Entrepreneurship Alumni Spotlight: Memphis Made Manager

Alumnus Reggie Anthony finds fulfillment at his family’s business.

Reggie Anthony smiles for a picture in A&R Bar-B-Que on November 25, 2022. Anthony found a work home as a manager of the store on Hickory Hill Road.

Harding alumnus Reggie Anthony (2018) grew up in the grind of a family barbecue business in Memphis, Tennessee. Anthony’s grandfather, Andrew Pollard, and his family started A&R Bar-B-Que in 1983 in a tiny building on Elvis Presley Blvd.

“It was a real small business to start out with, but there was a big write up about us in the Commercial Appeal, which is the biggest newspaper that we have here in Memphis, and it went out, and people started coming from everywhere. We outgrew that little place we were in and bought a larger building around the corner in ‘92,” Pollard said.

Since then, the business has grown in popularity, establishing itself as a well to-do barbecue joint in the Memphis area. Even with the status and success of the store, Anthony never thought he’d come back to work in his family’s business.

The recently opened dining room boasts open seating on November 25, 2022. The new space was a proud business decision for the store, and it can be rented out for large gatherings.

“The crazy thing about it is, I didn’t want to do this,” Anthony said.

“I went to Dallas for a while and got a corporate job, which was a great experience. Then I was about to come back here to accept a different job, and my aunt Lashun basically told me that if I came back to help her manage this store, it would be mine one day.”

Coming back was a humbling experience for Anthony. Everything he was looking for in the corporate world was waiting for him back home.

“It opened my eyes, because I was thinking “I need to go chase this and chase that,” instead of realizing we already have something successful in the family,” he said.

When Director of the Waldron Center Jon Wood mentored Anthony while he was at Harding, he already predicted his homecoming.

“When he was here, Reggie and I spoke often about his career opportunities, and I kept encouraging him to consider going home to work in the family business because I knew what a great business Mr. Pollard had created,” Wood said.

Anthony remembers calling Wood before moving from his corporate job in Dallas to his new role as manager at A&R.

“He asked me what I was doing and I told him “man, I’m back at home, working in the business.” He was like “I told you what you were meant for,” Anthony said.

At Harding, Anthony developed transferable leadership skills as the captain of the basketball team and an Entrepreneurship and Management student in the college of business. When he returned home, Anthony brought his experience into his new job as manager.

“When I came into this store, I told them that I was going to be the hardest worker, I was going to lead from the front, and also I wanted to speak from a place of power built off genuine relationships rather than just authority,” Anthony said.

The employees at A&R Bar-B-Que carry on the Anthony family legacy by cultivating those relationships daily. Everyone is considered family, even if they’re not blood, and Anthony enjoys working in an uplifting and close-knit environment.

Manger Andrea Janes takes an order at the front of A&R Bar-B-Que on Hickory Hill Road in Memphis, TN on November 25, 2022. Her personal goal was to make sure every customer is satisfied before they left the store.

“We’ve got a great crew. A lot of them have been here since the beginning. We’ve struggled. Low is low, and there have been times where the crew has helped each other in ways that you can’t even imagine,” Anthony said.

Managers and cooks alike are constantly learning from each other. A&R Bar-B-Que prep cook Quinton Hamilton reflected on how the store has pushed him to grow as a leader.

“They want me to take the lead more, and that’s actually the biggest challenge for me is just actually taking the lead and having people follow,” Hamilton said.

Like Hamilton, manager Andrea Janes has personally benefited from the culture and community at A&R. She recently graduated with a BSA in accounting, and combines her number-crunching skills with interpersonal communication skills to serve customers.

“A lot of it is dealing with money, but a big part of my job is making sure customers are satisfied. I tell every customer that I want to make sure they’re satisfied before they walk out of the door,” Janes said.

Janes emphasized the importance of money in the barbecue business, but she and Anthony also acknowledged that sometimes a sale doesn’t have to be made for the store to care for its community.

“Especially with the homeless, with how their rates have been growing, they basically know that they can come in here and get food if they need it. That’s 80 percent of it, just taking care of people, cause they take care of us,” Anthony said.

