A close-knit team of students pursing their MBA partnered with Crazy for Ewe, a local knitting company in Southern Maryland.
The marketing management class offered through Extended Studies challenges students to consult with real companies for real results.
Together with her team, Samantha Leap spent a semester consulting with the owner of Crazy for Ewe, Ellen Lewis.
Lewis was looking to market the joy of knitting to a younger demographic, and Leap and her team providing free marketing consultation services, all for course credit.
The team wanted to immersive themselves in the brand, and visited Lewis at her shop to get a feel for the place and identify any missed opportunities.
“The project became tangible in me touching the yarn within the store and understanding the story behind the quality of the product. In forming a relationship with the business owner, we developed a mutual trust, making me feel more responsible for the product I was turning in. The final grade wasn’t just for me; it was for a business owner who was taking serious consideration of what our team developed.”
After their initial meeting, the first idea that jumped off the table was to host a Knit-One-Sip-Two, a knitting experience where women could learn how to knit, make connections, and drink wine.
From there, the team started to percolate on the most strategic ways to launch the event, while also provided detailed approaches and plans that would further elevate Crazy for Ewe’s awareness in the community and to start tapping a new demographic.
“This project had so much more meaning because we were not simply given a company to research only to hand a final product to our professor. Our work, our recommendations, could have influence how a company operates.”
Most of the heavy lifting of the project included surveying young women to gauge their interest as well as provide other data points that would further enhance the team’s understanding of the demographics’ interests and needs and how Crazy for Ewe could meet them.
“We had to remain flexible and open to the data we acquired, allowing us to let the project evolve over time. After our data and recommendations were presented to Ms. Lewis, she considered changes for her company and implemented various aspects of our strategy into her business concerning social media and hosting the Knit-One-Sip-Two event.
Leap says that the project transcended the line between classroom by providing a tangible results.
“I was able to swing by the event, and noticed that the main demographic was younger and full of new knitters, where everyone was learning, sipping wine, and socializing! After the event I asked Ms. Lewis about changes she has noticed since we gave her the marketing strategy and she commented how online sales have increased, and considered hosting the event a success.”
The best part of the experience for Leap was finding out that Lewis actually implemented the strategies presented by the team and saw actual business results, including increased sales.
Learn more about Florida Tech’s Extended Studies location in Southern Maryland.