Mandy Trapp’s purpose in life is to make meditation mainstream. As a lululemon ambassador, and the co-founder + lead educator of Lifestyle Meditation, she’s making Edmonton (and the world) a calmer place — one deep breath at a time.
Opening up almost a year ago in 2016 ANNMS has made ambitious moves to bring Edmonton into the forefront of streetwear and fashion. A retail concept created by Ke Wang, Marshall Chen, Rex Wu, Cao Guangbin; four individuals who are no newcomers to the fashion scene. We caught up with them to find out their thoughts about curating a retail experience and the how Edmonton has shaped their identity and the story of ANNMS.
How does a self-described homebody who’s “not even a car guy” become an international automotive marketing expert? We wanted to figure out Ryan Holtz and he was kind enough to help us out. We chatted about staying real, staying balanced, and staying human in the digital world with a #YEG talent who’s even brighter than his socks.
They feel the most at ease when they’re in sweatpants, hair up, and with a paintbrush in their hands. Andrea and Dez Vienneau are sisters-in-law, who play and work together. They describe themselves as makers, who love taking something old and making it new again. The pair is making headlines for Reloved, their vintage paint line. Their product is part of the swag bags given to nominees and performers at The Grammys® in Los Angeles. Recently, Serena Mah sat down with the pair to talk about the exciting new development for their business.
Many know the name Marnie Ashcroft, the brains behind Glow Juicery, the cold-pressed juice and raw food café founded in Edmonton and expanding across the country. Marnie has taken the juice and raw food movement by storm, but oddly enough, few know much more than that about this driven business owner. We sat down with her to hear her story and the surprising vision for her company.
When you first meet Katie Jolicoeur you immediately feel her calming energy. The space she’s created at her Be Free Yoga studio in Spruce Grove, Alberta, holds the same calm, relaxing vibe that Katie carries, and it’s apparent why so many are drawn to practicing here — some even commuting from Edmonton to attend her classes.
Brian Webb is a fixture of the Edmonton dance scene. As founder and director of Brian Webb Dance Company, he has performed from Vancouver to New York and has won international recognition. Although he has travelled the world, his passion for the community has always brought him back home to Edmonton. Brian invited us into his home to share a few stories, his amazing art collection, and a couple of drinks.
Current employment trends note 5-6 career changes, on average, for an employed individual. However, Ralph Young built his corporate career with one company – Melcor Developments – starting as a young, entry-level employee and rising to CEO and President of the company. Throughout his time at Melcor, and post-retirement in 2012, Ralph has been involved with many community and post-secondary organizations including the University of Alberta, MacEwan University, Edmonton Eskimos Football Club, Rotary Club of Edmonton and The Citadel. Having earned several awards, including the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal and the City of Edmonton Salute to Excellence Award.
In December 2012, Manwar Khan witnessed an attack at the Stadium LRT Station that resulted in the death of a passenger. He, like so many others, was a bystander to the incident. However, unlike many others, Manwar took action and shouted at the aggressor to stop. When that did not happen, he pressed the emergency button on the train. Others stood by, not making any move.
Viet Nguyen is one of Edmonton’s youngest and most successful entrepreneurs…but not in the typical way. In Edmonton’s music scene, Viet has revamped the stereotypical idea of a “rave”. He has not only brought some of the world’s hottest DJs to our city, but has transformed raves from a niche market to the mainstream. He began hosting music events in 1999 and hasn’t stopped innovating since. His work ethic and creativity has led him to launch AGNT, a new app which will fill a hole in the music industry by bring together artists and event organizers. Read on to find out Viet’s best tips for bringing your ideas to fruition.
As the past Principal of Norwood School, Joanne Wynn has had a unique opportunity to watch the community of Norwood grow and change over many years. Joanne took the time to tell us about the needs of the community and how we, as Edmontonians, can get involved to create positive change in our communities and for children in need.
