It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like UCF Knight Market!

The first-ever UCF Alumni-owned small business fair and market kicks off Saturday, Nov. 18, 10 a.m.- 1 p.m. at the UCF FAIRWINDS Alumni Center. 

Presented by the UCF Young Alumni Community, the event will feature 24 area businesses offering attendees not only a chance to support their small business, but also to see some cool, bespoke and even Knight-themed products, just in time for the holidays.

Through her business LiftMoHaley McLaughlin ’18 hopes to “make the world a more bootyful place.” McLaughlin says that she was inspired to found her company because of “the frustration of endless hip bruising that led her to come up with a solution to eliminate pain and discomfort during hip thrusts.”

Kelly Shea ’23, inventor of DripLock, says the best thing about being a young entrepreneur is the opportunity to network with other business owners and learn from their experiences.

“Growing up, I watched Shark Tank with my parents and always wanted to invent a product of my own,” Shea says.  “Since I got my first phone in seventh grade, I started a list of invention, ideas for problems that I faced in the world. It wasn’t until I got to UCF until I learned about the resources, offered to where I was actually able to start DripLock, my first product!”

Autumn Turner ’21, owner of Serenity Events, has been preparing for her business since middle school, when she planned an eight-grade semi-formal dance on a limited budget and with very little help.

“My time at UCF played a huge role in making me the leader I am today,” Turner says.”I learned so much information about the event industry in my courses, and I developed so many soft skills that are required to be successful in this industry. Nonetheless, coming from a very small high school, UCF gave me the opportunity to work with a variety of students in group projects, student organizations, and internships. With that experience, I’ve learned how to navigate situations with different personalities and backgrounds and appreciate everything people have to offer.”

Our AlumKnight inventors and entrepreneurs share a desire to solve a problem, to share a unique product or opportunity, or, sometimes, just to share their own love of what they do.

For Beatriz Carmona Toro ’11, owner of Epic Comics, she was inspired to become a business owner because of her own love of comics and “nerdy stuff.”

“We want to create a family-friendly place where fans of all genres feel welcome to spend some time and find some cool stuff,” she says.

At Wiggins’ Words, owner Brent Wiggins ’18 says he was inspired to start his business by “street poets and writers who took poetry requests from pedestrians.”

Wiggins enjoys the freedom to create and collaborate with a variety of people. “I learned as a Knight that excellence has no finish line. Good work is never truly done, it’s passed on in perpetuity.”

Carlos Ricoveri ’21 feeds his need for excellent snacking options through his business, Global Nomz.

“As an immigrant and snack enthusiast, I get the feeling of missing home,” Ricoveri says. “Snacks are the perfect gateway to teleport you to a place you miss regardless of the distance. Personally, I love trying new snacks, so this business is a way of encouraging others to try new things that tend to be hard to find locally.”

Gerrard Grant ’02 and his wife offer a “healthier alternative to skincare and room scents” through their company Wenvia. “Products are handcrafted from natural and simple plant-based ingredients so you know exactly what goes into every product, and more importantly, onto your skin and in the environment,” Grant says.

The Knight Market will also feature the UCF Alumni Book Nook, which will feature some of our Knight Authors. Come meet, mingle and find out how they became a published author!

Full listing of Knight Market vendors:

UCF Alumni Authors:

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