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Toasting Winnipeg

Wednesday, September 28, 2016
7:30 am – 9:00 am

Celebrating innovative, original and inspiring business stories in our city. 

Get fired up with Coal and Canary candle company. Tom Jansen and Amanda Buhse share the key to their success in the business of quality, hand-made candles. Also, is Kiera Fogg rocking the next big gift-giving craze? Hear from the creator of Little Box of Rocks.


Amanda Buhse is co-founder of Coal and Canary Candle Company. Before starting Coal and Canary, Amanda worked as a graphic designer and marketer for companies both large and small. Her passion of graphic design started as a child when she would point to billboards on the street saying “how do I do that?”. This curiosity mixed with artistic skill led her to work for ad agencies, print houses, and national fashion retailers as lead art director. The experience she learned while working for this diverse mix of company’s taught her valuable skills that she brings to the table in her role as co-founder and art director at Coal and Canary everyday.

Amanda loves to work hard, but also have fun in the process. When she’s not designing the next Coal and Canary collection packaging on her computer, you’ll find her singing, cooking, painting, or spending quality time at her cabin with her family, husband Jeff, and little dog, Pancakes.


Tom Jansen is the co-founder of Coal and Canary. Having a strong passion for anything hand-on and creative, Tom has spent the last four years perfecting the art of candle making, evolving this art into what is now Coal and Canary Candle Company. 

His experience in candle making and his love for fragrance and it’s ability to set a mood has led Tom into the role of production management and scent creation within Coal and Canary. A self-proclaimed “Jack of all trades”, Tom’s creative and academic pursuits have helped him to become an accomplished classical musician, the owner of a furniture refinishing and home decor company, and a practicing Registered nurse, specializing in geriatric and palliative care. 

When Tom is not working, he enjoys spending time at his favourite local restaurants and coffee shops, interior design and a smart gin cocktail.


Kiera Fogg wants to live in a world where magic isn’t questioned. A world where stay-at-home-moms can sell rocks for a living, and inspiration can be tied up in black, satin ribbon.

In fact, it was through a moment of inspiration that the Winnipeg entrepreneur had the idea to send crystals the way we typically send flowers, a concept she believed would either fly or flop. There was only one way to find out, so in October 2015, she took the leap, introducing Little Box of Rocks to the world. Beginning with just enough inventory to sell 100 bouquets total, within two months of opening the company was selling between 50-100 a day and had been named in the gift-guides of Cameron Diaz and Gwyneth Paltrow.

Since then, Little Box of Rocks has been featured in numerous media outlets including The Huffington Post, Canadian Living, eTalk and more. Most recently Kiera travelled to Toronto to tape an episode of CBC’s Dragons Den. When she’s not wrapping up little bouquets of inspiration, she’s trying to keep her “zen” in a houseful of three young boys, a hubby, and a doggy named Diamond.

237 McDermot Avenue

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