April 25, 2014 8:45AM
Big changes are coming for Krimson Kulturr, the student-run store that was created by Pittsburg State’s Enactus group.
The most immediate difference will be the store’s location. After nearly six months at its original location at 111 W. 4th Street, the store will open at its new downtown home at 508 N. Broadway in early May.
Enactus president Sam Bogle said the move will bring more exposure to the store and allow for future expansion.
“When we decided to put the store downtown, we always wanted to be on Broadway,” Bogle said, “but that wasn’t an option at the time. When this new location became available, we jumped on it immediately.”
The store, which sells items made by local and international artisans, will be located next to Europe Park in downtown Pittsburg. Enactus Adviser Suzanne Hurt said the group plans to take advantage of the store’s “attractive neighbor.”
“Europe Park is a gem in our downtown area, and we’re excited to have our store sit right next door,” she said. “We see great opportunities to have cultural music and entertainment in the park, and it will be a nice place for students to sit and do homework and maybe have a cup of coffee.”
And if all goes as planned, the coffee will come from Krimson Kulturr.
“We hope to work with some of our partners to open a little coffee shop in the store,” Bogle said. “That would be a great addition not only to our store, but also to the downtown area.”
Krimson Kulturr opened for business in November 2013, and Bogle said she’s pleased with the store’s success.
“It’s gone very well so far,” she said. “I think a lot of people doubted whether or not a new downtown store could do well, especially one that’s run by students. But I think we’ve laid a solid foundation for what this store could be in the future. I’m incredibly impressed with our success thus far.”
Through the Enactus Community Employment and Suit Up for Success programs, Krimson Kulturr has served as a valuable learning experience for students and community members looking to boost their resumes.
“The store is more than just a store,” Hurt said. “That’s one of the truly unique aspects of this project. With our Community Employment program, we’ve been able to help people in the community bolster their job skills and their confidence. Our Suit Up for Success program has given Pitt State students a chance to intern in the store and gain that valuable job experience that will help them as they look to join the professional workforce.”
The overall goal of the programming, Hurt said, is to improve the quality of life in the Pittsburg area.
“If you look at everything we’re trying to accomplish with this store,” she said, “it all boils down to making our community a better place to live for everyone. It’s about improving the local economy, improving our downtown area and giving local artisans a place to sell their work.”
Pitt State Enactus recently presented those efforts on a national stage at the 2014 Enactus United States National Exposition in Cincinnati, Ohio. Overall, the Pitt State team finished in the top 40 out of more than 600 teams at the competition and came home with $3,000 in prize money.
Bogle said the prize money will be used to further enhance Enactus programming.
“We were all pleased with how we did at nationals,” she said, “but we all also know we can do much better. Being in the top 40 is wonderful, but we want to be at the top of the top 40.”
The national exposition also allowed the students to market themselves as potential employees to some of the world’s major corporations. The career fair featured representatives from companies such as Kraft, Sam’s Club, Walmart, Walgreens, Home Depot and Pepsi.
“Overall, our students received 20 interviews with 17 different companies, found 11 internship opportunities and spoke with recruiters regarding 13 potential jobs,” Hurt said. “That’s one of the big advantages of being in Enactus. The jobs find you.”
One person who has a strong interest in the future success of Enactus is junior Danielle Ackermann, who was recently named the next president of the group. Ackermann is a marketing and economics major and served this past year as the project manager for the Suit Up for Success program.
“I am extremely excited about being the new president for Enactus,” Ackermann said. “As president, I hope to improve communication between our members, increase membership and expand our current projects. This is a huge opportunity for me to gain leadership experience in a realistic setting.”