to offer.
Vendor days are held every Wednesday and Thursday during the regular school year, excluding campus holidays.