By Julianne Bartosz
The Cardinal Corner offers entrepreneurship students at Saint Mary’s University real-life experience with small business operation.
The Cardinal Corner is a non-profit retail store located next to the bookstore in the lower level of the Toner Student Center. It sells products for SMU clubs, organizations, teams and departments with proceeds returning to the respective groups.
The store is offering four new products this semester, including neon sunglasses, locally-made mittens, Cardinal Pride pocketed shorts, and T-shirts featuring SMU English professor Brother Stephen. This semester, the proceeds from these four items will be donated to the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
SMU business professor Dr. Tom Marpe and the School of Business created the Cardinal Corner to give entrepreneurship students hands-on experience working in a small business. Operation of the store is the main responsibility for students in the MG315 Entrepreneurship class.
Jana Craft, an assistant professor of business at SMU, oversees the Cardinal Corner.
“The students do everything,” Craft said. “They staff the store, order products, do accounting, and take inventory. I am just there for guidance and to set boundaries.”
Craft said that she is now more focused on her role as an advisor for the Cardinal Corner than her role as a teacher for the project, giving the entrepreneurship students more responsibility.
“I look forward to their seeing the results,” Craft said. “In the end, they will be able to see how much was done, [as well as things that could have been changed].”
Junior entrepreneurship student Erin Stenseth teamed up with classmates to create and order the shirts that feature Brother Stephen. They were designed by junior graphic design major Caroline Stringer, who came up with the colorful image of Brother Stephen for the front of the shirt. The back features a quote from Brother Stephen: “The only text sent in this class would be to God telling Him you will be with Him soon.”
In addition to experience with business operations, Stenseth said she has learned to “plan for unexpected obstacles and to work through them.” She said that her goal for her group’s product in the Cardinal Corner is to “sell out of our product, because that would mean it was liked and that we created a profit for a good cause.”
With people already asking for the shirts, Stenseth said she looks forward to receiving them.
The store hours are Monday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The Cardinal Corner can be contacted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or Facebook at www.facebook.com/cardinalcorner.