E-Commerce Course Challenges Students to Create Online Businesses

May 7, 2014  |  by Lauren Agnello

  • Brittany Perry and Lauren Rutherford's site for Serve Those Who Serve You

  • Soul Chance's website by Alyssa Fazio and Jamie DeMuth

  • Jeff Perla's website for Selvaggio & Co.

  • Alex Carruthers' Blog of All Trades

During the spring 2014 semester, students from Dr. Anna McNab’s MGT 308 class, E-Commerce Essentials, set out on a journey to not only learn about e-commerce, but to start online businesses of their own.

An open-ended project description that unleashed students’ creativity led to several very interesting projects. Projects ranged from personal blogs about crafts, decorating, golf, and hockey, to several online shopping sites and a cooking YouTube channel. The students were challenged to create a business that could actually help others in need, and several projects rose to this occasion.

At the end of the semester, Dr. McNab was very proud of her students for their accomplishments.

Several of these projects and student experiences are featured below:

Serve Those Who Serve You
This project captured the Vincentian spirit perhaps the best, by creating a support site for those who have a loved one deployed and would like to brighten their day by sending them a care package. Brittany Perry and Lauren Rutherford took it a step further by making it possible for anyone to Adopt-a-Hero. They said the following about their experience, “Through this project, Professor McNab gave us an amazing opportunity to create a website about something we are truly passionate about. Serve Those Who Serve You was inspired by Lauren’s real life experience of her fiancée’s deployment. Our hopes are to continue working on this endeavor and reach out to those who are going through similar military experiences. We want our site to be a place for those with loved ones in the military, to go to for cute ideas or just to find some support.”

Please support their admirable efforts and adopt your hero today!

Soul Chance
Created by Alyssa Fazio and Jamie DeMuth, Soul Chance represents the heart and soul that they put into each one-of-a-kind piece that they create and sell. They take their time creating extremely unique and beautiful pieces for their customers, from jewelry to art, allowing one “sole” chance to purchase an item before it goes away forever. They have also created a blog that features beauty tips, recipes and much more. To see their current selection of products that are ready for purchase, please visit their Etsy site for your sole chance to find an item that matches your soul.

Selvaggio & Co.
What started out as a class project is now transpiring into a running start-up company. Jeff Perla has always had a passion for clothes and felt that he has never been able to fully express himself. The name Selvaggio is an Italian word for “wild” or “uncontrolled” and the clothes are meant to be just that – unique. But what makes his project even more special is its Vincentian spirit. Perla recalls his experience, “On my recent trip to the Bahamas, I learned the meaning of hard work.”

Perla and Dr. McNab came up with a way to incorporate fashion and charity. The fabrics they use at Selvaggio & Co. are imported from countries that are economically struggling, such as the Bahamas. Selvaggio & Co. is committed to donating 10 percent of profits back to a charity helping the citizens of the country that the fabric came from. Jeff stated, “Your [Dr. McNab’s] class gave me the push and resources I needed in order to start Selvaggio & Co. I am looking forward to the future and am excited to see where this could potentially take me.” Check out Perla’s collection using unique fabrics from the Bahamas!

Blog of All Trades
Alex Carruthers took a different approach and decided to venture into the world of journalism, creating a blog site that will focus on several different areas from science and technology to arts, entertainment, business and money tips – a true blog-of-all-trades approach. Alex described his idea: “Someone once told me there are two ways to be successful in life: learn everything about one thing or one thing about everything. I personally have chosen the latter of the two and believe that that as a jack-of-all-trades, you can see how everything fits together and, ultimately, appreciate the world a little more. With Blogofalltrades.com, I have decided to make a hub of information from all fields, allowing people to break down the walls of the familiar and venture into a little bit of everything.”

This was Dr. McNab’s first semester teaching the course and she said the following about her experience. “I was very happy with the projects my students had worked on, we had a lot of fun and we all learned a lot. Seeing my students’ creativity and drive to succeed and help others was a true motivation for me to continue with similar projects in the future. I hope to create a network of MGT 308 e-commerce entrepreneurs who can share ideas with each other and stay connected through social media even once they are done with the course. It was very rewarding to see my students put many of the lessons they have learned in their college classes to action and I am thrilled some are choosing to continue with their ideas on their quest to help people around the world or even for their own enjoyment.”

To stay updated with MGT 308 and their current and future projects, follow them on twitter @MGT308Ecommerce