Student-operated retail store fosters innovation and creativity with new amenities and partnerships 

Student News
By By Clara Toot, Student Communications Assistant

AMES, Iowa – Innovation, creativity and real-world experience come together at Innovate 1858, a student-operated retail store in Iowa State University’s Student Innovation Center.

Entering the fourth year of operation, Innovate 1858 is looking toward the future with renovations, strategic collaborations and a refreshed brand that will be celebrated on March 27 at 4 p.m. with the store’s grand reopening event.

A new look

The Student Innovation Center installed a new glass enclosure to replace the previous chain gate while the Innovate 1858 team added a new wall fixture to display clothing.

“We are incredibly thankful for our Student Innovation Center partners for their investment in the experience Innovate 1858 provides to our students,” said Emily Worrall, a graduate instructor for Innovate 1858. “The new glass enclosure adds functionality and elevates the aesthetic of the store for our customers.”

With changes to the physical space, the team will also launch a new logo and official tagline, “For Cyclones, By Cyclones.”

Unique products and collaborations

“We want to offer products that coincide with our new brand, helping us increase brand recognition when people see our apparel outside of the store,” said Camryn Mosty, a senior in fashion communications and Innovate 1858’s multi-channel director.

The team has focused on fostering closer collaborations and curating exclusive products that distinguish Innovate 1858’s offerings from other retailers.

Through a new partnership with Piper Rose Sewing, customers will be able to purchase one-of-a-kind, upcycled items. The business is owned by Piper Michalski, a sophomore in apparel, merchandising, and design. Michalski breathes new life into discarded clothing by completely deconstructing items and sewing them back together in unique ways. She also adds personal touches like embroidery.

“We want Innovate to be known for its unique pieces–something people would want to wear to a tailgate or basketball game that will help them stand out from the crowd,” said Worrall.

The team has also been working with Spime, a business venture started by Grant DeWaay, a senior in software engineering, and Egan Hansen, a senior in industrial design. Their company’s vision is to provide customers with greater insight into the story behind products, including who made it. The integrated QR codes will share details about products and vendors, enhancing transparency. 

“Our collaboration with Spime is designed to help customers get to know our products a little better. From inspiration to sustainability, it’s important that our consumers know the background of who they are supporting,” said Mosty.

Engaging entrepreneurs

As a store driven by student products, the team hosts multiple pitch sessions each academic year where student designers and entrepreneurs can showcase their ideas for a chance to be sold at Innovate 1858.

The process benefits the student team who runs the store as well as gives student business owners the opportunity to sell their products and grow their businesses.

Upcoming sessions will be held on March 21 and April 21 from 2 to 3 p.m. in room 1133 at the Student Innovation Center.

Celebrating the future

The grand reopening on March 27 at 4 p.m. is a celebration of student innovation and will take place on the first floor of the Student Innovation Center. The Ames Chamber of Commerce will facilitate a ribbon cutting. Attendees can also shop Innovate 1858’s second Maker Market, interacting with vendors and shopping additional inventory.

Worrall encourages the Ames and campus community to attend the event and see collective identity and creativity on display.

“Innovate 1858 continues to grow and pave new paths for student entrepreneurs,” said Worrall. “When people think of Innovate 1858, we hope they think of Cyclone culture.”

By By Clara Toot, Student Communications Assistant