Contest winners Victoria Price, Shayna Nichols and Christopher Ching

The University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa fashion design and merchandising program in the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources (CTAHR) hosted the judging and awards ceremony of the 2015 UH Retail Business Plan Contest, co-sponsored by Our Kakaʻako and Shidler College of Business’s Pacific Asian Center for Entrepreneurship.

Twelve teams, made up of students in Assistant Professor Youngjin Bahng’s Small Business Start-Up class, competed to create original retail business plans, including rationale, projected customer base, location, suppliers and detailed budget. The businesses included restaurants, space rentals, foods, apparel, beachwear, jewelry and even a mobile barbershop.

Group photo at Retail Business Plan Contest awards ceremony

On Tuesday, May 12, 2015, the three finalists, predominantly apparel and jewelry businesses, presented their retail business plans to four judges, and the three student winners received prizes of $1,500, $700 and $500.

First-place winner Shayna Brianne Nichols received $1,500 for her plan for a retail store called Pololia Glassworks, which will specialize in borosilicate glass jewelry and art. The art student plans to create all pieces in a glass-blowing studio in the shop as customers watch. The pieces will focus on Hawaiian themes and creatures, including the pololia or jellyfish.

Second-place winner Victoria Price, a fashion design and merchandising student, received $700 for her business plan for a women’s clothing boutique called White Elephant, which will offer eclectic, stylish and unique clothing at a price point suitable for college-aged women on a limited budget.

Third-place winner Christopher Ching, also in the fashion design and merchandising program, received $500 for his business plan for a men’s and women’s apparel and accessories boutique, Common Goods. The boutique will offer customers basic, timeless pieces in an environment where they can meet to discuss creative endeavors.

The winners are serious about their business plans, preparing to start up their businesses right after graduation.

Bahng plans to make the contest an annual event, open to all UH students. “We hope to grow this retail business plan contest, gaining more sponsorships and support from our community, so that more students can benefit from it. We would love to see participants in this contest become successful business owners and come back as our community leaders and supporters in the near future,” she said.

For more, read the College of Tropical Agriculture and Human Resources news release.