BLACK CORPORATE visited the beautiful Florida A&M University (FAMU) campus and experienced its one-of-a-kind “Set Fridays” tradition on Friday, April 22, thanks to Visit Tallahassee and The Zimmermann agency.
Created in 1993, Set Fridays has begun such as Market Friday, an event that created an inviting space for student entrepreneurs to market and sell their products. Today, the tradition has turned into weekly social event.
According to Visit Tallahassee, “on Fridays, students meet at Define Fridays. The event takes place in front of the Student Office, on what is called “The Set” from 10am to 3pm. organization and booths of vendors (mostly students), a live DJ and scheduled entertainment with everything from fashion shows to poetry readings.”
During the recent visit, the spring weather was perfect. The students gathered at the new Packer Performing arts amphitheater to enjoy a host of festivities. From the infamous hill, you can hear the DJ liven up the crowd with popular hip-hop beats. Groups of students, drenched in black glee, couldn’t resist joining the mood with energetic dances and Rattler’s pride. FAMU was in its element.
FAMU also celebrated its annual giving day, “1887 Strikes”, a fundraising event. The campaign has raised more than $660,000 to support student initiatives and scholarships, according to FAMU News. Free t-shirts were given away as souvenirs at the amphitheater.
While the party was in progress, ambitious vendors greeted students and non-students alike with all smiles, proud to be part of the FAMU culture. There were uplifting conversations about their products, from boutique clothing and handmade body candles to self-defense tools.
Robert Jonesgraduate of FAMU 2020 and major in journalism, told BLACK CORPORATE about his previous experiences at Set Friday and the student entrepreneurship aspect of the event.
“It was a time to unwind from the daily grind of being a student and socialize with my peers, as well as participating in a more laid-back FAMU tradition,” said Jones, who works with the Zimmerman agency.
“This is an on-campus event that consistently draws large student crowds and gives student entrepreneurs the platform to showcase and sell their products to their peers,” he adds, “which , I think, helps build connections and connections with people that last much longer than their time at FAMU.
While browsing talented vendors on campus, BLACK CORPORATE also had the pleasure of meeting two unique small business owners, Brianna Rogers and Amber Magny.
CEO Brianna Rogers launched its own line of self-defense accessories, BriSafe, after surviving a sexual assault in mid-2020. Since then, she has made it her mission to raise awareness about human trafficking and sexual assault, bring local businesses together, and give back to the community.
Rogers, who hails from the small town of Port St. Lucie, Florida, said proudly, “You’re basically family here. I was very nervous leaving the house, FAMU literally welcomed everyone with us.
She continued, “I learned so many life lessons from this school.”
The Tallahassee-based accessories company started with keychains and now offers a slew of undetectable items, including pen and comb knives, tasers, cellphone and jogger stun guns, pepper spray, etc
Inherited from FAMU, Rogers has been selling for 18 months. She takes her business to the campuses of FAMU and Florida State University (FSU) each week with the intention of educating students about healthy dating, self-defense, and the importance of saying “no.” BriSafe also offers self-defense classes and will hold seminars in the fall.
“One in 5 women on a college campus will be sexually assaulted,” Rogers said. “Decor is close to my heart because we keep people safe on this campus.”
FAMU student and chemistry major Amber Magny is the owner of Sensual Essence and Elaqor, two mirror companies that aim to not only create a complete vibe in your personal care routine, but to spark positive conversations. Both companies operate under the holding company MurderBunny Productions.
Launched in May 2021, sensual essence was born with the idea of encouraging and celebrating femininity. Honoring all sizes, colors, shapes and genders, this Tallahassee-based company offers handmade adornments such as anklets, bracelets and belts. “I strive to remind women that they are beautiful at every stage of their life,” says Magny.
Elaqor, established in September 2021, is a luxury candle making brand that sells handmade silhouette body candles. the inclusive brand also offers candle customization options, including different body types, scents, and additional features such as piercings, gold drops, and body chains.
“The market has been extremely valuable,” says Magny, who has started selling to FAMU since fall 2021. “I can connect with other students and like-minded people. Thanks to this, we are able to talk about interesting topics regarding the importance of body positivity, self-care, confidence and much more.