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State of StEP: Student Business Owners Celebrate Milestones and Goals for the Coming Year

Gabe Breternitz
March 18, 2024

Last month, members of the Student Enterprise Program (StEP) presented annual reviews to the StEP board, highlighting accomplishments from the past year and their goals moving forward. The StEP program provides a unique opportunity for students to own a business on campus that serves the Washington University community. Student owners supplement the valuable business and entrepreneurial skills they learn in the classroom while gaining real-world experience as they manage and lead their own businesses. Read more about what each business is up to below!

Bears Bikes: In partnership with the Office of Sustainability, Bears Bikes successfully advocated for the inclusion of e-bikes on campus, leading to the addition of e-bike chargers on the South 40. Bears Bikes will be launching a pilot e-bike rental program in the Fall.

Bear-y Sweet Shoppe: The go-to candy store on campus has renovated its storefront with a new look and is expanding its partnerships with WashU departments to provide bespoke treats and care packages for events, celebrations, and party favors.

Skandalaris Staff at Campus Creamery.

Campus Creamery: After opening in March 2023, Campus Creamery has established itself as a go-to campus late-night hangout. In addition to expanding its blended offerings with rotating mix-in toppings and multiple ice cream bases, the store has sponsored WashU-made art by running art contests and providing free stickers in-store designed by students.

Gallery 314: The popular gift shop and gallery expanded its Valentine’s Day flower sale by partnering with two other StEP businesses – Bear-y Sweet Shoppe and Panda Provisions – to provide candies and sweet treats. This year, Gallery 314 will launch its “Made by WashU” online marketplace featuring handmade items by WashU students.

Panda Provisions: Panda Provisions overcame supplier turnover and shipping delays to open in January 2024 and is quickly establishing itself as a popular on-campus snack and drink supplier providing a variety of Asian snacks from sriracha peas and konjac jelly to crawfish chips and Mizone flavored beverages. Panda plans to add snack subscriptions in the coming year.

StEP owners hosted a Valentine’s Day pop-up shop in the DUC.

Prolific Kickz: StEP’s newest business, Prolific Kickz, will host its Grand Opening this Friday, March 22nd at 5:00 pm in the Gregg House storefronts on the South 40. The store will offer specialty “hype” shoes and sneakers to the WashU Community.

SWAP: StEP’s resident nonprofit, Sharing With A Purpose, expanded its team and found success sharing its mission with spotlights in local news coverage and partnerships with local sustainability influencers like Alyssa Barber. SWAP operates a free thrift store to promote the reuse of clothing and dorm essentials and diverted 1,600 items from landfills in the past year.

WashU Wash: StEP’s oldest business continued providing laundry and dry-cleaning services to WashU students, faculty and staff. The all-new ownership group renewed a key partnership with the Olin Business School to provide dry cleaning services for faculty and MBAs.

WaterDroppd: WaterDroppd added a fourth owner to the team and expanded their business into events, offering water stations during first-year move-in days and Dr. G’s funhouse events.