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University of Victoria student turns class project idea into full-blown fashion business

Website aims to help art and design students find platform to share, sell their fashion pieces
21streetclub was dreamed up by a UVic student who dreams of helping art and design students earn money from their pieces while attending school. (Photo courtesy of Nelson Walusimbi)

A University of Victoria triathlete and business student conceived an idea for a class project in 2021 that is now an emerging fashion business.

21streetclub was dreamed up by 25-year-old African-Canadian Nelson Walusimbi during one of his marketing classes in the fall semester. He discovered a need for art, design and fashion students to find meaningful platforms to sell their pieces and earn money while in school.

The market for part-time work in the world of art and design is hard to come by, despite the amount of young talent in Victoria and within his university community, Walusimbi said. When he realized he could combine his expertise in strategy and marketing with others’ artistic ability, 21streetclub was born.

All pieces are up on the website for just 21 days and each artist earns 50 per cent of the profits from items sold.

Alongside collaborations with stylish art students, 21streetclub has a ‘special finds’ section where the team finds and curates trendy outfits for anyone in need of fashion assistance.

As an entrepreneur, Walusimbi is grateful to be able to use his strong work ethic and mental ability without worrying that the colour of his skin would present a barrier.

“I recognize that the world isn’t perfect yet and there are a lot more conversations that need to be had, but I also recognize there has been change and we are moving in the right direction,” he said.

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