Sonny Sekhon is a man of many talents, but his super power rests in his knack for connecting with his community. Not only is he the general manager of one of Edmonton’s top menswear retailers, he is a member of two (soon to be three) fundraising boards, and plays for four ball hockey teams within the city. While it’s easy to praise the man for his entrepreneurial skill and philanthropic endeavor, Sonny is quick to credit his father’s resilience and humility for shaping who he is today. We were very lucky to have a moment to catch up with Sonny and chat about everything he has on the go, and why he’s proud to call himself an Edmontonian. Thank you, Sonny!
Kyla Kazeil is an entrepreneur extraordinaire. As co-owner of The Bamboo Ballroom, the Bamboo Stockroom, The Common and 9910, she spends every day with her partners (who are also her best friends), her employees and her customers. Combining her passion for music, culture, fashion and our city, Kyla works hard everyday to build a successful empire and inadvertently, has become a strong female leader to hundreds.
Carla Cuglietta, co-founder of We Stand and volunteer extraordinaire, is an inspiration to youth and her peers. Carla exhibits passion for giving back, both locally and globally, and epitomizes Global Leadership. She is a proponent of social change and is now focused on youth leadership in Edmonton, as she returns from China’s We Stand Summit and prepares for the We Stand #YEG Summit on April 13th. She is also part of the #YEGFORWARD Movement, a peer-to-peer group that enables young professionals under 40 to give back to their community while incurring leadership skills.
Juggling a career, a husband, and her extensive volunteer work, Carla epitomizes service and care. Thank you Carla for taking the time to share your past experiences abroad, your upcoming adventures and how you do it all!
Sunita Sumaru has been a freelance makeup artist in Edmonton, for the past 18 years, and has channeled her professional success into helping women of all ages unlock their potential through self-confidence. Sunita co-founded SEN Studios with her two sisters, and together they have grown their business from makeup artistry into an educational outlet that seeks to help aspiring makeup artists, and everyone in our community, tap into their expressive beauty. With a cup of coffee on her side, and her beauty arsenal in hand, Sunita is an empowering force that combines beauty, brains and a hustle-hard attitude. Thank you, Sunita, for taking the time to chat with us!
John Ahn loves food. He left his successful marketing career to open up a restaurant with zero experience (aside from what he learned on Youtube) and hasn’t looked back since. John’s story is a great example that taking the risk of following your dream is risky and difficult but the satisfaction of the adventure is well worth the leap.
Kathy Leskow is on track for world cookie domination. Her cookie business is fuelled by her love of cookies, her respect for good ingredients, and her belief in a quality product. These values shine through in her delicious products and the fact that her cookies were featured in Oscar swag bags! She has gone from a basement bakery to 2 store fronts and 9 farmer’s markets per week – 500 dozen cookies just for Friday and Saturday markets. If Kathy has one thing to teach us, it is that a keen business sense, a positive attitude, and a commitment to quality products can help a business grow exponentially.
There’s no denying that Greg Ball is a career chameleon –he is a Hollywood writer, a lawyer, and passionate storyteller. While wrapping up his law degree, he and his former writing partner developed a pitch for a television show based on their experiences as young, soon-to-be lawyers. The two decided to take their story to the Banff Television Festival, and were soon launched into the world of Hollywood and all that comes with it. After spending time in Ottawa, Toronto and Los Angeles, Greg returned to Edmonton with a refreshed appreciation for our community and overall quality of life (though he strongly believes our city is lacking in the valet parking department). We took some time to chat with Greg about his experiences in Hollywood, his advice for aspiring writers, and how he divides his time between law and storytelling.
When Jacqueline Jacek first decided to start her own company, she wanted to combine things that make people happy —for her, those things included fashion and chocolate. After attending an “Ecole Chocolat” in New Zealand, Jacqueline brought her newfound skills as a ‘Cocoanista’ back to Edmonton, and designed a line of couture chocolates. Since then, she has taken her company from home-based production and expanded it to include two storefront locations and partnerships with several local and big-box retailers around Alberta. Jacqueline describes herself as a person who has trouble ‘keeping still’, so we were lucky to catch her between her roles as a wife, mother, and business owner to get a glimpse into the life of a couture “Cocoanista”, and all around proponent of joy in our community. Thank you, Jacqueline!
