United Way Partners with MSU Student-Run Business at Pop-Up Shop

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE [Updated location]

March 30, 2021

United Way Partners with MSU Student-Run Business at Pop-Up Shop

Class selling products at River Hills Mall April 9-11, April 30-May 2

MANKATO—A business class though Minnesota State University, Mankato is partnering with Greater Mankato Area United Way to get real-world experience selling their products—and all profits will benefit United Way’s local programs.

Students from the True North Essentials company from MSU’s Integrated Business Experience class will be selling their products at the River Hills Mall during mall hours the weekends of April 9-11 and April 30-May 2 at a kiosk near JCPenney, H&M and Bath & Bodyworks.

The class is selling five products: a beach towel, beach tote bag, can cooler, mesh hat and water bottle.

The products are also available to purchase online at https://true-north-essentials.square.site/.

“We understand the past year has been difficult for everyone,” said True North Essentials CEO Frank Kimlinger. “When creating True North Essentials, we wanted to get people excited for summer, and to help people feel a sense of normalcy in the midst of this pandemic.”

After starting their company, True North Essentials students chose United Way as their nonprofit partner. They created a business plan to present to United Prairie Bank to secure a business loan. A local donor is making it possible for them to utilize the mall storefront.

“We want our message to be clear that we are putting our customers first and giving back to people in need,” Kimlinger said. “We want to raise awareness about United Way and hopefully get our customers to feel a sense of satisfaction by knowing their money is going towards a good cause.”

About True North Essentials: 

True North Essentials is a global company of hardworking students who strive toward providing quality and affordable summer products which can be safely used outside to enjoy the “True North.” True North Essentials offers a range of products for customers to enjoy, whether they are lounging on the beach or kicking back around a bonfire. True North Essentials is supporting local communities by donating all profits to its nonprofit partner, Greater Mankato Area United Way. Learn more at https://true-north-essentials.square.site/.

About Greater Mankato Area United Way:

Greater Mankato Area United Way programs serve more than 51,000 people in Blue Earth, Le Sueur, Nicollet and Waseca counties. In 2021, Greater Mankato Area United Way is supporting 56 programs within 36 agencies through the impact areas of basic needs, health and education. Visit the United Way website for the full agency list.


Laura Murray
Greater Mankato Area United Way

Allison Davis
Minnesota State University, Mankato
True North Essentials Chief Marketing Officer

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