Thanks to veterans and fresh faces alike, the future of A&R Bar-B-Que looks bright. The Waldron Center is very proud of Reggie Anthony, and Harding students and faculty alike could learn a thing or two from the employees of A&R Bar-B-Que.

The next time you’re in Memphis, be sure to give the employees of A&R Bar-B-Que a shout. To learn more about the business, follow their blog at aandrBar-B-Que.com

That’s One Spicy Bible Scholar!

Associate professor of Bible Mac Sandlin partners with the Waldron Center to connect students with his hot sauce business.

Director of the Waldron Center Jon Wood and associate professor of Bible Mac Sandlin talk to students in the Waldron Center, located in the Mabee Business Building, during the hot sauce sale event on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. While their careers have led them down different paths, the two professors share the commonality of their entrepreneurial spirit.

Associate professor of Bible Dr. Mac Sandlin is known for many things, including his southern drawl, flowing locks, and passion for teaching in the College of Bible and Ministry. But people may not know about his entrepreneurial side, which manifests itself in his homemade, locally sourced hot sauce. Sandlin began his hot sauce journey when he gifted a batch to his brother-in-law, who loves spicy food.

“I like to cook, and I like to be creative in my cooking, so I thought “I’m going to make some hot sauce for my brother in law,’” he said.
Sandlin’s first attempt at the sauce was, in his own eyes, a failure, but it only set his sights for greatness.

“It wasn’t bad, but it wasn’t good; that made me angry, because I had failed to make good hot sauce,” Dr. Sandlin said.

Determined to make a better product, Dr. Sandlin began to research the craft.

Associate professor of Bible Mac Sandlin holds two flavors of his hot sauce on the second floor of the McInteer building on Tuesday, Oct. 26, 2022.

“I started reading about it and trying a whole lot of different hot sauces and reading about peppers and capsaicin levels, and I really got into it,” he said.

Eventually, he settled with a chipotle sauce, which favors a smokey taste. His base sauce is called “2 Dollar Pistol,” and it utilizes several unique ingredients in addition to peppers, such as orange juice, garlic and vinegar.

“When you go buy hot sauce at the store, it’s going to be made of chili powder, water, vinegar and salt, but I wanted mine to be more complex,” Dr. Sandlin said.

But what is a hot sauce without peppers? Sandlin sources his most important ingredient from his dad, Mr. Don Sandlin, who grows them in his home garden in Beebe, Arkansas.

“We usually plant jalapenos, habaneros, ghost peppers and cayenne, and Mac makes different flavors of sauce out of the different peppers,” Mr. Sandlin said.

The Sandlin sauce lineup includes Baby Dragon, 2 Dollar Pistol and Arkansas in August, each one increasing in spice level.

“Baby Dragon is made from cayenne, 2 Dollar Pistol is made from jalapeno, and the hotter ones like Arkansas in August are made from habanero and ghost peppers,” Mr. Sandlin said.

Associate professor of Bible Mac Sandlin displays a bottle of Arkansas in August on the second floor of the McInteer building on Wednesday, Oct. 26, 2022.

Once the recipes and supply of ingredients were established, Sandlin began the process of selling the sauce. He was initially thwarted by Arkansas’s Cottage Food Act, which required a license for selling hot sauce. For the time being, Sandlin decided to give his concoction away to close friends and family, chalking it up to a low-key side gig. He soon gained a cult following.

“So it’s right before Thanksgiving break, and I put a Facebook post out and was like “Hey, if you’re looking for a stocking stuffer, I’ll sell you a bottle of hot sauce for $10.” And then my phone started blowing up.” Sandlin said.

Sandlin sold 80 orders that day, giving his hobby potential to become a venture.

“I was like shoot, this is a business now,” he said.

Associate professor of Bible Mac Sandlin talks to sophomore Lydia Radke in the Waldron Center, located in the Mabee Business Building, during the hot sauce sale event on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. Sandlin partnered with Waldron Center to increase his student customer base.

He continued to market his blooming business under the radar on Facebook, polling his followers for branding ideas.

“I didn’t have a name for my base sauce, so I went on Facebook and said “whoever comes up with the best name for my business gets a free bottle,” and my friend from high school referenced the old George Jones song lyric “she was hotter than a two dollar pistol.”’

