Hallmark store marks milestone anniversary

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Evonne O’Neill, left, and Marilyn Frame are co-owners of Polson Hallmark, which will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this weekend. (Ashley Fox/Lake County Leader)

This weekend coming weekend will mark a milestone for Polson Hallmark.

Dec. 2, the store, located at 7 3rd Ave. East, will have treats available to customers as well as a 20 percent promotion on hats, gloves and socks.

Thirty years ago in November, Frame, Evonne O’Neill and Linda and Bill Brownell opened the store, which began as JC Penney Catalog, located around the corner from the store’s current location.

“We were there for a year, and then we moved it around the corner here,” she said.

A few years later, the Hallmark store opened, with the group “trying to keep up with the times” by adding gifts and other merchandise.

Frame said that one of the secrets to the business’s success is keeping local shoppers happy.

The business, Frame explained, is not a tourist business.

“We have always tried to cater to our locals,” she said, adding that the tourism industry has “been a bonus.”

Frame further explained that if it weren’t for the year-round business from those who live locally, the business wouldn’t exist.

“I try to really support what I can locally, through the school and other things, because I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for the support of our local people.”

One of those offerings that keep clientele happy is coffee, which was added 20 years ago.

“From the time I opened the store, my main goal has always been to be consistent,” Frame said, noting that she makes sure every drink is measured and made the same way.

Coupled with that, “I particularly really love coffee,” she said, smiling.

Changing with the times, the JC Penney Catalog closed eight years ago, which is when the owners started brainstorming what else to do with the well-oiled machine they had in place with the store.

“We tried to add more gift lines,” and about a year ago a clothing line was brought in, which was met with positive response.

As the business venture has grown, so has the building, going through several expansions.

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