Earlier this month the Canadian Women's Foundation held our Annual Breakfast in Calgary with keynote speaker Geena Davis. The event raised $620,000 to help low-income women, like Necole, on their journey out of poverty.
Momentum is a word that often comes up at the Canadian Women’s Foundation. Nearly every day we learn of another woman who is living proof that if you build on strengths and provide access to the right tools, a woman basically becomes an unstoppable force of positive momentum.
Take Necole, founder of Wings n Tings and purveyor of Calgary’s best Jamaican jerk wings. A couple of months ago, I had the pleasure of shooting a video portrait of Necole for our Calgary breakfast. She attended a Canadian Women’s Foundation-funded program called Momentum (see? It’s everywhere), which is a self-employment program that helps women launch their own business.
Necole has always been smart, creative, ambitious and driven, but her momentum had been interrupted by forces out of her control. She had her first child young, and she was in an abusive relationship. When her relationship with her partner ended, she was left to support her three sons on her own: she worked lower-end jobs that didn’t pull in a lot of money; she struggled to find affordable housing (and a landlord who would take a family with three boys); and keeping the bills paid was a constant balancing act.
Despite it all, Necole always tried to keep her creative side fueled with blogging, running Calgary’s biggest clothing swap, and her life’s passion: cooking.
Here’s where the momentum kicks back in: It was at a potluck one night that a friend complimented Necole on her jerk wings and told her that she could sell them, (“street food” had already taken hold in Calgary and was only gaining popularity), so Necole decided to ask a few more people if they would pay for her wings. When she received a resounding yes, she knew she was on to something: Wing n Tings was born.
She signed up for the self-employment program at Momentum where they helped her turn her delicious idea into a viable business: she explored her relationship with money and how it impacted her life, she figured out what values and beliefs she wanted to bring to Wings n Tings, and she learned to master all of the operational and marketing aspects of running a business.
Per the laws of physics (increase mass, velocity and/or opportunity), Necole is now hurtling toward amazing “tings”. Wings n Tings is already a registered catering business and her food is being happily devoured at festivals and events around Calgary. She’s in the process of outfitting a food truck with the delightful people at Food Trucks Inc., and she just recently scored herself a permanent spot at the Kingsland Farmers Market as of December 1st.
Ain’t physics grand?