By Danielle Kiefer
Entrepreneurial students gathered in Van Munching Hall to show off their original products and services at Terp Marketplace Oct. 27.
The Dingman Center for Entrepreneurship provided tables and materials for students to display their product or business idea. Terp Marketplace allowed students to test the market by trying to sell or advertise their product and getting feedback from peers.
Senior computer science major Robert Hoff attended the marketplace to advertise his business selling edible cookie dough. Hoff was inspired by the edible cookie dough companies that have been opening in Washington, D.C., and New York City.
“Edible cookie dough is a thing that people really like, but there’s no way to get it easily in College Park,” Hoff said. “It’s either too expensive to order here, or you have to drive pretty far away, so we wanted to get something that’s affordable and convenient.”
The cookie dough comes in two different sizes, and can be delivered, though Hoff stands outside bus stops on some nights to sell it.
Hoff received positive feedback from students about the cookie dough at Terp Marketplace.
“We’ve already sold some, and people have been taking flyers and want to order it,” Hoff said.
Junior public health major Yuser Tagouri used Terp Marketplace to showcase Blackseed and Olive, a blackseed oil and olive oil mixture used to relieve nasal inflammation and improve sinuses.
“It’s a natural way to heal your nasal passages and for overall sinus health,” Tagouri said. “If you have any nasal congestion or sinus infections or allergies, it’s a natural way to alleviate that.”
Tagouri’s aunt originally created Blackseed and Olive after her son had breathing difficulties, and Tagouri eventually joined the business.
“My aunt used it on her child because he was sent to the hospital a lot and had trouble breathing,” Tagouri said. “She started using it on him, and it really helped him a lot, so she made a business out of it so she could tell people about the benefits of blackseed oil.”
Tagouri said Terp Marketplace was successful because she sold a lot of bottles and had some students write down their email addresses to get more information about the product.
Some students showcased their creative talent in addition to their entrepreneurial spirit, with fashion and accessory-related business ideas.
Sophomore studio art major Bela Oehser cuts designs into hats. At Terp Marketplace, he showed his business off with a display of baseball hats with carefully cut-out brims.
Oehser first came up with the idea back in 2011.
“It just sort of came to me, and I was like, ‘that’s sort of a cool idea; I should try it,’” Oehser said. “So, I’ve been reworking it and improving it since.”
Oehser sells pre-cut hats on Etsy, but creates custom-designed hats as well.
“I take commission work, so if someone wants a specific hat of theirs to be cut, or has a specific design in mind, I like to try to work with them and actually get the hat cut the way they want,” Oehser said.
Terp Marketplace was helpful in providing an outlet for students to sell their products, as well as just getting the word out about their businesses, Oehser said.
“I’m getting a lot more awareness [at the marketplace] than I’ve gotten before,” Oehser said.