The lyric references how a cheap pistol gets hot in your hand.
“I was like, that’s it, that’s the name,” Dr. Sandlin said.

In addition to his social media following, Dr. Sandlin got his students involved with the sauce. He hired one of his students, Cade Williams, to design the logo.

Eventually the Cottage Act law changed, adding hot sauce to the list of non-licensed foods. Soon after, Sandlin obtained access to a commercial kitchen and began to wholesale his sauces at the Good Measure Market.

On November 11, 2022, Sandlin partnered with the Waldron Center to broaden his reach to the younger population. He cooked a large batch of 2 Dollar Pistol flavored chili to be served to students, and sold his sauce for a student discount.

Students left impressed with the unique flavor of the sauce, which excellently complimented the chili.

“Mac delivered with his chili and 2 Dollar Pistol hot sauce combo. It was some of the best chili I have ever eaten in my life,” senior Steve Butterfield said.

Some students liked the product enough to buy multiple bottles. Freshman Priscilla Grace, whose family uses 2 Dollar Pistol at home, came home with ten bottles of Sandlin’s sauce.

Freshman Pricilla Grace Huff shows off her hot sauce haul at the Waldron Center on Friday, Nov. 11, 2022. Huff’s brothers first had Sandlin’s sauce in his class, which they in turn shared with the rest of their family.

“I like the medium one the best, but they all taste better than the other hot sauces I’ve had before,” said Huff.

Sandlin’s product is another perfect example of how entrepreneurs from the Bible department have connected with the community in the business department. Senior Courtney Eby, owner and creator of the bakery start-up The Brek Boss, has seen the fruits of interdepartmental collaboration.

“It has been so enriching to see a community blossom between The Brek Boss and the business department. It seems as though every person in the department is rooting for us as we embark on these endeavors,” Eby said.

The Waldron Center learned a lot from this saucy collaboration. As it turns out, Bible scholars make great entrepreneurs, and Sandlin’s sauce really is hotter than a two dollar pistol.

Principles and Power: Nick Kennedy and RISE

On Friday, October 28, entrepreneur, author and Harding alumnus Nick Kennedy will visit Harding University to speak with young entrepreneurs on campus. As the creator and CEO of multimillion dollar aeronautical company, RISE, Kennedy has been around the block of entrepreneurial leadership, and he is excited to share his business experience
and spiritual journey with students.

“Every good idea comes from solving a problem” Kennedy said from his home office in Dallas, Texas. “Entrepreneurs are just people who get frustrated with something that’s wrong and refuse to stop until they go fix it.”

Today, the entrepreneur met with a group of IMC students to talk entrepreneurship and

Kennedy listens to a student in the Reeves room on October 27, 2022. The Dallas native flew to Searcy for Homecoming weekend to encourage business and communication students.

For Kennedy, the problem was the time consuming nature of flying commercial airlines, and the solution was a more accessible private airline network. He called this solution RISE, and the subscription-based airline service became one of the most disruptive airline ventures in the past twenty years.

A RISE Super King Air 250 can take her Dallas-based passengers to a meeting in San Antonio, and have them back in time for dinner that same day. For business people who have multiple out-of-town meetings a week, Kennedy’s company changes their world.

Before Kennedy was changing the airline industry’s world, however, his world was being shaped in his home in San Diego, as well as right here at Harding University.

Kennedy’s history is one for the movie screen. Kennedy’s father was convicted and imprisoned for a white-collar crime, and in his book, “The Good Entrepreneur,” Kennedy admits that he wrestles with that part of his past.

“The reality of having an abject father is a symbol of failure, while the reality of being able to fly in a private plane is a symbol of power,” the author said. “The question we really need to ask ourselves is are we living in a way that is glorifying God, and what symbols point to that reality?”

But even powerful symbols aren’t everything.

“I’ve known people who are in private planes who are in prison of their own making, and I know people who are in prison who are completely free,” Kennedy said.

The bestselling author and leadership coach will talk about more than just symbols of power when he visits campus. His experience as a baseball player for Harding University has given him insight into how powerful the Hand of God is, and he is excited to share that part of his journey.

