Alumni Engagement

$40 and a Dream: RRC Polytech alum Amanda Buhse will share her story at CreativeMornings Winnipeg this month

April 13, 2022

More than a decade ago, CreativeMornings was launched out of a desire for ongoing, accessible events for creative communities to connect. Today, these communities gather in 223 cities across 67 countries — including right here in Winnipeg.

The Winnipeg chapter of CreativeMornings not only celebrates our city’s creative talent, but also promotes an open space to connect with like-minded individuals. From marketing legends to hometown heroes, speakers are selected by each chapter based on a global theme. This month’s theme is KISMET: chance encounters, happening onto a fortune, finding true love – it’s all fate or destiny. It’s all kismet.

Amanda Buhse, a graduate of RRC Polytech’s Communication Design program and co-founder of Coal and Canary Candle Company, is CreativeMornings Winnipeg’s speaker on Friday, April 29 from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m. CT. This ‘accidental entrepreneur’ will be sharing her career journey, from starting a business with only $40 in her bank account in 2014, to being named Entrepreneur of the Year by the Women Business Owners of Manitoba by 2019.

Buhse has experienced kismet firsthand — she didn’t set out to co-found one of Winnipeg’s hottest start-ups, but fate had other plans. Coal and Canary Candle Company was, at first, an excuse to hang out with her best friend and co-founder, Tom Jansen. What began as a candle-making hobby quickly turned into a business — a successful one — with their products filling swag bags for the Oscars and Grammy Awards. Today, you’ll find Coal and Canary candles available in stores and online shops across North America, as well as at their flagship brick and mortar location at The Forks.

Buhse attributes the success of her business to a key lesson learned from her time as a student at RRC Polytech: creating a unique brand. You can be the smallest fish in the sea, but if you have great branding, you can look like the largest fish in the ocean.

From day 1, Buhse set out to go beyond just a logo. She created an entire brand. Coal and Canary is a lifestyle company: a brand people can relate to that also happens to sell candles.

Co-founding Coal and Canary was a huge career shift for Buhse, who had been working as a full-time graphic designer. You’ll hear more about Buhse’s kismet journey from designer to entrepreneur on Friday, April 29. You’ll also have the chance to network with other brilliant minds from Winnipeg’s creative community. As always, CreativeMornings Winnipeg events are free to attend. You won’t want to miss it!

The motto of CreativeMornings is “everyone is creative, everyone is welcome” – a perfect fit for Friendly Manitoba. Register for free to attend Buhse’s presentation hosted in person at RRC Polytech’s new Manitou a bi Bii daziigae building on April 29.