WASHINGTON – A team of college students honored by the National Retail Federation last year in the NRF Foundation Student Challenge competition will get the chance to sell their winning product — a custom women’s handbag — on the HSN television shopping network this week. The students partnered with Danielle DiFerdinando, founder and creative director of handbag brand Danielle Nicole and one of the competition’s judges, to bring the bag to market.
"We are very excited to have our top team showcasing and selling their product through a major retailer on a program watched by millions of viewers."Ellen Davis
NRF Foundation Executive Director
“We are very excited to have our top team showcasing and selling their product through a major retailer on a program watched by millions of viewers,” NRF Foundation Executive Director Ellen Davis said. “This group of students showed immense passion and creativity during the competition, and that enthusiasm was key to seeing their idea come to life. We look forward to seeing them continue to make great contributions to our industry.”
“My time in college shaped me in more ways than I ever imagined,” team member McKenzie Hibler said. “It all started with a school project, and now it’s turned into this incredible opportunity to represent this finished product we’ve worked so hard to create.”
Hibler, Katelyn Patrick Boutin and Nichole Fallis, all recent graduates of the University of North Texas merchandising and digital retailing programs, were members of the winning team in the 2016 Student Challenge. The annual event is a business case competition for NRF Student Association members to demonstrate their creativity and business acumen to retail executives, and is sponsored by KPMG. The award is presented each January at the NRF Foundation Gala in New York.
The three are scheduled to appear on-air between 7 p.m. and 9 p.m. Friday, August 4, on HSN’s American Dreams segment along with DiFerdinando. The group will show their Danielle Nicole M.A.K.N. Orenda Tote, a modern women’s handbag with specially designed compartments to store, protect and organize digital devices and other essentials.
About the NRF Foundation
The NRF Foundation shapes retail’s future by building awareness of the industry through statistics and stories; developing talent through education, experiences and scholarships; and fostering career growth among people who work in retail. The NRF Foundation is the 501(c)(3) nonprofit arm of the National Retail Federation and is funded in part by generous donations from retail industry supporters. NRF.com/Foundation.