Julian Ross and Ruth Porter

This couple’s business got its start in the ’80s when Ross was in university and looking for a way to manage his busy schedule

by Tanya Laing Gahr
A man and woman stand in a snowy landscape

— Douglas Noblet photo

Time is on the side of Julian Ross and his wife, Ruth Porter.

Ross and Porter are the principals of Polestar Calendars in Winlaw, a wholesale and retail company that creates and distributes daytimers for families, students, business people and others looking for a bit of help with time management.

The business got its start in the early 1980s when Ross was in university and was looking for a way to manage his increasingly busy schedule between classes, work and family.

“The only things available were basically business calendars that started in September instead of January,” said Ross. “I needed to find a calendar that would work for a student, so I created the first edition in 1983.”

Once Ross perfected the model, he got a crash course in marketing when he sold copies of the calendar at the university bookstore. It was so successful that he uses a similar template to this day for his bestselling calendar.

“We have two sons who grew up in the business and are now in university,” said Ross, “and hopefully they’re using the student calendars.” 

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