“Two weeks before Harding started, I was offered a scholarship to be a catcher for the baseball team,” Kennedy recalled. “I was planning on playing at a junior college, but something had happened with the catcher at Harding, so two weeks later I packed a duffle bag and landed in Little Rock. All that to say, things can change for the better very, very quickly.”

Kennedy emphasizes the importance of using our gifts to better the world, and this takes a certain mindset on money and wealth.

“Don’t get me wrong, money is oxygen for business, but there’s so much more after the money,” Kennedy said. “As Christians we are called to take our gifts and talents and use them to the best of our ability. Don’t go bury them in the field. Take them and grow those.”

Come to hear Mr. Kennedy speak at 10 a.m. this Friday in Mabee 110, as well as at 2 p.m. in Mabee 101.

Staying Golden: Kali Dennis and Glazed Jewelry

Dennis shows off some Glazed earrings on September 26, 2022. Her apparel enjoys a major following on Harding’s campus and beyond.

Starting your own small business is tough, but doing it as a full time student is straight up impressive. We visited with senior IMC major Kali Dennis, owner of the online jewelry store Glazed Jewelry, and learned how she has defied the odds as a young business owner. Here is her entrepreneurial story and some tips she lives by.

Beginnings to Now

Dennis started her online business, Glazed Jewelry, during the quarantine period of 2020. Like many during this time, she was looking for a sense of direction and a little bit of income. One day she was on TikTok and stumbled upon some influencers dabbling in drop shipping, which is when a business owner purchases inventory ad hoc from a third party vendor. She thought that was worth looking into and began working on a drop shipping business model for affordable jewelry.

Two years later, the Dennis is bejeweled with a large social media following and a thriving business. Considering that the average tenure of a 20-24 year old female entrepreneur is 1.2 years, Dennis is defying the odds as a young entrepreneur, and her work does not go unnoticed. 

“I’ve seen it go from a small pop up shop at occasional Mabee business events to having a growing website, tons of customers, and a widespread customer base across the Harding campus,” customer Sierra White said.

In Person selling: A Breath of Fresh Air for the Virtual Entrepreneur.

Today, Dennis jumps at the opportunity to sell her product in person. While it doesn’t do as much for her overheads, being in the field works wonders for her headspace.

“Yes, the majority of my sales come through the online store, but I still do my best to participate in pop-up events once a month because it gives me the chance to meet new potential customers that have never heard of Glazed before,” Dennis said.

Pop-ups also give her the opportunity to connect with previous customers.
“People that bought jewelry from me like 2 years ago are still wearing the exact same pieces,” Dennis said.

Kali Dennis stands behind her booth at the UCA Woman’s Business Expo on September 30th, 2022. Dennis loves the atmosphere of selling in-person.

Social Media Marketing.

Dennis sees herself as an online marketer, and heavily utilizes social media to reach new customers. 

The jewelry entrepreneur makes a posting schedule for the coming week every Sunday, emphasizing intentionality as key. 

“Lately I have been trying to focus on one product, trying to push that one product for the week, but I try to switch up the way I push it,” Dennis said.    

She continued, “I have noticed that posting pictures with faces does a lot better than if it’s just  earrings on a white background.”

Dennis posts one reel a week, user generated content once a week, and daily quotes on her story, a strategy that has proven to be effective with her more than 1500 followers. 

Dennis displays a jewelry piece on her Instagram, posted April 5th, 2022. This post was a part of Dennis’s marketing strategy.

Staying Ahead of the Competition.

In her summer internship with Makartt, a nail product business, Dennis learned about their use of an affiliate program, which is a paid partnership between a company and social media influencers. 

“They had 200 affiliates and were getting about 4 times in return on their spending off that, so I knew I wanted to implement that in my own business,” Dennis said. 

The young entrepreneur incorporates this method into her own business today to stay competitive. Her affiliate influencers, also known as Glazed Girls, promote her products and discount codes on their social media, and Dennis offers hefty discounts for items and a commission off of the sales they generate in return.

Lessons Learned.

When you start a small business, you have to make a choice. It’s either Sole Proprietorship or LLC, and Dennis is team SP. As a sole proprietor, Dennis contracts out additional work, files her own taxes and takes responsibility for all assets.

