Our Brand Story


Our Passion

At the core of Innovate 1858 is our passion to showcase the innovativeness of ISU’s students and contribute to the lifestyle of the ISU community. This passion is expressed through the products designed and curated by ISU students and alumni. It is also demonstrated through the innovative student-operated store and events. Our aspiration is to supply our customers with products and experiences that contribute to their ISU-inspired lifestyle, centered on an affinity to ISU and an engaged community. We want our customers to come to Innovate 1858 for the unique collection of products and to contribute to ISU’s student-centered experience.


The Mission

As one of the two Apparel, Events, and Hospitality Management Department operations in the Student Innovation Center, Innovate 1858 is a real-world, hands-on learning lab store, developed and operated by ISU’s Apparel, Merchandising, and Design students and faculty. Innovate 1858 events, organized and operated by ISU’s Event Management students, bring the store’s passion to life. The store’s name, Innovate 1858, captures the undeniable drive and spirit of ISU and denotes the year that ISU, the longstanding engine of innovation, was established. 

Our Process

At the heart of Iowa State University is innovation. Here at Innovate 1858, we have the same heart. We partner with student entrepreneurs and makers to develop their entrepreneurial skills and provide them with real world learning opportunities through the selling of their products at Innovate 1858.


We select our student makers from "product pitch sessions" hosted throughout the school year. During these sessions, the student pitches their products and why Innovate 1858 should carry them.

Beyond carrying student maker products, Innovate 1858 is run by Iowa State students giving them hands-on retail experience. Innovate 1858 is a place for students to think outside the box, try new things, and learn how to fail before going out into industry.

When you purchase from Innovate 1858 you are providing real world industry experience for students, and supporting a brighter more innovative future.