Rebranded Oak Originals at the Marketplace to celebrate uniqueness of student vendors

Marketplace Under the Oaks has been rebranded to Oak Originals and the first pop-up of the semester will be Oct. 1 during Family Weekend.

Marketplace Under the Oaks started in February 2021 as an initiative to showcase the products of student businesses and later that year secured support from the Elon Innovates effort. The initiative will now be known as Oak Originals at the Marketplace, transitioning from just a student marketplace to a student community.

The rebranding originated from a Strategic Campaigns class taught by Michele Lashley, assistant professor of strategic communications. The class was divided into teams that resembled public relations firms whose client was the Doherty Center for Creativity, Innovation and Entrepreneurship. The goal of each firm was to develop an idea to rebrand Marketplace Under the Oaks.

The Marketplace Under the Oaks pop-up in February 2022. The event has been rebranded to Oak Originals.

Mia Blumenthal ’23, a double major in strategic communications and media analytics, was a part of the winning group and wanted to focus on community.

“Something that we found prevalent in all of our research was that people enjoy events, people want their shopping to be more of an experience and not just the exchange of money and goods,” Blumenthal said.

What Blumenthal and her team proposed was to make the pop-ups a “little party.” Having food and live music will make the Oak Originals experience more enjoyable for the buyers as much as it is for the vendors.

The Oak Originals rebrand team said that the objective of Oak Originals is to highlight the “authenticity and uniqueness of buyers and sellers.”

The Marketplace Under the Oaks pop-up in February 2022. The event has been rebranded to Oak Originals at the Marketplace.

“Our goal is to build a community where originality is not only accepted but celebrated. With Oak Originals, we want to shine a bright light on each unique aspect of our community members. We decided to include the word ‘oak’ in our rebrand because like an oak tree, Elon students stand strong, look different and bloom at their own pace. The word “original” can be used to represent every vendor as well as each shopper,” the statement read.

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Jakob Reuter ’23, an entrepreneurship major, wasn’t in the Strategic Campaigns course but was brought on to assist in the implementation of the rebrand.

“We are creating more opportunities for vendors to know one another, and so that’s just another way that we’re creating a community. Not only with the vendors, but with the people that buy the things from these student entrepreneurs,” Reuter said.

The first Oak Originals pop-up of the fall semester is Oct. 1 during Family Weekend.