Entrepreneurship: Put Nature Back
October 8, 2021
Our guest blogger for the post below is Giovanni Augustino, a third-year student majoring in entrepreneurship and innovation.
I decided to study entrepreneurship and innovation at Drexel University because of the diverse set of skills I am learning and because of how personalized and community-focused the classes are. In my first term as a student in the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, I took a couple of Professor Scott Quitel's courses where almost every class was a field trip. Professor Quitel's classes are great for learning how entrepreneurship plays into everyday life, especially right here in Philadelphia. For one class, he took us to see his small business called Put Nature Back, a sustainable clothing line. At the time, he had a small storefront on Lancaster Avenue, just a few short steps from campus. I immediately fell in love with the idea and told Professor Quitel that I would love to get involved and help in any way I can.
Over the next couple months, I helped Professor Quitel and his team grow the business by designing logos and pitching ideas for new products. If you are ever on campus, make sure to keep an eye out for some of our stickers! Once we had a solid foundation for what our products were going to be, we knew that we needed to find a way to get our products marketed to students. Professor Quitel recommended that we find a place on campus that would be able to showcase our products and be easily accessible to the Drexel community.
Drexel University's undergraduate Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, housed in the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, provides students with an entrepreneurial mindset together with the business skills that prepare them for the ever-evolving 21st-century workforce.
We initially thought of a building on campus that is in a prime location on Market Street, which would be a good fit. With the location in mind, I decided that I would go for the big ask and went straight to President John Fry's office to see if he had any input or advice. Never in my life did I think I would be waiting outside the Office of the President of my University to pitch a business idea, but there I was. I definitely felt more comfortable taking risks and pitching innovative ideas after taking classes like Ideation, Ready, Set, Fail, and Mindfulness and Wellbeing with the Close School. President Fry referred us to Barnes and Noble, the main bookstore for the University. If it was not for my entrepreneurship classes, I am not sure I would have had the confidence to pitch an idea to the President of Drexel. My courses in the Close School helped me feel comfortable pushing through situations that I haven't handled before and they have given me the tools to bring new ideas into reality.
Although the pandemic delayed our initial plans for getting our products into Barnes and Noble, we are currently in the process of launching our products in the store for fall 2021. This demonstrated to me how impactful getting involved can be and how fulfilling it is to fight for something you are passionate about. As a new student, it may be intimidating to put yourself out there, but being an Entrepreneurship and Innovation student helped give me the confidence and tools to be resilient and to find creative ways to turn a "no" into a "yes." I believe all incoming students should find ways to get themselves involved on campus, whether it is through a club or organization, working for a startup in the Baiada Institute for Entrepreneurship, or getting involved in their major. By getting involved, you can "start something" every day and become the entrepreneur of your own life.
For more information on the Put Nature Back sustainable clothing line, please visit our website. Ten percent of every dollar you spend to put nature back goes directly to buy, restore, and preserve unhealthy land. When you buy a piece from us, a piece from you goes directly into healing our planet. You Put Nature Back.
Drexel University's undergraduate Entrepreneurship and Innovation program, housed in the Charles D. Close School of Entrepreneurship, provides students with an entrepreneurial mindset together with the business skills that prepare them for the ever-evolving 21st-century workforce. Learn more about entrepreneurship at Drexel, see sample plans of study, and explore program opportunities at the Drexel catalog.