“For me, it depends on the insurance side, like if someone sues you how are you going to be covered,” Dennis said. “Since I’m the Sole Proprietor, I’m only protecting and paying for myself.”

Dennis has learned about many things since she began her business, and much of the learning curve has had nothing to do with jewelry. 

“As a small business owner you don’t pay monthly, you pay just like a huge lump sum at the end of the year and so that’s something I had to create a whole separate bank account for,” Dennis said. 

“I couldn’t get to the end of the year and be like “I spent all my money on that new inventory when I should have been saving it for taxes,” so that’s something I’ve had to learn.”

Hard Work Mindset.

You don’t have to be a genius to be an entrepreneur. What’s more important to Dennis is having a hard work ethic.

“You are your own boss, so you have to be very disciplined, schedule out hours of your day to work on it and stay focused. Anything can happen that you want to happen if you put in the work and time for it,” Dennis said. 

We couldn’t agree more. Hard work is the common thread that ties all entrepreneurs together. But what is hard work without a goal to focus that energy? For Dennis, the desire to someday have a family is one of her driving goals. 

“Since the beginning it has been a goal of mine to be able to stay home with my kids but still contribute and own a business and make money,” Dennis said.

That’s her goal, but it’s not always easy to keep that in the forefront. Dennis said her biggest struggle is with accountability.

“That’s kind of the biggest struggle, you have no one to keep you accountable. It can be very hard sometimes you know if I’m like “Oh i want to go to Sonic instead of doing this;” it’s easy to do that,” she admitted. 

Work-School Balance.

As a Harding student, Dennis works diligently to punctually complete both her school work and her duties with Glazed Jewelry. Breaking down duties into devoted days of work has helped keep the scales of responsibility in balance.

“I have a day where I focus on shipping out orders all day, a day where I just do schoolwork, a day where I work on all marketing promotional stuff like graphics, and a day where I try to look for future events,” she said.

Dennis’s schedule, as it is with any entrepreneur, is a grind. From her perspective, it helps to have a community of experienced business people in your circle to help with motivation.

“The professors here have shown a lot of interest in my business and offered to help so that has been super great,” Dennis said.

Dennis stands in front of the Mabee Building for the Paul R. Carter College of Business on September 26, 2022. The Mabee Building represented a community of supportive professors and students for Dennis’s business.

The sky’s the limit for Kali Dennis and Glazed Jewelry.
Catch her in December at the Waldron Center’s Christmas Market, and follow her on Instagram to stay updated on discounts and product drops!

You can follow @glazedjewelry on Instagram, or subscribe to the website at glazedjewelry.com.

The Waldron Center is interested in telling your start-up story. Know someone we need to write about? We’d love to hear from you. Email huwaldroncenter@harding.edu.

Entrepreneurship Alumni Spotlight: Caleb Tremaine and Clive’s Staples

Co-owners Caleb Tremaine and Ethan Hershberger stand in front of C.S. Lewis’s house in Oxford, England on May 24, 2022. Lewis was an inspiration to the shop, as well as to the owners personally.

In Sterling, Kansas, there is a space where coffee intersects with an enthusiasm for the works C.S. Lewis. That space is Clive’s Staples, a college-town coffee shop that was built from the ground up on the foundation of good coffee and a shared passion for everything C.S. Lewis.

Wedding catering origin story.

The coffee shop and bakery was started by Harding alumnus Caleb Tremiane ’16 and his two childhood friends Ethan Hershberger and Josiah Wagler. Tremaine said that by the time he returned to Sterling from Harding, the other two had “already started a coffee catering business, where they would set up espresso bars at weddings,” so when he approached them about the idea of starting a brick and mortar shop, they were all for it. In 2017, the trio officially began their less-than-typical coffee shop journey when they purchased what used to be an old pharmacy from their local historical preservation society.

The shell of the old five and dime sits littered with rubble on April 13, 2018. Over a period of a year and a half, Tremaine and his friends completely transformed the space into the coffee shop standing today.

Out with the old, in with the new.

The building was a five and dime drug store with a soda fountain back in the 1920s and 1930s, but Tremaine said that “it was turned into a typical pharmacy building in the 60s-70s, and they installed drop-ceiling and carpet to cover up some of the cool stuff from the 20s.”

