By Samantha Borawski
Last semester the Cardinal Corner broke record sales when it broke even and made over $2,300, which was donated to the First- Generation Initiative at Saint Mary’s. The Cardinal Corner is an on campus store that is student run and located in the basement of the Toner Center next to the Barnes and Noble Campus Bookstore. Every semester there are new products designed and sold by the Department of Business’s entrepreneurship class, in order for students to gain hands on experience into what it is like to own and operate a small business. Currently Professor Michael Ratajczyk is in his second semester of teaching the class.
Some of the products that were available last semester included the red, white, and black winter hats that everyone was wearing by the end of the semester, the Pass, Shoot, Cure pink breast cancer awareness shirts, Saint Mary’s tote bags and mini footballs, and red Saint Mary’s College t-shirts.
Sam Kleese, a junior entrepreneurship major that was a part of the Saint Mary’s College t-shirt group said overall positive things about her experience. “I learned that you really need to communicate with your
group members and advertise not only your product but all the other groups’ products and those from previous semesters.”
Junior Luke Kubic, who was a member of the Breast Cancer Awareness T-shirts said, “The best part of the experience was working in an actual business and getting used to handling real money. Overall, we sold 80 percent of the shirts we had, which translated to over $1,000 in sales. Our group is proud and feels we were pretty successful.” The group with the most products sold was the winter hat group, which had a turnover rate of 10.4.
Group member and senior, Jen Tobroxen, said in response to determining hats for their product, “Our team took a tour of Excel Imaging and saw the hat in the product sample room. We talked about it, looked at some prices, and asked a few people if they would be interested in it at the price we wanted to sell it for. Finally, we decided to go for it.”
This semester current students in the entrepreneurship class are excited to have the opportunity to be just as successful. The class is in the early stages of developing product ideas and learning the ins and outs of how to run the Cardinal Corner successfully.
“I am mostly excited to learn how to manage a small business because I would like to open my own one day. I think being able to work in the Cardinal Corner will give me the necessary experience I need for the future,” says junior, graphic design major Audrey Ferris who is a student in the current class.
Another current student, Courtney Euerle said she too is excited to see the inner workings of a small business. “I am excited for the opportunity to see the details of what it takes to make a small business survive over the long run,” Euerle states.
The Cardinal Corner opens this semester on February 10. Times of operation are yet to be determined.