This spring semester, a product crafted by MU students is about to hit the stands. That product is “Seasoned Shakers,” uniquely crafted salt and pepper shakers with MU’s logo engraved on the front of each shaker. Seniors in ITEC 492 Technical Entrepreneurship collaborated to make and market the product from start to finish.
Seasoned Shakers are hand-crafted by MU students and made with cherry and maple wood. They also have custom-made, removable aluminum tops that allow for the shakers to be refilled.
Claudia Bubba, the class Communications Director, discussed the process of creating the idea for the shakers, making the actual products, and planning the marketing and selling of Seasoned Shakers.
The class was set up exactly like a company, and the processes the students went through to create their own salt and pepper shakers mirror the actual process of the manufacturing and processing world.
First, the class elected a president to be in charge of the project. Then, students filled out applications for managerial positions they desired. These applications were then reviewed by the student president and professor, and students were assigned to various positions in the areas of Production, Human Resources, Finance, and Marketing.
Before they came up with the idea for Seasoned Shakers, each student in the ITEC class had to come up with their own ideas for products and present said ideas to their class.
After narrowing the ideas down to five products, the class made prototypes. Following this, everyone voted on which product they wanted to create. The Seasoned Shakers were that product.
The company’s name is Spliced Spice Manufacturing, and their slogan is, “Let the shakers hold your flavor makers.” MU seniors went through the arduous, but beneficial process of creating a product and figuring out how to market that product themselves.
The senior ITEC students decided as a company how much product they were going to make, which depended on how much material they would purchase to make the Seasoned Shakers. Students fronted the money for the company and invested stock in the shakers. Their goal is to sell 50 products, and the students will even be able to make a little profit from these sales.
“The product is hand-crafted 100% by senior MU students who are preparing themselves for the real world, and we’re all super excited and dedicated to getting the product to a high-quality level,” stated Bubba.
Even the packaging for the Seasoned Shakers is handmade.
There will be limited presales for the Seasoned Shakers, but the bulk of the product will be sold in May. Stands will be set up in front of the SMC on Monday, May 1, from 10:00-3:00pm and also Tuesday, May 2, from 10:00am-3:00pm. The Seasoned Shakers will sell for $15 each.
“From a producer’s perspective, it’s always fun to see products that you’ve contributed to making. It always brings a confidence boost for young entrepreneurs of Millersville,” stated Bubba.
With both graduation and Mother’s Day approaching, the Seasoned Shakers would be a great gift with a local touch.
MU students can simultaneously purchase a gift and also support their fellow student entrepreneurs. Students can also check out the Seasoned Shakers Facebook page for more information: https://www.facebook.com/SeasonedShakers/.