Jessica Wise brings entrepreneurial spirit and love for marketing to UNIBusiness
Jessica Wise (Marketing ’20) had thought about starting a business throughout her time at college. Her idea: to mix people’s love for eye-popping t-shirts with their love for making a difference. It was just a matter of figuring out the logistics.
So when Wise returned from Ireland this summer after a spring 2018 study abroad trip, she decided to buckle down.
This past August, Wise launched White & Yellow, a t-shirt company that sells four lines of shirts online at whiteandyellowtshirtco.com. Each line is dedicated to its own charity, and 10 percent of profits go toward the cause.
Wise said UNI’s John Pappajohn Entrepreneurial Center, which provides education and tools to local small business owners, has been a huge help.
“At White & Yellow, you can pick which charity you want to donate to based on what shirt you buy,” Wise said. “It’s been exciting, and I’m really loving it. It’s been fun being an entrepreneur. The John Pappajohn Entrepreneur has been an awesome resource for me.”
Wise’s company with a social focus stems from her love of marketing and knowledge of selling products. Originally from Avoca, a small town in southwest Iowa, Wise knew she wanted to study marketing, but it wasn't exactly a passion. She gained a deeper understanding and enjoyment for it during her first semester at UNIBusiness.
Now as a junior, Wise has a lot of marketing experience under her belt. She joined the UNI branch of the American Marketing Association during her freshman year, serving as the organization’s secretary. This year, Wise is the vice president of membership. She is also a social media marketing intern for Trapp Realtors in Cedar Falls.
But throughout her studies, Wise wanted a different experience. In high school, Wise dreamed of studying abroad. It was one of the reasons she went to UNI, which has a strong study abroad program.
“My first instinct when coming to UNI was to go to the study abroad center as fast as I could,” Wise said. “That didn’t exactly work out.”
Wise had a bout of homesickness during her first year at college and decided to wait. The wait allowed her to settle in and used to things at UNI.
During Wise’s sophomore year, she decided she was ready. In spring 2018, Wise went to Cork, Ireland, studying a variety of subjects. It was an experience that is hard to put into words.
“I don’t know if I could ever put into words how much I learned,” Wise said. “It was absolutely amazing, and I don’t regret it for a second. It was incredible.”
Wise’s goals going forward are to grow her t-shirt company. She also wants to improve her marketing skills with an internship in a larger corporate atmosphere.
“My company is the main priority,” Wise said. “For the most part, I’m just trying to grow what I already have going.”