Representatives from Amazon and small business owners from across the state were on Illinois State’s campus August 9 to shoot footage for a video promoting entrepreneurs and how they can join Amazon’s network of sellers. Film crews set up at the State Farm Hall of Business to record interviews of both small business owners and the Amazon team.
Family and Consumer Sciences alumna Kristin Rae ’07 helped bring Amazon to campus. Rae runs her business, Inspire International, from her home in Normal and sells her products through the Amazon Marketplace. Rae’s first brand, Inspire Travel Luggage, specializes in cosmetic and toiletry luggage cases and travel bags. The promotional video will in part highlight her story and how she has grown her small business.
Amazon coming to Illinois State University to film was a natural extension of both organizations’ priorities, Rae said.
“If you look at what is happening at this school, there are a lot of professors and Illinois State University staff that are wanting to bring in people like myself and organizations and businesses like Amazon who are really on the cutting edge of what is kind of happening,” she said.
Rae’s biggest piece of advice to students and young entrepreneurs is to try to be one step ahead when it comes to adopting new technologies.
“There are a lot of new things that come out. Snapchat didn’t exist a couple of years ago and now it is IPO’d,” she said. “Main Street is now kind of digital and so it is good to be part of a community, but then also a global network of buyers.”
A representative from Amazon said that the video is expected to be released by the end of the year and will be made available to the public.