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ISSUE 118 VOL 18 PUBLISHED 4/29/2005

Faux Pas sold

By Brenna Bray
Staff Writer

Friday, April 29, 2005

Mark Barnhart ’06 will buy Faux Pas Printing from Brian Peters ’05 May 15. Barnhart made his first payment towards the business on April 15 and will make his final payment May 15.

In the meantime, Barnhart is working closely with Peters to familiarize himself with Peters’ operations, suppliers, customers and general business structure.

"It is important to me that the business stay focused on its initial goals of surpassing customers' expectations by offering convenient, quick and reliable printing at low prices," Barnhart said.

Barnhart plans to extend the line of Faux Pas clothing currently sold in Buntrock Commons, to introduce $3 shirts and increase the number of Faux Pas events and holiday-oriented clothes offered.

Barnhart also plans to increase Faux Pas’ advertising and, in the first few weeks of next school year, host a promotional discounted dance at the Grand. Students will receive a discounted admission into the Grand if they purchase a $3 shirt from Faux Pas’ new line.

"The discount will benefit the customers," Barnhart said. "I plan on breaking even, but I consider it a good advertising investment."

Barnhart plans to develop a Website on which customers can e-mail orders, specifying size, color, design and delivery date.

Barnhart approached Peters last year about purchasing the business when he saw its profitability, but Peters was not prepared to sell at that time. This year, however, Peters posted a flyer in the cafeteria announcing that he was ready to sell.

Peters required a full application process before choosing Barnhart from a pool of promising candidates to carry on the business.

"The grandest thing that inspired my purchase was the challenge of running a business and the profitability," Barnhart said.

Barnhart, a chemistry and economics major with an emphasis in management studies, took his first managerial position at National Karate, where he has studied for 12 years and has been an instructor for six years. In addition to instructing, he has been involved in daily managerial and customer relations duties.

Last summer, Barnhart received a corporate internship at McDonald’s, where he worked as a restaurant manager, and spent time opening a new McDonald’s restaurant in Blaine, Minn. across from the National Sports Center.

Barnhart recently turned down a corporate internship position at Target in order to invest his time and effort with Faux Pas and perhaps to pursue a course at St. Olaf this summer.

After he graduates next year, Barnhart wants to maintain ownership of Faux Pas while allowing students to run the business through St. Olaf.

Barnhart is not yet sure of all the logistics of Faux Pas’ future but may use an application process similar to Peters’ to select the most experienced applicant when he decides to sell.

With the Grand promotion in the works, Faux Pas Printing is not likely to commit a faux pas in 2005-2006.

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