A strong community can promote new ideas and ensure accountability. It can also act as motivation, support, and even provide a little friendly competition. The power of community is undeniable and the Okanagan tech community is no exception.
Our community is strong and growing with record speed and maintaining connection through a period of growth like this can be a challenge. Nobody panic, we’ve got a plan.
Introducing, The Faces of #OKGNtech. A showcase of Okanagan tech entrepreneurs, partners, supporters, and cheerleaders designed to fuel more connection, more growth, and more excitement. Follow along (on the blog and on Instagram @OKGNtech) to learn more about our growing community and what makes them awesome.
Meet Carrie. Carrie Mayhew wears many hats! She is the Creative Director at a local marketing agency Twirling Umbrellas, She has founded two stationary companies Ginger Creative and Hooray Paper Co, and she is also a part-time graphic design teacher at the Center for Arts and Technology. When Carrie isn’t working, you will find her with her two children or renovating her house.
We recently caught up with Carrie to learn more about her various roles and what she enjoys about them the most.
Can you tell us about your newest business, Hooray Paper Co?
“So my newest venture is Hooray Paper Co! That all started when I noticed all design I had done up for stylized shoots through my other company Ginger Creative, just sitting on my computer, and thought ‘what can I do with all these?’. I’ve decided to target the nontraditional bride because the designs are more graphic. I thought Hooray Paper Co would be a great way to promote those designs. But yeah I am currently trying to launch that, hopefully, a website will be up soon, perhaps this fall.
I have phases in my head for Hooray. I eventually want to do Hooray Home where I’d do patterns for fabric and wallpaper. My daughter she wants a really cute princess bedroom – but everything out there is not to our taste, so I feel like there’s room for making it, so it still fits in with our home but not like crazy for her.”
What do you enjoy most about your role at Twirling Umbrellas and being a founder of Hooray Paper Co?
“I love that we get to work with a variety of clients, and every day we are doing something different. Whether it is a law firm, or a barbershop, or banking, or cannabis… every day is something new, and you get to just be creative, that is the best part of agency life.
The reason I really enjoy doing stationery is that I am a huge fan of tactile products. It’s always something nice to get in the mail and with wedding stationery – how I explain it to brides is – it literally sets the tone for any event or your wedding – it is the first thing people see! When it’s well branded to you as a couple, then it makes everyone understand what to expect, and it is very personal! So it’s kind of like branding but a little bit different. It’s like couple branding!”
How did you get into this kind of work?
“I have always been a creative, but I actually went to school originally to be a paramedic. I ended up having a strong dislike for it and just felt like I needed to go to arts school, and that’s where I discovered graphic design. What I loved about graphic design was that it had a system and an order, but you could still be creative at the same time. I didn’t even know graphic design was a thing until I was 22 because it’s not one of those professions that anyone really talks about or really knows about like no one ever says ‘I am going to be a graphic designer when I grow up!’ No one ever says that! Unless they know a graphic designer, right?”
What advice would you give to someone interested in a job like yours?
“I would say that first and foremost, you really have to have the passion for design because you do put a lot of yourself into everything. It’s important to really love what you’re doing to be able to take criticism and just roll with it in order to produce the best that you can. I’ve been doing this for 10 years, and I still get nervous when I send a logo or a design off because you just don’t know how that client is going to react – usually it’s positive, and they love it, but still you are putting everything of you into your work, so it is intense, but it’s also the BEST.”
Where are you from? How did you end up in the Okanagan?
“I grew up in Edmonton, went to school in Calgary for four years then moved back to Edmonton got married to my husband now Trevor. We then moved out to the Okanagan about 8 years ago. My mom had lived out here for a few years, and every time we were out here visiting, we always liked the work-life balance here in the Okanagan. We liked how we could go to the beach for half a day and still go home and do our normal routine. I also really loved the idea of raising our kids more outdoors and giving them more space to explore.”
What do you love about the OKGNtech community?
“I feel like everyone in Kelowna in the tech industry is really supportive of one another, and we are all each other’s cheerleaders. We just want our little community and Kelowna to be seen as an industry to be reckoned with. I think a lot of people have this misconception that Kelowna is this small little city, and nothing is happening here, but that is totally not the case. There is lots of room for people to come and join us. I like that we aren’t a solo club.”
Who inspires you?
“This probably sounds really cliche, but both of my parents totally inspire me! My mom in that, my stepdad has had a lot of health problems this past 6 months or so and just how she’s handled it…she is so strong. My dad for being such a great sounding board for all of my ideas, he too is in a similar field so he always has great insight. When my parents where raising my sisters and I, they where always telling us to have a voice and speak what we needed to say and to be present in the moment, and I just think that they are both wonderful!”
What is your reason and drive behind supporting the CODEanagan project and the Techathalon?
“I actually ended up going to the last part of the CODEanagan Panel Series last year, and I am the type of person who always liked to try new things or push the envelope in some way. If I’ve seen a campaign or an idea before I’m always asking myself “how can we make this different?” or “how can we put a twist on this that feels more unique to where what we are trying to achieve?”. After taking it back to Twirling Umbrellas our team came up with the Techathalon Campaign. We really wanted to have a campaign that felt like it could have the tech community involved, having fun and raising some funds for United Ways CODEanagan at the same time.”
[Editor’s note: CODEanagan is a community partnership program which aims to kick start tech skills for disadvantaged youth aged 16-22. CODEanagan provides tech skills, builds networks, and exposes them to opportunities in the tech sector through boot camps, coaching, and financial support!]
Connect with Carrie. Learn more about Twirling Umbrellas, Ginger Creative, Hooray Paper Co and The Centre for Arts and Technology. Hungry for more? Meet Dan.