Student market hits Ryerson

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Natalie Ast takes a look at some of the student entrepreneurs selling their
wares at this week’s student market

Handmade greeting cards, charitable tees and custom cocktail dresses are some of the offerings at the student market, from Tuesday to Thursday in the Student Campus Centre lobby.

Just in time for Valentine’s Day, Ashley Catania, a third-year arts and contemporary studies student, is selling a line of tongue-in-cheek greeting cards.

The cards are intended for Valentine’s Day, but they aren’t the kind you’ll pick up at Hallmark. The cards, made of organic materials, are anti-romance, featuring dark humour. According to Catania, they’re perfect if you want to, “do something nice for the person you hate.”

Catania founded the line a couple of years ago, inspired by a breakup.

“I thought it would be funny to make cards to send your ex if you ended badly,” says Catania.

The cards cost $4 each, and Catania is hoping to donate a portion of the profits to a local women’s shelter.

Jordy Beale is, a third-year entrepreneurship student, is also trying to raise money for a good cause. She will be selling shirts from Rock Your Cause, a line of casual clothing, to benefit the SickKids Foundation.

Beale co-founded Rock Your Cause in 2008 after a family friend was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Since then, it has grown into a large line of apparel sold at schools across North America.

“Our goal at Rock Your Cause is to give anyone and everyone a chance to raise awareness and funds for any personal cause,” says Beale.

Ryan Joelson is more interested in generating interest in his designs than funds.

Though the second-year fashion design student will be participating in the student market, his pieces will not be for sale.

“I do have a sentimental attachment for everything I make,” Joelson says.

Instead of selling ready-to-wear garments, which are more couture than casual, Joelson creates custom designs to fit the customer while building his portfolio.

“When working with a client, it’s easier to let go with a specific destination in mind.”

Last year, Joelson received a $1,000 bursary from the RSU to support his line, and will be entering one of his designs in a competition at Montreal Fashion Week.

If his design is chosen as a winner, he could win a bursary.

The pieces on display are from his first collection, titled Hawkshaw, and are inspired by the femme fatale of the early 1900s.

His work includes both daywear and eveningwear. Many of his gowns are artfully draped, though Joelson does so without sacrificing structure or excellent tailoring.

“I’ve only been sewing for three years and I’ve been pushing myself to learn new techniques, and I’ve already gotten this far already, so it’s pretty good.”

Photo: Lindsay Boeckl

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