New club allows students to make, sell products

It all begins with an idea. Or in this case, many ideas.

A new AS club, Campus Factory, creates opportunities for students of all disciplines to become involved in real-world production. Whether it’s design, engineering, sustainability or marketing, the group finds ways for students to test their skills outside of the classroom.

“We’re all just excited about creating opportunities on campus that don’t already exist so people can get together and put what they’re learning to practice,” said Sam Weaver, CEO of Campus Factory and an industrial design major.

The club became official for the 2014/15 school year, and effective May 20, 2015, is now a nonprofit organization where all profits from sales get recycled back into the club, said Daniel Taverne, chief financial officer of Campus Factory and a business management major. Now, club members want the group to become well-recognized and self-sustaining.

A shot glass holder was their first product to get the club off the ground because Weaver initially designed it for a class and it was easy to produce. A more complex design of a desktop planter is in a developmental phase, and photos of the model can be seen on the group's website. Their third product will be a candle holder, and it is still in the design phase. Some products will be marketed specifically toward students and some to the general public. All products will be available for purchase on the Campus Factory website.

The club is connecting with members of the Western and Bellingham communities for insight into how a successful business works. Members of the Campus Factory recently toured The Foundry as an option for a makerspace, but one day hope to have their own space on campus.
In order to reach out to the Western student body, members of Campus Factory give out free coffee in Red Square on Mondays so students can come talk to them about their club or just grab some caffeine before class.

Students who want to join Campus Factory must submit a resume and a short personal statement then go through an interview process. The club won’t reject anyone, but members feel that the process weeds out people who aren’t as serious.

“We feel that everybody has something they can offer,” Weaver said. “With their respective departments and major they kind of bring a new perspective, and that’s what we want.”

Once students join they get a job title that corresponds to their talents so they can make their own decisions, said Cade Ray, chief of human resources and an environmental science major. Although everyone has different titles, everyone is equal and works together toward a common goal, Taverne said.

Campus Factory meets Thursdays at 7 p.m. in Academic West room 412, and more information can be found at