Students Shine in Retail Competition

 Cayley Creekmore, Shannon Foote, Anna Tiller and Woodley White

A team of Parker College of Business students won this year’s National Retail Federation (NRF) Foundation Student Challenge competition. For their case study, Cayley Creekmore, Shannon Foote, Anna Tiller and Woodley White created a jewelry line that empowers women in Uganda by providing them with the skills to earn a living wage to support their families.

The students based their concept jewelry company, Akola, in Dallas, Texas. They developed a complete business plan including a $10,000 budget plan to take the goods to market. They also had to determine the logistics of producing the jewelry in Uganda and shipping it to the U.S. Additionally, the team had to select a retailer to carry the line and create a 30-page pitch deck along with a 90-second pitch video to present to buyers of Free People, the team’s selected retailer.

The group worked with a mentor from KPMG, the challenge’s sponsor, during their eight-month project. The students were recognized at the NRF Foundation’s annual gala in New York in January. Their win came with a $5,000 scholarship for each student. NRF is the world’s largest retail trade association. It represents discount and department stores, home goods and specialty stores, Main Street merchants, grocers, wholesalers, chain restaurants and internet retailers from the United States and more than 45 countries.