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Calgary

Pink Press Co. – Young Entrepreneur turns Lockdown Hobby into Successful Small Business

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After a long year of uncertainty, business closures and public lockdowns, few people have arrived at the end of 2020 with the same outlook they began the year with. 

While the lockdowns and layoffs have been unquestionably difficult for individuals of all ages, from all walks of life, the pandemic measures have cast a light on a certain level of adaptability and creativity for many. From launching online shops, providing contactless deliveries and offering online concerts and shows, individuals from all industries have found a way to remain connected during these socially distant times. Furthermore, using social platforms to connect with their community, countless people have used their time at home to pursue a side hustle or launch their own small business. Among the resounding calls to support local during these tough times, many of these endeavors have been met with extensive support from the community and beyond.

Hannah Olson is a 23-year old Licensed Practical Nurse from Strathmore, Alberta, who has spent the last 7 months alternating between working shifts at 3 different hospitals while launching Pink Press Co., her own modern handcrafted clay earring business.
Hannah became a certified LPN after completing the Licensed Practical Nursing Program at Bow Valley College in 2017, and has been rotating among the Alberta Children’s Hospital, Foothills Medical Centre, and Strathmore Hospital for the last 3 years. When the lockdown measures took effect earlier this year, she began using the downtime to pursue her passion for crafting, and discovered she had a knack for clay earrings.
“Initially it was just crafting for pure enjoyment, especially during the lockdown as there was not much else to do anyways,” she says. “When I came across my first pair of clay earrings on Instagram, my mom said to me “You could probably make those.””

Pink Press Co. then began in June as an Instagram business page, initially gathering a small community following. Describing her work as a reflection of her personal style, Hannah uses polymer clay and hypoallergenic earring pieces to handcraft unique, custom studs, pendants, dangle and tassel earrings for formal and casual wear. Products range between $12 and $26, plus shipping.
After receiving an extremely positive response and multiple expressions of interest, Hannah expanded her small business further by launching her own Etsy shop in October. According to Hannah, initial orders came from the surrounding community of Strathmore, eventually reaching Calgary and Airdrie as well. However, shortly after opening her Etsy shop, things really took off. 

“I’ve lost track,” she says, “There have been nearly 300 orders on Etsy alone, in addition to custom orders on Instagram and physical shop sales.” She has now successfully shipped handcrafted earrings all across Alberta, as well as to BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. 

 Hannah was scheduled to take part in a number of fall and winter markets this holiday season, which were ultimately cancelled as a result of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic preventative measures. However, she has remained busy filling and shipping custom orders across Canada, and is looking forward to the opportunity to set up at future markets in the New Year.

To view Pink Press Co.’s collection of handcrafted, hypoallergenic clay earrings online, visit https://www.instagram.com/pink.press.co/or https://www.etsy.com/ca/shop/PinkPressCoByHannah, or take a look at Prairie Grounds Coffee House in Langdon, or Sole Discretion Boutique and Back to Good Market & Deli in Strathmore.  

 

For more stories, visit Todayville Calgary.

Alberta

Brier in the Bubble: Defending champion Gushue beats Epping in opening draw

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CALGARY — Brad Gushue picked up where he left off at the Canadian men’s curling championship on Friday night.

In his first game with the full foursome of Mark Nichols, Brett Gallant and Geoff Walker since winning the Tim Hortons Brier a year ago, the defending champs showed few signs of rust in a clinical 6-2 win over Ontario’s John Epping.

Canada shot 91 per cent as a team while Gushue threw a perfect 100 per cent, numbers he felt may have been a little too kind.

“To use a golf expression, there’s no pictures on the scorecard,” Gushue said with a smile. “There were some throws out there that were pretty gross. But we got a lot out of every shot.

“I think we only had one shot (that) we didn’t get anything out of. That was a goal that we had coming into this game and I thought we executed that very well.”

It was the long-awaited return of top-flight domestic men’s curling after a season limited to just a few bonspiels due to the pandemic.

