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.