UA student-run online business hits record annual sales

by Paul Gatling ([email protected]) 1,642 views 

A student-run online business at the University of Arkansas has produced a record-breaking sales year.

ForeverRed grossed $108,000 in sales for the fiscal year 2021 that ended June 30. That’s up from $77,500 (39%) the previous fiscal year.

ForeverRed’s core business sells various products tailored to UA graduates and alumni, such as framed diplomas, rubbings and senior walk replicas and seasonal care package boxes.

ForeverRed is an enterprise that’s part of the SAKE (Students Acquiring Knowledge through Enterprise) program at the Sam M. Walton College of Business. Carol Reeves, a professor in the management department, founded SAKE in 1996 with the financial support of two Arkansas business legends, Frank Fletcher and Jerry Jones.

Undergraduate students majoring in management participate in ForeverRed by taking classes that offer practical instruction from faculty members and hands-on experiences of running a small business, developing new products and working in a startup organization.

SAKE launched the ForeverRed brand in 2011. It is a nonprofit, but it operates on the same principles as a for-profit company. The business begins with entirely different staff each academic year and consists of marketing, customer service, operations, accounting, sales and commercialization teams.

“All of the money that we make goes back into the business so that we can continue to offer a hands-on business experience for students,” said Sam Swiastyn, a Walton College student and ForeverRed participant.