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Coolin’ in style, a student-run business

Photos by Jonathan Rodriguez

During the summer, when the heat comes off the sun in droves and all anyone wants to do is jump in a pool or stick their head in a freezer, coolers become as common as the mosquitos buzzing around. Combining her love for art and a nationwide football tradition, Hadassah Weiss, an ORU graduate student, has created a small, but lucrative business out of her own house.

The idea came to her after she was invited to a semi-formal at a state school, where it is a tradition for girls to paint their dates a cooler once they’re invited. Months later, Hadassah had just received her undergraduate degree in journalism when she got into a wreck that totaled her car. Wanting to be self sufficient, Hadassah started her painted-cooler business, Collectively Oasis, to pay for a new car. She proceeded to pay off her car a year early, thanks to her business.

ORU graduate student Hadassah Weiss

“I capitalized on something while also helping girls who may not have the time or ability to do it,” said Hadassah.

The business provides girls who have been asked to a dance with either a fully-painted cooler or with a blank cooler ready to paint. The coolers must be sanded down in order for the paint to stick, leading many girls to reach out to Hadassah because they do not own power sanders. She provides an Igloo Island Breeze cooler in the price, but girls wanting a different brand of cooler must purchase their own and ship it to her.

“Money was why I started, and I like to be creative, but it’s also an outlet for me to utilize my stress in a positive way,” said Hadassah, detailing why she began the business.

Hadassah encourages many college students to pursue their passions when contemplating small businesses. She has witnessed the payoff of her hard work and watched her passion grow simply by putting action behind it.   

“Go for it,” said Hadassah. “Talk to people who have already started [a business] and people who you would look up to. As long as you have a target market and know how to reach them, there should be no issue if you’re motivated to do what you love.”

Although college students tend to complain about being broke, a little hard work and creativity can help students grow from dependent kids into independent adults. Whether an idea turns into a massive success or a total flop, chasing what one loves to do while having room to fail can produce greater experiences and stronger ideas.   

If you would like to order a cooler from Collectively Oasis, contact Hadassah Weiss at: etsy.com/shop/collectivelyoasis and on Instagram @collectivelyoasis.