Enactus sells local art at Beyond the Campus

SAU’s Enactus organization has partnered with Magnolia Specialized Services (MSS) to help sell handcrafted ceramic magnolia blossoms in SAU’s store on the downtown square.

Members of Enactus, an international, community service-based organization with a chapter in the David F. Rankin College of Business, market the blossoms created by art students at MSS. The crafts have a special display section at Beyond the Campus in downtown Magnolia. Students place orders periodically with MSS and visit the classroom to select inventory for the store. A marketing team creates flyers and online advertising to promote the ceramics. Clients receive a portion of the sales.

Lindsay Givens, instructor of management, sponsors Enactus at SAU. She said its members use entrepreneurial skills they learn in the classroom to improve lives in the community. Kaitlin Kitchens, a freshman business major from Dierks, Arkansas, is president of the SAU chapter of Enactus and a project leader for the partnership with MSS. “Our members have a head for business and a heart for the world,” Kitchens said.

The art program at MSS began six years ago with a United Way grant to purchase a kiln and other ceramics equipment. “Art seems to be one of the ways in which our clients can feel a sense of accomplishment. They take a lot of pride in their finished projects, and enjoy showcasing them,” Lisa VanDonsel, head of the art class at MSS.

Each artwork has an “about the artist” tag attached to it, providing biographical information about the individual artist. “That has gotten very positive feedback,” VanDonsel said.

Kitchens agreed the tags are “a great way for the customer to connect with the artist, to learn about their hobbies and who they are as a person.”

“The partnership gives them real life experience. Beyond the Campus is bringing a whole new set of eyes to our artwork. The students are learning about craftsmanship, deadlines, and the cause and effect between making a product and getting paid for it.” VanDonsel said.

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