We love featuring members of our community and/or small businesses that we’re loving. This past month we featured Helen Youn from Spark Joy with Helen and Erin Lindskog from Onie Granola. This two women have created amazing businesses right here in Calgary and inspire us to live (and eat) clean. If you missed their two part features on social media, check them out here on the BBS blog.
Meet Helen Youn from Spark Joy with Helen
What does a typical day look like?:
On a day I see clients, I typically will wake up and have breakfast with my family before heading to my client’s home. After the appointment, I will head home and have lunch. When Emerson is home, we love to hang out, explore the city or run errands together. When Emerson is away in school or camp, I will use that time to answer emails, catch up on administrative work or work on projects. I love to cook so usually I will make dinner and we’ll all eat together and talk about our day. After dinner, we love playing board games before Emerson goes to bed.
What do you love about being a small business owner in Calgary?:
I love how supportive this community is. Since starting my own business, I’ve met and become friends with so many inspiring small business owners in the city with who I love to collaborate and brainstorm ideas.
What is one eye-opening thing you've learned since starting your own business?:
There is no set path to follow. Since starting my own business, I’ve had so many opportunities and experiences that I would not have been able to predict or plan for. That’s what makes having your own business so fun. It’s completely unpredictable!
What inspires you?:
Marie Kondo. I honestly would not be here without Marie. Reading her book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up, back in 2015 completely changed my life in ways I never imagined. From when I attended her course to become a KonMari Consultant to now being the instructor for the course, I continue to be inspired by her team, her philosophy and words of wisdom in different ways in both my personal and professional life.
What have you learned about yourself over COVID?:
After the first 2 months of lockdown in 2020, I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. I believe it was brought on by the stress I was feeling at that time. I learned how much our mental health can affect our physical health. This also made me realize how important it is to have balance in life everyday and to take time off work no matter how much you love what you do. Since then, I started gardening, which is something I never thought I’d enjoy but now love. I also started playing the piano again and found joy in it in ways I never did as a child. The skill I am most proud of that I picked up during COVID is learning how to make macarons. It’s something I’ve always felt intimidated by but now I make them regularly.
Meet Erin Lindskog of Onie
What does a typical day look like?
I like to start off my day with a coffee to go and a walk with my pup Stanley in Bridgeland or a dip in the Bow River. The rest of the day is usually a mix between responding to emails, shipping out orders, or zoom calls with other businesses or entrepreneurs that are kind enough to let me pick their brains! I also try my best to squeeze in a run outside or an online Barre Body workout! (Not just saying that!) haha :)
What inspires you?
It’s going to sound cliche but I am probably most inspired by the people I admire. I am so impressed by those that try new things and step outside of their comfort zone. I also am inspired by new places. I have been so fortunate to travel as much as I have, through studying abroad but especially working as a flight attendant with WestJet. My goal when I started flying was to put as many miles as I could on my runners! I would land somewhere new and run my way to the neatest-looking bakery, cafe, or wine bar. Visiting new places and seeing all the innovative and creative things that others are doing definitely inspires me. No one makes a cinnamon bun like they do at Lillebrors Bageri in Stockholm or a sugar pie like the ones in old town Quebec City.
What have you learned about yourself over COVID?
That life is unpredictable! But that change is good. With Covid, I was furloughed from flying and pushed myself to start a business, which is something I have talked about doing since finishing pastry school 10 years ago! I have learned that to start a business you need to stop talking and just go for it. I had no idea what I was doing or even what direction I was headed but I had to just start. I also have realized now more than ever how much I value being outdoors and my hopes of moving back to the country. Since Covid, I’ve also been more mindful and accountable in setting goals and seeing them through, whatever they may be. For me, that is expanding my granola business and getting another donkey!
What do you love about being a small business owner in Calgary?
I can’t think of a better, more supportive place to launch or own a business than Calgary! I grew up in Bragg Creek, but have called Calgary home for the last 9 years. Calgary has a special thing going, having the feel of being a small/big city. Making strong connections and relationships with other small businesses and feeling supported by locals is something I have been so grateful for and amazed by. You know you are in a great city when you can cold call a fellow jam maker to get advice on jam jars or the CEO of Sunterra will take the time to hear your granola story!
What is one eye-opening thing you've learned since starting your own business?
Probably how much hard work it is!! I have gained a whole new respect for business owners. And also have been more conscious of my own habits. I feel more inclined to shop and support local now, having experienced firsthand how much it means to have others do the same.