Skylar Bundridge

How one student plays both sides of the AESHM coin

On the first floor of Iowa State’s Student Innovation Center, you can browse a line of custom-designed stickers and apparel featuring ISU icons – like a swan in a football jersey, the white squirrel and Ames road signs.

Skylar Bundridge is a student maker who sells her products at Innovate 1858. The student-run store specializes in working with student makers to sell their products. As Bundridge’s hobby started to becoming a business, Innovate 1858 was the perfect fit for the event-management major to sell her products.

“I had a hobby of making T-shirts and stickers for myself and my friends in high school, and I realized during COVID, when I was very bored at my parent’s house, that I could turn that into a business,” Bundridge said.

Bundridge created Sky Ivy Designs in 2021, and her business took off. Making money was not what drew Bundridge to start her business – she was motivated to create products that appealed to women her age.

During the spring of her sophomore year, Bundridge wanted more exposure to college students at Iowa State for Sky Ivy Designs.  She attended Innovate 1858 pop-up shops to show off and sell her products as a student-maker.

“I was just excited to be able to have a place where I could see my products on a shelf because typically, they’re just online,” she said.

Later, the Innovate 1858 director contacted her about selling her stickers at the student-run store to test how they would sell.

“The stickers sold out almost immediately, which was great. That’s kind of how it all started. And now my orders are a lot bigger with them, and the experience has been great,” she said.

Bundridge’s business has exposed her to marketing and entrepreneurial skills. What she’s learning in the classroom is helping Bundridge plan events for her business and she plans to pursue an event-related career when she graduates.

“I’ve learned, throughout some of the more hands-on things at my major, and that definitely correlates with what I do,” Bundridge said.

Both the event management major and Innovate 1858 are part of Iowa State’s Department of  Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Department. Bundridge’s experience in different facets of the department have blended together, preparing her for a future in event management and gaining experience operating Sky Ivy Designs.

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