What to Buy at YYC Girl Gang's Galentine's Market

Leslie Knope would certainly approve of the second annual Galentine's Market.

Photograph courtesy of Logee Photo

What do you get when you mix waffles, girl power, and politics? Leslie Knope, obviously. Parks and Recreation fans will recognize one of Knope's many good qualities is her love and support for her female friends, including her creation of Galentine's Day.

When you enter YYC Girl Gang's Galentine's Market on February 11, you'll be greeted by a shrine to Knope. Chantal Miyagishima, the president of YYC Girl Gang and creator of Knitatude, laughs as she describes the framed photo of Knope that currently resides in her house, waiting for its time to shine at the market: "It's badass. My husband loves it." 

This is the second annual Galentine's Market from an organization that Knope would certainly approve of. YYC Girl Gang is all about women supporting women. "When we first started Girl Gang, it was the idea of getting a collective together to become a way for local entrepreneurs to network. Being an entrepreneur is really lonely. In Girl Gang, we want to be able to help solve some of the problems that a lot of small businesses have and find a way to be able to network within the community. There are so many makers here in Calgary," says Miyagishima.

YYC Girl Gang's Galentine's Market offers the perfect spot to shop for your favourite gals for Galentine's Day, or shop with your favourite gals for Valentine's Day. Here is a sneak peek of five of the vendors you can expect to see at the market. 


Nicole Bracey | Salt Water Tea


Nicole Bracey performs double duty as the vice president of YYC Girl Gang as well as the founder of her jewellery company, Salt Water Tea. Bracey's philosophy behind her jewelry is to "create the jewellery that I would want to wear and that I could afford to wear." 

Bracey's recommendation for a Galentine's Day gift

"My hair tie elastics. They’re super cute little ribbon elastics."

Bracey's advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs

"I would say just go for it and to reach out to your community. Definitely connect with us and connect with our Facebook group. YYC Girl Gang is a group of girls who want to help their community, so it’s a little bit easier to get your foot in the door and get a little bit of advice." 


Alexandra Daignault | Sarjesa


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Alexandra Daignault is a university student and the creator of Sarjesa. She describes it as a "socially focused tea company, [which] raises awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women, while donating to local violence prevention programs at the Awo Taan Healing Lodge." 

Daignault's recommendation for a Galentine's Day gift

"Our Prairie Wilds tea. Two dollars from every box sold is donated back to Awo Taan to support its programming."

Daignault's advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs

"Keep going. You have to start somewhere, so ask good questions. The more you listen to the people around you, the better prepared you are when you come up against challenges. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Ask all the time for help."


Ayla Graham | Gypsy Skulls


Ayla Graham, the creator of Gypsy Skulls, describes her company in reference to Valentine's Day as "giving a unique twist to flowers." Graham creates art pieces through the careful arrangement of pressed flowers into different creations, from a spooky pretty skull to a fun flamingo.

Graham's recommendation for a Galentine's Day gift

"A cool Galentine's gift would be any of our home decor pieces. We’ve got a really awesome line of pillow covers."

Graham's advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs

"Don’t be intimidated by your community. Try and embrace it. Everyone is so accepting and loving and everyone wants to help. If you can overcome that intimidation factor and rock on and be yourself, you’ll meet amazing people and make amazing connections."


Sam Heidinger | Catfriendo 


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Sam Heidinger, the creator of Catfriendo, specializes in creating paper artworks. She cuts each one of her beautiful pieces herself by hand. Heidinger describes the process as "almost meditative," and has been practicing the art for around seven years.

Heidinger's recommendation for a Galentine's Day gift

"One of my floral sloth pieces for Galentine's."

Heidinger's advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs

"Just get started. If you're struggling with whether or not you should apply to your first market, just do it. If you have questions, ask those in your community for help."


Vicki Manness | Pretty Sweet


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Vicki Manness is the creator of boutique dessert company, Pretty Sweet. Pretty Sweet makes a range of creations, including doughnuts, macarons, cupcakes and tarts.

Manness' recommendation for a Galentine's Day or Valentine's Day gift

"Our conversation heart sugar cookies." 

Manness' advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs

"Work hard. It doesn't come easy, but if it's something that you really love, then work hard it. Don't give up. Surround yourself with other people that have a mind like yours and lift each other up and help each other." 


The YYC Girl Gang Galentine's Market is Sunday, February 11, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at The Commons, 1206 20 Ave. S.E. For more information, visit yycgirlgang.com.

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