The Knox College bookstore has decided to expand their usual product line. Beside the traditional textbooks and miscellaneous office supplies now rests a display of hand-beaded jewelry: necklaces of various color, size, and price. Hopefully, there will be more to come.
The change has come as the bookstore is now offering space for students to sell their handmade items. Craig Conolly, the bookstore manager, credits not himself but a Knox student for the inspiration for this new endeavor.
“A student came in and inquired about it and we got to talking. It might be kind of fun, but we didn’t know if there’d be any interest.”
Although the business opportunity has only been offered for a little over a week, two students have already put their products on display, offering jewelry and a penguin hat. According to Conolly, the hat, “sold really fast!” and a few necklaces have also been purchased. Conolly is expecting both sales and the number of student vendors to increase next fall.
“We just wanted to try to get the word out in the springtime — we’re looking more for it to hit its stride in the fall.”
Accepting only products that have been actually made by a student — no reselling of modeling kits, for example — Conolly views the opportunity as, “an outlet for students with hobbies and crafts.” He indicated that the bookstore would accept whatever students had to offer, whether it was ceramics or handmade wallets, as long as room could be found to display it. Even then, size limitations could be flexible.
“There are no specific size requirements — we’d work those out as things go forward.” If space were to become an issue, he added, students would have their work taken off display after three months to make room for others, although they would be allowed to re-show it at a later time.
Students set the price of all of their items and 90 percent of the money made from sales goes directly to the student. The other ten percent is used to defray associated business costs. The vendor is in turn paid directly from the business office. The ownership of a student’s work stays with them until the item is sold.
Conolly seemed enthused about the continuation of the project.
“It might be interesting to see what we get.”
Any interested parties should go to the bookstore to fill out the appropriate forms.