Students, Boutiques as Vendors at Threads

Story and photos by Rachel Bednarz

Nearly 1,000 people swarmed the Biosciences building on Central Michigan University’s campus for the 21st annual Threads Fashion Show on April 6. Among those in attendance were four tables of vendors selling their unique fashion merchandise to the crowd.

Juniors Julia Wozny and Susanna Westlake sold their jewelry at a table together.

Wozny has been creating her handmade macrame necklaces for about three years and wants to continue creating it after college.

“I started making jewelry because I have a metal allergy, so a lot of jewelry I was wearing I could not wear,” Wozny said. “So I started making my own cords for necklaces and it grew from there.”

Wozny has sold her artwork at numerous art shows and festivals and also sells her work online via Etsy. Her artwork is available on her Etsy shop, Hippie Homemade Art.

Westlake has only been creating her wire-wrapped necklaces for a month now. She has never sold her work before but took this opportunity to share a table with Wozny.

“I was actually motivated by Julia. I saw the jewelry she was creating and was like ‘that’s awesome,'” Westlake said.

Westlake began making her necklaces after watching YouTube tutorials. Though she has never sold at a venue before, she does sell her jewelry on her Instagram account.

Another student vendor at Threads was junior Victoria Vitale. Vitale has been creating her digital prints since high school but has really began exploring the art form since beginning her journey at CMU.

Vitale had never sold at a venue before coming to Threads; she usually just promotes her products on social media and sells to friends. She is currently in the process of creating a website to be able to sell more online.

Along with the prints that she sold at the show, Vitale also created the design found on the Threads program booklets.

Along with student vendors, a few boutique vendors sold products at Threads as well. Carrie Hall represented the brand Oliver Thomas at the show.

The brand originated in Birmingham, MI, and over the course of a year has grown into a country-wide supplier for small boutiques. According to Hall, the company refuses to sell to big businesses like Amazon and Wal-Mart.

The company creates quilted polyester bags that range from full sized totes to fanny packs. Each bag comes with a smaller bag and a secret bottom pocket, perfect for storing dirty clothes during a trip.

“[The bags] are super durable, super lightweight, washable, 100% vegan and super functional,” Hall said. For hosting the company during the show, Oliver Thomas has offered CMU students free shipping through April with the code “CMUOT” on their online store.

Boutique vendors Omoni and Vaize were also tabled at the event and sold their jewelry and clothing pieces all night.