Calgary is home to a vibrant community of independent businesses. Many of the faces behind the local favourites and neighborhood hangouts tend to stay behind-the-scenes, but a new Calgary-oriented calendar is looking to bring these peeps front-and-center. The 2016 Shop Boys calendar features 12 local business owners to celebrate local independent shops throughout the community.
The calendar is the brainchild of co-founders Emily and Brett McDermott (of Our Daily Brett on 14 Street SW). “We’re really excited about Calgary and all the interesting, independent businesses that have been popping up in recent years,” says Emily. “Whenever we have a day off together, you can usually find us at one or two of the businesses included in the calendar. We both wanted to create something visual to celebrate the small and interesting spaces that we like to spend our time in Calgary.”
What’s also cool about the project is that all profits from the calendar will go towards Momentum’s Women’s Venture Program, a local charity supporting women entrepreneurs living on low incomes. “It seemed like an obvious fit to us. The calendar celebrates young entrepreneurs that have managed to get their businesses off the ground. We wanted to help other people in our community, especially those that might have additional barriers to getting their ideas to market, do the same,” explains Emily.
Shop Boy Kyle Van Der Velden agrees. The owner of North American Quality Purveyors knows how hard it can be get a business up-and-running. “It’s important to be an ally, to women, or really anyone venturing into the oft-tumultuous world of small business,” he says. “You really do benefit from having lots of support so you can focus on getting your bearings, finding and reaching the community you’re looking to serve. The Women’s Venture Program at Momentum does just that, so it’s great that the proceeds will go to such a great organization.”
As to what it’s like to be a calendar pinup boy for a month? “I’m glad I was able to get such a slick and current photo that my mom can show off to her friends,” says Kyle.
The featured Shop Boys in the 2016 calendar include:
- Sean Carter, Bike Bike
- Greg Fraser, DADE Gallery
- Gareth Lukes, Lukes Drug Mart
- Cole Larson, Metrovino
- Jeremy Ho, Monogram Coffee
- Kyle Van Der Velden, North American Quality Purveyors
- Brett McDermott, Our Daily Brett
- Connor Gould, The Livery
- Kyle Chow, Plant Terrariums
- Aaron Ellard, Understudy
- Billy Friley, Village Ice Cream
- Andrew Obrecht, YYC Cycle
The calendar is available at shopboysyyc.com as well as at local shops around town. While this is the first year of the initiative, Emily and Brett hope to be able to expand the concept to a Shop Girls calendar in 2017.