We had the chance to catch up with Amor Carandang —owner and half of the design mega-team behind Hunt Amor studio — right before the launch of her (and partner, Chris Provins’) new collection Kindred. Since creating her first pair of earrings in 2003, Amor has grown her following to include people from around the world, while still maintaining the personal connection that makes each Hunt Amor piece so special.
The Nowhere Fast brand started in 2009 after Wes O’Driscoll and his friend decided to screen print a few t-shirts to sell as promotional merchandise for a magazine he was curating. When the shirts became a hit, eventually eclipsing the magazine itself in sales, Wes decided to direct his attention to the fashion industry full-time. Since then, the Nowhere Fast brand has outgrown home-production, and moved into its own studio (which will soon feature a coffee bar!) where Wes can connect with Nowhere Fast customers directly and discuss the brand, his process, or just to hang out. We met up with Wes to talk about starting Nowhere Fast, his vision for the brand’s future, and why he prefers film over digital photography.
When Geoff Linden and his wife Joanne first decided to open their first café, they were taking a leap towards realizing a dream that had been many years in the making —and we are extremely glad that they did! Geoff’s love for coffee began when he was in his late teens, when the act of ‘going for coffee’ was more about the place than it was about the brew. Since then, his appreciation for coffee shops has grown into a passion for the coffee and café culture as a whole.
Blair McFarlane has been around the Edmonton social scene for (a few years) longer than most, and if there is one business owner in this city that respects the soul of our growing community, it’s him. As co-owner of The Bower, Red Star, and Lock Stock Coffee, Blair has positioned himself as one of the key proponents behind downtown Edmonton’s revitalization, and the collective goal of ridding ourselves of the “Deadmonton” misnomer. When he’s not busy running downtown’s favourite hangouts, Blair spends his time as a DJ, traveller, and all around foodie. His ongoing support for everyone within the community helps bring integrity and soul to our ever-expanding city. Thank you, Blair, for taking the time to give us your take on life in Edmonton!
A few years ago —when streaming news online was still a somewhat novel idea— reporter Tom Gazzola was offered a position with the Edmonton Oilers as a digital media anchor for the team. This season marks his 6th anniversary in that role —a career accomplishment that many were skeptical about when he decided to trade his traditional media gig for a digital opportunity. We met up with Tom just before the NHL season kick off, and got his take on sports, broadcasting, and the best culinary experience he’s had on the road with our favourite team, the Edmonton Oilers.
At 32 years old, Sylvia Soo has repeatedly demonstrated that she is an inspirational force to be reckoned with. A two time cancer survivor, business owner, author, and educator, she is proof of how far you can go when your strength comes from within. Since starting her journey, she has published a book (The Cancer Fabulous Diaries), been featured in two documentaries and a short film, and Sylvia Soo Leather —her line of handcrafted one-of-a-kind leather journals and accessories— has grown from therapeutic hobby into a full time career.
Since returning to Edmonton in 2006, Kendall Barber has channeled her tenacious energy and dedication to hard work into the many projects she has taken on over the years. From her blog about discovering Edmonton, to starting an industry-changing shoe company with her sister, to putting her passion for marathon running to work in the community —it’s safe to say that Kendall has used her Edmontonian inspiration to inspire others. We were extremely fortunate that Kendall took some time from her non-stop schedule to tell us a little more about the many projects she currently has on the go, and how she manages to find balance between work and personal life.
23 year old Alyssa Lau is a born-and-raised Edmontonian who is making waves in the global fashion industry with New Classics — an online store that promotes style with a conscience. After graduating from the University of Alberta’s Bachelor of Sciences program, Alyssa decided to hold off on pursuing a biochemistry graduate degree, and make fashion her full-time gig. Her blog, Ordinary People, has a HUGE following -in the area of 52.5k followers (just on Instagram)- and serves as the perfect resource for fashion-savvy followers around the world. We were fortunate to be able to catch Alyssa between her roles as New Classics founder and style blogger, to chat about her life, inspiration, and get her take on the transition from fast-fashion to socially responsible style.