A remote semester at Rhodes has offered new challenges, but also opportunities for students to get creative. Seniors Harrison Rozman, Katie Gordon, and Ellie Schreiner have used this time to pursue entrepreneurial ventures.
Rozman, a business management major from Austin, TX, decided to develop a home-delivery meal kit startup that he named Midtown Meals. He preps and portions ingredients for meals—many inspired by Memphis recipes—in a way that allows customers to easily prepare them once delivered.
“Members of the Rhodes community have supported me in a big way,” says Rozman. “I’ve been getting a good number of orders every week.” In addition, he’s enlisted his roommates and friends to help with testing his meal ideas and with promoting Midtown Meals on social media.
Rozman had an internship during his junior year at FIX, a Memphis-based business where he learned the ins and outs of a meal kit delivery service, as well as financial accounting such as using pro-formas, profit-loss statements, and balance sheets.
“Rhodes has so many wonderful opportunities for expanding your knowledge beyond the college. In every job I’ve worked throughout the past few years, I’ve noticed that I’m implementing things I’ve learned in class where we’re putting on the hat of a manager or an analyst. Now I’m doing that in my own business,” says Rozman. “Rhodes has taught me all the theoretical ideas, and Midtown Meals allows me to put them into practice. Midtown Meals has been a huge learning experience that has allowed me to better understand just how much time and effort it takes to invest yourself into a business.”
Schreiner and Gordon also have relied on knowledge they developed within the Rhodes Department of Business in running Y&Y Designs LLC, their jewelry-making business. Schreiner has been making and selling jewelry for years, and Gordon and Schreiner launched the new company in May 2020.
Gordon, an educational studies major from Kapolei, HI, primarily handles PR and social media marketing, though she does help with the creative process. Schreiner, a business major from Olive Branch, MS, designs most of their products.
Both Schreiner and Gordon have been able to take a variety of business and marketing classes that have informed the way they run Y&Y Designs LLC. “There isn’t a third-party vendor to do promotion for us, so we had to figure that out ourselves, with our own website” says Gordon.
The pair’s business model also ensures that they are giving back to the community through their company. This summer, in the wake of George Floyd’s death, Y&Y Designs LLC rolled out a promise necklace, with proceeds going to Memphis bailout funds and the Black Lives Matter organization.
By Madeleine Wright ’21