While learning about business at Southern Arkansas University, Jaci Tucker decided to start a business.
The Crossett native graduated from SAU in April 2021 with a bachelor of business administration degree in entrepreneurship.
Capped by the Guided Senior Experience for Entrepreneurs course, the Rankin College of Business entrepreneurship degree provides students with the foundational knowledge they need to create, market, and fund new businesses and products.
“When we were designing the entrepreneurship major, one of the things I thought it needed was a practical applications class that would give them a chance to pull everything together into a final project or a set of guided experiences,” said Dr. Tim Wise, associate professor of management.
The Guided Senior Experience takes students through building an online business or crafting a detailed business plan for a future business. Students work under the supervision of Wise and Janell Morton, SAU’s Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center director.
“The ASBTDC has either provided cases for us or, as in Jaci’s case, led students through the same experience businesspeople in the community receive as ASBTDC clients. I’m thrilled to have them available,” said Wise.
Tucker wanted to build a business around her passion for art and colorful self-expression.
She began experimenting with resin and acrylic pouring techniques, and Hippie Drip was born. The Hippie Drip online store currently offers pour paintings, home décor, coaster sets, vases, serving trays, and more.
Tucker worked with the ASBTDC to register her new business with the Arkansas Secretary of State as a limited liability company. The ASBTDC also provided her with general business guidance, business plan assistance, and help developing marketing materials. Tucker has also attended virtual ASBTDC training events.
“Working with Dr. Wise and Janell made starting my small business so much easier and more enjoyable,” she said. “I really don’t think I could have done it without them! They both guided me every step of the way and encouraged me when I was feeling doubtful. I learned so much valuable information and was so blessed to have had the opportunity to work with them.”
In the future, Tucker wants to offer art classes that will provide a therapeutic outlet for people to explore emotions, develop self-awareness, cope with stress, boost self-esteem, and build social skills.
“Art is therapy, and I strive to share my experience in hopes of inspiring others to let their creativity flow,” said Tucker.