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September 23, 2020

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Polar Merchandise making a name for itself

Entirely ONU student-run business; Ada HS grad part of the team

By Monty Siekerman
An entirely ONU student-run business has been successful, both financially and as a learning experience. Ada High School grad Lindsay Walden is one of the 11 members of the company, which had sales of $65,000 last year.

Company associates are looking to expand their sales territory beyond campus by encouraging local companies and service organizations to buy from them.
The company, named Polar Merchandise, offers t-shirts, key chains, cups, frisbees, and more. In fact, they have access to hundreds of thousands of promotional products and apparel.

Polar Merchandise sells bulk orders to any organization, business, or team, such as Rotary, Kiwanis, VFW, Ada High School students and alumni, sponsors of walks and runs, and local businesses looking for items for employees or as a promotion.

Need graphic design help? No problem. The company has a graphic design team that will suggest a design without cost.

The business has existed for five years helping ONU students gain practical experience as well as giving back to the college. Polar Merchandise is nonprofit so that any profit realized is given back: 10 percent to the university and 10 percent to the business college.

Lindsay, a sophomore business major, is the daughter of Richard and Lisa Walden. She plans to work for family-owned Sheldon Gas Company in Dunkirk after graduation.

She found that working with Polar Merchandise takes time, but is beneficial in learning how to prioritize time. She balances work with her academics and other extracurricular activities.

She said that new students hired into the company are trained and mentored by those who have been with the company for several years.

To contact Polar Merchandise, call Lindsay at 567-204-7118 or check out their website at PolarMerchandise.com.

Lindsay Walden (left), sales rep, and Kathleen Carley, operations manager, of Polar Merchandise with some of the items available from the company.