The opening draw at the Markin MacPhail Centre came on the heels of a successful Canadian women’s curling championship, the first of seven events to be played in a so-called bubble setting at Canada Olympic Park.

In other Draw 1 games, Saskatchewan’s Matt Dunstone dumped Nunavut’s Peter Mackey 10-2, Wild Card Two’s Kevin Koe beat Nova Scotia’s Scott McDonald 7-4 and Quebec’s Michael Fournier edged Greg Smith of Newfoundland and Labrador 7-6.

Gushue’s team played in a couple events last fall in Halifax with substitute players as the Alberta-based Walker remained out west.

The teams blanked the first three ends as they got a feel for playing on arena ice again.

Gallant made a brilliant triple takeout early on and jokingly waved to the cardboard cutouts stationed throughout the spectator-free arena.

Epping was heavy on a hit-and-roll attempt in the fourth end that set up a Gushue draw for two.

Ontario settled for a single in the fifth before a Gushue hit and roll set up another deuce in the sixth end. The teams shook hands after a Canada single in the ninth end.

“That was fun,” Nichols said. “The leadup to this has been tough in terms of the isolation and stuff like that. So to get out there and play a competitive game — it felt exactly how I thought it would.

“There was no easing into it or anything. We were just right back to it so it felt really good.”

Ontario finished at 82 per cent overall and Epping was at 72 per cent.

For most teams, it was their first competitive game action in several months.

Some provincial and territorial teams were able to play down in recent weeks, but most rinks were invited by their respective associations when championships were cancelled due to the pandemic.

Two more wild-card entries were added this year, boosting the field to 18 teams. Gushue’s team had an automatic entry as returning champions.

“The first game — we were trying not to fall down and hurt ourselves,” Gushue said with a smile. “The nervous legs and everything that we had. I felt pretty shaky from the combination of nerves and not practising as much as we normally do coming in. So my focus was just on that.”

Players are staying in a hotel across the road from the WinSport Arena and are being tested for COVID-19 on a regular basis. Coaches and team alternates wore masks on the end benches.

Electronic hog-line sensors on the stone handles were not used for the second straight event due to equipment delays as a result of the pandemic. The honour system was in effect.

Three draws were scheduled for Saturday. Preliminary-round play continues through Thursday night.

The top four teams in each pool will advance to the two-day championship pool starting March 12. The top three teams will move on to the playoffs on March 14.

The second- and third-place teams will meet in an afternoon semifinal with the winner to play the first-place team for the championship.

The Brier winner will earn $100,000 of the $300,000 total purse, return as Team Canada at the 2022 Brier in Lethbridge, Alta., and earn a berth in the Olympic Trials in November at Saskatoon.

The champions will also represent Canada at the April 2-11 world men’s curling championship in the Calgary bubble.

Kerri Einarson won the Scotties Tournament of Hearts last weekend. She’ll represent Canada at the April 30-May 9 women’s world curling championship, which was added to the bubble calendar Friday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021.

Follow @GregoryStrongCP on Twitter.

The Canadian Press

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Alberta

Darryl Sutter has ‘unfinished business’ in return to Calgary Flames

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CALGARY — Darryl Sutter says he has “unfinished business” as he returns to coach the Calgary Flames.

The Flames announced late Thursday night that they had fired head coach Geoff Ward and hired Sutter to replace him.

Calgary’s general manager Brad Treliving says he feels the move was necessary because the team had been inconsistent and was under performing this season.

Treliving says Sutter’s clarity and ability to maximize player performance will help the team that has gone 11-11-2 so far this year.

The move marks Sutter’s return to the team he coached from 2002 to 2006, and served as general manager for from 2003 to 2010. Under his guidance, Calgary went to the Stanley Cup final in 2004, losing to the Tampa Bay Lightning in a seven-game series, and Sutter says he is intent on winning the Cup now that he has returned to the Flames.

Sutter is expected to join the team Monday after going through the league’s COVID-19 protocols. Assistant coach Ryan Huska will run the bench when the Flames face the Oilers in Edmonton on Saturday and host the Ottawa Senators on Sunday.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 5, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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