On Tuesday, June 7th 2023, we were back with one of our favorite events of the year - the annual FATE Student Showcase! Our 9th graders developed marketing and advertising campaigns for Merit and our 10th graders designed a Merit product collection.
Videographer: Carl Schrónez
Each year our 9th and 10th grade FATE cohorts participate in an end-of-year capstone project where they put their skills in business, entrepreneurship, marketing, and design-thinking to practice! Five 9th grade teams were asked to create a Marketing and Advertising Campaign for Merit (our cause-based fashion brand) which included a 60-second commercial, a print advertisement, and a pitch presentation. A panel of expert judges in the PR and marketing field was tasked with declaring the winner - securing them a cash prize and their campaign will be promoted by Merit! Our 10th graders were split into four teams and developed a Merit Product Collection. These collections were on display trade show booth style and available for presale at the Student Showcase. The team with the most pre-sales is declared the winner and their collection will be produced in full by Merit!
Grade 10: Design a Merit Product Collection
Just a few months ago, our 10th graders began their Grade 10 Capstone Project: Designing a Merit Product Collection. They were put into 4 project teams and each one has spent the past few months developing a collection that was put on display at the annual Student Showcase and made available for pre-sale.
Let’s meet our Grade 10 Project Teams:
All In All-Stars
Team Members: Azariah, Donnelle, La’Shawn, Rahmani, Samiya, & Tiakeya
Collection Theme: “Free To Be Bold”
Graphic Designer: Kristle Marshall
About the Collection: “In All in, All-Star we believe that in order to be bold, stand out, and seize the opportunity, you have to be confident in yourself because nobody else will believe in you if you do not believe in yourself. To better oneself, it is important to take a risk and leave your comfort zone. We want our community to realize that it is okay to stand out and be bold”
Team Members: Camryn, DeMario, Jacob, Malahna
Collection Theme: “Think The Unthinkable”
Graphic Designer: Skylar Holt
About the Collection: “We're from Detroit. We were raised in Detroit. We are Detroit. Just like our city we have an exciting future ahead of us. But first that requires us to think unlimited and dream the unthinkable. We are singularly focused on the bright path ahead, the hole in the chain link fence, and we are ready to achieve greatness. This collection is the story of how to achieve that greatness for ourselves and for our city.”
Team Members: Icyss, Kahlel, Kailin, Meriam
Collection Theme: “Unique Souls Creating Diverse Communities”
Graphic Designer: Karl Nilsson
About the Collection: “Soulciety represents us as a team. Each of us have our own unique souls and as a team we have created our own unique community. Through our designs we will try and connect all individuals through a common mission. All people are different, inside and outside, but at the end of the day we are all still human. Soulciety encapsulates the diverse and unique souls of this community. We hope our product captures the eye of our diverse society, and shows what we each individually bring to our communities.”
Team Members: Aaliyah, Elijah, Neubian, Phillip, Shanya, & Skye
Collection Theme: “Unlocking Success”
Graphic Designer: Scott Everett
About the Collection: “We firmly think that in order to realize our full potential, we must achieve success via tenacity, harmony, and hustling. Making a change requires commitment, but the success and progress that follow demonstrate your boundless potential. Our perseverance and dedication to achieving our goals demonstrate to ourselves how great we can be once we realize just how much we can actually accomplish. Merit donates 20% of profits to the FATE youth program, which encourages students to work hard and think creatively.”
ABOUT THE GRADE 10 CAPSTONE PROJECT
Developing a Theme, Design Concepts & Creative Brief
To begin creating a product collection, each team needed to pick a theme that would guide the designs in their collection. It was important that not only did each theme have a name, but that the teams were able to describe how the theme connects to the Merit brand and its target customers.
To assist in this process, we partnered with Carhartt where our students spent the day in their design center working directly with their creative team! Students learned about designing for a consumer, took a tour of the Carhartt building, and spent time fleshing out their collection themes.
With a collection theme chosen, each team developed 5 design concept ideas and worked on a “creative brief” that outlined the aesthetic, design elements, colors, and inspirations images that helped guide the design process. For example, team Tenacious 10 identified the theme “Unlocking Success”. When they thought about how this theme could be communicated visually, they identified a variety of descriptor words such as “Endurance”, “Hustle”, “Perseverance” and “Evolution” as well as visual elements to emulate these words such as a cogwheel, plants, and space.
Each team was assigned a graphic designer - Skyler Holt, Kristle Marshall, Karl Nilsson, and Scott Everett - who worked closely with their team to understand their collection theme and brought these visions to life. In addition to creating the 5 design concepts, each team got to decide which product they wanted in their collection, the color of both product and the graphics, and the design placement.
Creating a Trade Show Booth Display
We produce a sample collection for each team which is on display during the annual Student Showcase and available for pre-sale. To create these trade show booth displays, we partner with Creative Solutions Group (CSG) - a full service experiential marketing company. During the excursion workshop with CSG, students get a chance to design their own trade show booth poster.
2023 STUDENT SHOWCASE - GRADE 10
During the 2023 Student Showcase, the Grade 10 teams had their product collections on display for pre-sale as they interacted with a variety of customers! The goal was to not only showcase their creativity and hard work - but to get the most pre-sales. As each team competed against one another, they had to focus on grabbing the customers attention by describing what makes their product unique and the message behind their designs.
It is always so impressive to see our students transform into sales experts! One of our Grade 10 students - Rahmani - was on point all night with her product descriptions, sharing what it truly means to be free and to be yourself in reference to their “Free to Be Bold” collection. She shared with customers that “I was meant to be free from my past traumas and I shouldn't have to carry those around”, this collection really speaks to that.
Who was Crowned the Winner???
IT’S UP TO YOU TO TELL US WHO SHOULD WIN!
All the Grade 10 Product Collections are available for pre-sale until June 25th, 2023. While there are 4 incredible collections, only ONE team will be selected as the winner based on having the most pre-sales from June 7th - June 25th. In addition to a cash prize, the winning team’s collection will be produced in FULL and made available on Merit’s website. What’s so exciting about the Grade 10 Capstone Project is that the winning team has been chosen by YOU, our Merit customers!
Head to meritgoodness.com TODAY to make a purchase and help determine this year’s winner!
Stay tuned for the Grade 10 Winner to be announced!
We want to give a special thanks to our Grade 10 Capstone Project partners which include:
- Graphic Designers - Skyler Holt, Kristle Marshall, Karl Nilsson, and Scott Everett
- Creative Solutions Group & Give Merit Board Member - Kori Valentine
As well as a special thank you to our event sponsors:
- Creative Circle
- Seva Law Firm
- Mercury Sound & Lighting
- Creative Solutions Group
- Jet’s Pizza
- All Pro
And of course our FATE Mentors & the Give Merit Board, our panel of judges, and all of our incredible volunteers for the day!
Photo Credit: Allison Farrand
GRADE 10 WINNER UPDATE:
Who was Crowned the Winner???
Our official WINNER OF THE 2023 STUDENT SHOWCASE COMPETITION is…
Tenacious 10 - “Unlocking Success” !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Tenacious 10 took home the big win with their "Unlocking Success" collection. Their top selling product was their Evolution Purple Hoodie. We are so incredibly proud of all four teams and the hard work they put into these product collections the past few months.
In addition to “Unlocking Success” taking home the win, we will also be producing the TOP 5 selling products outside of the winning collection! Both the winning collection and top 5 products are available for order at meritgoodness.com! Our top 5 selling products include:
"Soulciety: Unique Souls Creative Diverse Communities"
"All In All-Stars: Free to be Bold"
"Money Stackers: Think the Unthinkable"