To bring the space to life, the three friends pooled their skills. Tremaine’s mechanical engineering knowledge combined with Wagler’s work as an electrician and Hershberger’s experience as an h-vac specialist allowed them to build the shop without contracting out very much of the work, so over the span of a year-and-a-half, the three men worked on late nights and weekends stripping out the material from the 60s and 70s and keeping the valuable pieces from the 20s and 30s. A personal favorite artifact of Tremaine’s is the pastry case, which is an old marble display case from the drug store. To see more pictures of the store, visit their website at https://clivesstaples.com/.

The display case from the old drug store shined on Jan. 30, 2022. Clive’s Staples’ repurposing of old materials adds to the vintage and cozy aesthetic.

A love letter to Lewis fans everywhere.

Today, Clive’s Staples reaps the benefits of the hard work and sweat of its creators. It boasts a made-from-scratch bakery, premiere coffee from two regional roasters, and, as a recent addition, a plant shop, each of which make their home among the detailed C.S. Lewis decor. Tremaine said that the Narnia easter eggs include “a wardrobe in the corner, a painting of the Dawn Treader that opens up into a door to the kitchen, and the names of some of our drinks such as “The Snow Queen.”’ For the hardcore fans in the house, users can log onto the wifi using the password “ScrewtapeEmails,” and careful observers can pinpoint the store’s logo as the light post from “Lion Witch and the Wardrobe.”

The store enjoyed a moment of peace on Jan. 30, 2022. The secret window/painting of the Dawn Treader can be found on the bottom right, as well as the logo boasting the lamp post from the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.

An entrepreneur needs a creative outlet.

Thanks to this mere coffee shop, Tremaine scratches his entrepreneurial itch in ways his day job can’t. As a design engineer for agricultural equipment, the designs he works on are “very utilitarian, all about function and cost, and it doesn’t really matter what it looks like.” With Clive’s being more of a creative outlet, it has allowed the co-owner to “shove every little bucket list thing of projects that I’ve wanted to do into it,” and come up with something truly unique.

The buddy system works in business, too.

In Tremaine’s journey as a risk taker and business owner, there is one lesson that stands out above the rest, and that is to avoid going it alone. He emphasized finding “someone to do it with you that you have a lot of history with and that you trust, because it’s a lot to do by yourself. It could be with your spouse or with a friend, but having a partner makes it a lot more doable.”

If you’re ever in Sterling, Kansas, go give this cozy coffee shop a visit, and be sure to give it a follow on Instagram at @clives_staples or visit their website at https://clivesstaples.com/

The Brek Boss Cooking It Up With The Community

Courtney Eby and Abbigale Reece repping their Brek Boss shirts on Sept. 24, 2022.
The partners work hard to promote their business and feed their community.

The heartbeat of Harding University is the community. Recently, a duo of hard-working entrepreneurs has married their love for baking with their love for bringing that community together. The result is a breakfast bakery start-up called The Brek Boss.

Co-owners Abbigale Reece and Courtney Eby met as Bible majors their freshman year, both passionate about spreading the gospel. As time passed, they realized they could minister to people in a unique, less traditional way.

Reece said, “after I did a ministry internship, I realized that I wasn’t interested in being involved with ministry inside of a church building. Courtney came to me with an opportunity to start a baking shop after that internship, and it all made sense to me that this was the direction that I needed to go in.”

Daniela Jacobo and Hanna Grace Garner serve up Boss Rolls in the Waldron Center on Sept. 13, 2022.

The two entrepreneurs eventually convened at Midnight Oil coffee shop to discuss their dreams and goals for the future, each bringing their unique skill sets to the table. Eby remembered sitting at MO for hours as the pair “researched and developed name ideas and vision and looked at many menus of restaurants and businesses.”

Reece had already switched majors to marketing, so the skills she was developing in her education, combined with her interest in making coffee, were perfect for starting the small venture. “I designed the primary and secondary logo, which was super fun because I got to include my love for coffee and Courtney’s love for baking to make a combined aesthetic,” said Reece. With her on the marketing side of things, Eby had the creative space to draw people in with a product. A talented baker can do it all, and Eby played to her strengths in the kitchen to make the business thrive.

