By Marielle Payton
Every year, Cedarville University students from the Robert W. Plaster School of Business are given the opportunity to create or manage a business through the Integrated Business Core (IBC). This experience, catered towards students interested in entrepreneurship, enables them to hone their skills with real-life experience.
This year, Proclaim the Name, a previous IBC business focused on evangelistic streetwear, is being relaunched with a new focus. The team behind the business’ revival all agreed they wanted to run or create a business that was God-honoring and promoted gospel conversations. Now, through their business “Proclaim the Name: Everlasting,” they are getting to do just that.
“There’s not always a ton of great Christian apparel out there,” said Alyssa Griffith, one of the five team members. “It’s a really great way for us to glorify God through really sound Biblical messages.”
Originally a minimalist clothing company simply labeled “Proclaim the Name,” this updated business will focus on promoting previous designs while also featuring some new styles. Every design is intended to spark up a conversation about faith, something the group really loved. At first, the brand’s only products were a hat, shirt and mug. It’s been expanded to feature numerous t-shirts and hoodie designs.
Back in 2019, after the business had its first official successful run, the student creators decided to put it on hold and shelf it while they finished their degrees. Professor Andrew Wonders, Assistant Dean of the Robert W. Plaster School of Business, was a big part of equipping Julia’s group to pick it back up and breathe new life into the company. He encouraged them not just to pick up where the previous students left off, but to try new things, too.
A few updates to the business include launching a brand new website and updating the old tagline from Proclaim the Name: Refuge to Proclaim the Name: Everlasting. The team hopes innovations to the previous business model will help them reach more customers. They’ll also be dropshipping their product and utilizing print-on-demand services, meaning they won’t be holding any inventory.
The students on the team have been working on the idea and brainstorming since last semester, during one of their marketing classes. Though the process has been lengthy, the results are rewarding. Their website just recently went live, meaning the company is officially open for business and marking a huge milestone in their progress.
Given all these accomplishments, it’s even more impressive to think about how each of them are still undergraduate business and marketing students, and yet are gaining valuable experience about the ins and outs of owning a business. Through the process of managing Everlasting, all five students learned skills that will last them the rest of their lives and discovered brand new strengths and weaknesses.
But most important is the impact the business will make on its customers. “It’s not about the merch, it’s the message” is the team’s tagline, and every day as they continue to build their brand and continue outreach, they keep this mission in the forefront of their minds.
“I would love to see this business continue and reach even more people since it has already continued for several years,” said Lydia Boyer, the team lead. “As long as it continues, our positive message will continue. Our mission statement is to encourage, equip and remind – those are our main goals as a company.”
Even if Boyer’s team may not be the ones running the business in the future and it ends up changing hands again, the students will be happy as long as the positive message they’re promoting is able to continue.
Marielle Payton is a junior Professional Writing and Information Design major, journalist, and public relations writer from Northern Virginia. When she’s not studying, you can find her catching up on current news and politics or binge-watching CBS crime shows.