The childhood lemonade stands were just a warmup for Maggie Walker, a Saginaw Valley State University student whose entrepreneurial ambitions led her to start a retailing business as a college junior and win a first-place statewide award for it recently.
The SVSU accounting major from Laingsburg received the first-place nod in the entrepreneurship category of the Michigan Collegiate DECA competition hosted in Dearborn Feb. 1-3. She and five of her SVSU classmates at the contest qualified for Collegiate DECA’s national competition scheduled for April in Orlando.
“It was pretty surprising to win,” Walker said. “It was great hearing someone tell you that your idea could be successful.”
Collegiate DECA is an international association of high school and college students interested in marketing, management and entrepreneurship in business, finance, hospitality, and marketing sales and service. The organization hosts competitions judged by panelists, including mock investors.
The business plan Walker pitched to a mock investor in the entrepreneurship category, though, was no mock setup. She presented her own real-life start-up, Everyday Adult, which she founded in August 2018 to help young business professionals purchase professional clothing at affordable prices. Already, she has sold clothing to 60 customers and built an online following of 10,000 people.
Walker said Everyday Adult sprouted from her own shopping habits.
“I buy a lot of clothing for myself, and some of the prices are so high for a college student like me, so I like to find the best prices,” she said.
She decided to apply those bargain-hunting skills to a business plan by finding new or barely-used clothing and offering those items to customers largely through Poshmark, a retailing website. Her customers are primarily 25 or younger. Her Poshmark account can be found at https://poshmark.com/closet/poshwmw.
While the business transactions occur online, Walker said she hopes to expand Everyday Adult’s presence.
“My end goal is to purchase a trailer and sell at pop-up boutiques,” she said.
Walker said she applied many of the business practices learned while studying at SVSU. The result is a company with a promising start, she said.
“This is pretty much my first real business if you don’t count the lemonade stands I had when I was a kid,” she said. “It’s been great.”
Along with Walker, the following SVSU students competed at the Michigan Collegiate DECA contest earlier this month:
There are about 15,000 Collegiate DECA members representing about 250 colleges and universities nationwide. SVSU's DECA chapter is led by Amy Hendrickson, associate professor of law, and Betsy Pierce, associate professor of accounting.