On Tuesday, September 13, 2022, the duo officially set up shop for the first time in the Waldron Center. Eby brought three massive pans full of three different flavored cinnamon rolls: classic, maple bacon and pumpkin spice.

Students came in droves to try the appropriately named Boss Rolls, making the small office space come alive with conversation. Senior finance major Johnny Galloway said that “it was really convenient to go to the Waldron Center after chapel and try out a fellow student’s product, so there were a lot of people fellowshipping there before class.”

The Boss Rolls shine with pristine icing on Sept. 13, 2022.
The Maple Bacon was a cult favorite among students.

After the success of their partnership with the Waldron Center, the co-owners look to a bright future. “Right now we’re doing small scale launches on Tuesdays, but we hope to eventually be able to open up weekend preorders, give out samples after chapel, and do booths in the Stu,” Eby said.

Reece and Eby’s long term plan is a food truck on campus, and then eventually to go brick and mortar. Once a food truck is secured, the menu-scope will expand to include coffee, breakfast sandwiches, cinnamon rolls and authentic Belgian waffles. Eby said, “we want to make picnic tables and a fire pit by the truck and make it its own environment, and we hope to use that outdoor space to host events and live performances.”

Students support The Brek Boss on Sept. 13, 2022.
The Waldron Center was filled with warm conversation and gooey cinnamon rolls.

With lofty goals on the horizon, it can be easy for a small business to fall victim to obsession over success and growth, but The Brek Boss consistently referred back to a focus on community to center their vision. “Courtney and I just want to make something that is unique and that serves the community,” Reece said. “My goal would be to use what skill I’ve already developed to attract people, whether they are our age or not, to our business.”

Eby and Reece declared that The Brek Boss’s “why” isn’t for “money, fame or fortune.” Instead, it stands for a deeper desire to empower the people they feed through service and kindness. The Brek Boss is about two women who want to bring people to come as they are to the table, a table that just happens to be filled with warm, gooey cinnamon rolls.

You can follow The Brek Boss on Instagram at @thebrekboss for news and updates about future pop-up offerings.

The Waldron Center is interested in telling your start-up story. Know someone we need to write about? We’d love to hear from you. Email huwaldroncenter@harding.edu.

Sam Chester: Recipient of The 2021 -2022 Entrepreneurship and Family Business Scholarship

Sam Chester is the inaugural recipient of the Entrepreneurship and Family Business Scholarship. Sam is a senior Business Management major, with a concentration in Entrepreneurship, from Memphis, Tennessee. Sam is the president of Knights Social Club, Vice President of the Harding Chapter of Sigma Nu Tau Entrepreneurship Honor Society, and on the Waldron Center Student Advisory Board as well as the COBA Student Advisory Board.

 Sam Chester plans to return to his family business, Property Solutions Group, in Memphis. Sam exemplifies the Christian business ideals that the Waldron Center espouses and that I aspire to teach. I am confident that Sam will bless others through his business and most importantly he will glorify God and show God to others through his family business.

The scholarship is funded by the Bennett and Margie Wood endowed scholarship and will be given every year to a student that exemplifies the entrepreneurial and/or family business characteristics of blessing others through business. The scholarship award is $2000. For more information or to donate to the scholarship please contact Emily Gentry at huwaldroncenter@harding.edu

If you are interested in applying for the scholarship, click the link to fill out the application. https://forms.gle/bcJzGQ8MhnhtnnBN6

Adria Abella: Founder of hDrop

Adria Abella graduated with his Mechanical Engineering Degree from Harding University in May of 2019. Adria’s passion for tennis sparked the idea for the hDrop device. He has been a tennis player for more than 14 years. Tennis can be a high endurance sport because sometimes the matches are three to four hours long. Adria wanted to develop a wearable device that can track hydration status in real-time. He knew this could be helpful for many athletes and individuals. 

While Adria was in his senior year, he started developing the hDrop device. The hDrop is a wearable device that tracks hydration status electrolytes and core temperature in real-time. This stands out from other products because it offers real-time feedback. Unlike some water logging apps, it does not require you to log your water intake. Listed below are some commonly asked questions about the product: 

Q: Why do I need a device to track my hydration, if I already have my thirst sense? 

