Columbia startup weekend motivates a young entrepreneur

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COLUMBIA - Maghan Morin is only 24 years old, but she's already got more business experience than some people twice her age.

The MU graduate recently launched her second business, 'Shoeicide", just last week.

Morin credits her business savvy to attending Columbia's fourth annual Startup Weekend last fall, which featured teams of aspiring entrepreneurs who work together to build a startup business to pitch to a panel of judges and community members.

Morin said Shoeicide is an online store where women of all ages can access and purchase shoes of types at an affordable price. 

She said she created the store because of the lack of economical shoe stores in Columbia and her desire to help the community in which she lives in. 

"So I thought, 'well why not start purchasing shoes and selling them?' Because I could definitely fill that need of college students wanting to get affordable shoes and they'll be able to access it," Morin said. 

She said the online store is not just targeted to college students but is designed to suit any lifestyle. 

"Whatever their needs are, wherever they work, if they wear heels to work, if they want a three inch heel, I'll bring those styles in for them because I want to meet that need of the consumer," Morin said. 

Startup Weekend lead organizer, Heidi Fuhrman said attending events like these help participants build relationships and learn resources in their community. 

Fuhrman said it's common for Startup Weekend participants to venture out from their initial business initiative and do their own thing.

"So you will see often times that people will pivot, have different types of ideas. Most new businesses fail so you want to have people around you that can give you great feedback and critiques and hopefully come up with a better product and business as a result of that," Fuhrman said. 

Morin said her new business will be beneficial to the Columbia community because it will give women of all ages access to affordable shoes and open up job opportunities for college students. 

"Columbia really needs this. It's something that will help the community with jobs, with college students coming in and out they'll be able to have jobs if it eventually becomes a store," Morin said. 

Morin said her shoes will be featured in downtown stores within the next month and she plans on opening her own shoe store in Columbia in the future.