A: Whenever you feel thirsty you are already 10% dehydrated. Thirstiness is an alert that your body sends to your brain so that you can survive. Drinking when you are thirsty is enough to survive, but not enough to perform at your best.

Q: How do you use it? 

A: The user turns on the device, places hDrop on the upper arm, and turns on the App. After that, the hydration status, body temperature, and hDrop battery are recorded and shown on your phone or watch App. 

Q: I do not like to carry my phone with me, what are the options? 

A: hDrop App is going to be available for Android smartphones, Apple smartphones, Apple watches, Android watches, and other smartwatches. If you don’t want to carry your phone, you can use your daily workout smartwatch to connect it. 

Q: How long does the battery last? 

A: hDrop is a low consumption device. The battery lasts up to 30 days when left turned on. Turning it on and off during your workouts will extend the battery life. It works with a coin cell battery that is easy to replace. 

You can Pre-Order hDrop right now and have it delivered in November 2021 on the website below: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/hdrop/hdrop-real-time-hydration-wearable-device-monitor/posts

Tony Slate: ASL Teacher and Creator of The Clear Mask

Jon Wood interviews Tony Slate, a 1996 graduate of Harding University. Tony is an ASL teacher and world language department chair at Fort Bend Christian Academy in Houston, Texas. Recognizing the limitations cloth masks have on the deaf and hard of hearing who rely on the facial expressions used in ASL, Tony began a campaign to make clear masks available. You can purchase your clear mask at https://www.clearmasksusa.com/#/

Inaugural Student Entrepreneur Holiday Showcase

Fall 2020 held a lot of challenges for Harding University. One of those challenges was how to engage students in a time where gathering in small groups was considered a no-no, and students had to adopt a more distant lifestyle at school. A normally bustling Waldron Center was empty and quiet.

Rochelle Waddill, new to the Waldron Center, and director Jon Wood, were determined to get students involved and began concentrating on awareness and name recognition. Regan Campbell, student worker at the Waldron Center, partnered with Rochelle to head up the social media this semester. The two decided to focus on student entrepreneurs here on campus, and began a weekly highlight of a student business that was featured on instagram (check out @huwaldroncenter). More and more businesses began to roll in, and it was quickly evident that there was a large amount of talent and initiative in this group of students. Waddill had the idea to form an event at the end of the semester to bring them together and give them a chance to truly showcase their work on campus. Given the COVID guidelines, that was easier said than done. Working with the Provost office and Dean Frazier, they were able to get a plan that worked, and the Student Entrepreneur Holiday Showcase was born!

The Holiday Showcase, themed “Hu-Ville” (pronounced hoo-ville), was met with eager excitement and rave reviews. Each student entrepreneur that participated (18 of them!) was able to set up a table, showcase their work, sell their wares, and support one another.

Below are some of our entrepreneurs and their contact information. Check out what these students have accomplished and consider supporting them on this Cyber Monday! Christmas shopping awaits!

Alaina Abbott Photography

Alaina Abbott

insta: @alainaabbottphotography


AMT Fitness

Toni Montez

insta: @toni.montez


Bloom Clay Co.

Rachel Williams

insta:  @bloom.clayco

FB: Bloom Clay Co.

Byrd Jewelry

Maddy Byrd

insta: @shopbyrd


Candace Grace Arts

Candace Crawford

insta: @candacegrace.arts

HaMi Boutique

Hallie Smith

insta: Shophamiboutique


Kendra Neill Design

Kendra Neill

insta: @kendra.neill


On Me Clothing

Colt Williams

insta: @on.me.clothing


Ramen Doodles

John David Stewart

insta: @ramen.doodles_


Spooning with Carol

Caroline Palmer

insta: @spooningwithcarol

Start Her Running Co.

Layne Pace

insta: @startherrunningco


Suitcase Studio

Megan Benz

insta: @suitcase__studio


Wicker & Wood Vintage

Megan Sides

insta: @wickerandwoodvintage

Wir’d By Sal

Sally Roach

insta: @ponygalsal