The BG News

Harvest Hills Hub in Calgary fundraising for an improved green space

Harvest Hills Hub in Calgary fundraising for an improved green space 1

I grew up in Thunder Bay, Ontario and my childhood memories are flooded with a playground in walking distance from my home.  Myself, and many neighborhood kids use to play tag, red rover, hopscotch, and play on some of the limited playground equipment there, and also use to play on some of the statues, boulders, and other "things" that just happened to be on the land of that greenspace.  Even though Hillcrest Park is a landmark in Thunder Bay as a whole, to the children of that area, we didn't necessarily roam the grounds of Hillcrest Park.  There was one "corner" that had a slide, some monkey bars, some grass, sand and boulders, and THAT was our meeting spot.  I am 47 years old, and make it back to Thunder Bay every few years, usually for a wedding or a funeral.  However, even now, when I go "home, I always make a point to drive by that place.  As I am listening to the same radio station I listened to when I lived there (CKPR-FM) silently acknowledge my childhood home, my best friend's home, the corner store that we use to buy penny candies from, the land where my public school was, and of course that plot of land at Hillcrest Park where we use to play.

Fast forward to 2017, Sarah, a BeautyGram client sent me an email at the beginning of the summer, sharing that her a small group of volunteers are working with Parks Foundation Calgary and the City of Calgary to improve the green space in our community.


She is volunteering as a fundraising coordinator and will be hosting multiple events in our community to raise the remaining funds required to move forward with the construction in the spring / summer of 2018.  This collaboration with Parks Foundation, the city, and with local businesses is an important part of the success of this project.  My mind quickly went back to my last trip home (which was October 2016) and taking some photos of Hillcrest Park, tagging some of those childhood friends with photos on facebook to relive some of those memories.

These memories of fun, glee, innocence and play are cherished and remembered, because back then, our worlds are rich, but very small.  We cannot drive to where we want to go, so we frequent those places close and accessible to us.  These greenspaces and parks are important. Kids need a place to play, and even better if it is cared for, loved, nurtured and used by the community.

This is important work in my opinion that is being run by community members in the best interest of their children.  Sarah shared with me that they are so excited to be hosting multiple events in the community of Harvest Hills to raise the remaining funds required to move forward with the construction in the spring / summer of 2018.

These events include a pub night at the Canadian Brewhouse on October 21 as well as an online silent auction that will run from October 20- November 7. They expect 150 people at our pub night.

They hope to reach not only their our community members, but other Calgarians with our online silent auction through social and conventional media.

 As these events materialize, I look forward to sharing them with you, and encourage you to participate should you see something that you.  Their events will be listed on their facebook page:  If you click LIKE you will have the opportunity to see the progresison of those events in your facebook feed, and hopefully participate if any of their fundraising is of interest to you.

Thank you Sarah for allowing us to be a part of the your fundraising efforts.  I hope the BeautyGram fetches some well deserved funds for this community project.



Dream Your Dream retreat, Wild Nights Ladies Group, BeautyGram Guest Speaker

Dream Your Dream retreat, Wild Nights Ladies Group, BeautyGram Guest Speaker 0

I had an amazing night speaking at the Wild Nights and want to sincerely thank both Maureen Dobranski and Chantal Plowman for the opportunity to speak to their tribe of amazing women about my journey through standing up my ecommerce business, and the purchase of BeautyGram. 

What is Wild Nights?  Its a ladies heart-centered group in Calgary where women come to be inspired, learn and to have fun.  These evenings usually include 1-2 guest speakers, and are a way to keep past alumni connected after their popular retreat Dream Your Dreams.  You do not have to be an alumni of Dream your Dreams to attend, but this is where many of the attendees have previously met.  If you are interested in the retreat, I have attended it, and it was an amazing way to decompress, be creative, connect with like-minded new friends, and in general just leave the city behind and enjoy some time in the mountains collecting my thoughts.  For those who cannot attend the retreat, but like the sound of the group, Wild Nights (Women Igniting Life's Dreams) is a great way to get to know the Facilitators, Maureen Dobranski and Chantal Plowman and to get a feel for the types of women who support these events.  Tammy Nicoll, Medium, will be speaking athte next Wild Nights event.  I will be sure to share the event link once it is posted.

The next Dream Your Dream retreat is around the corner Oct 13, 14, 15th at the Banff Rimrock.  If this sounds interesting to you, definately click the link to find out more.  Below, find the video that I did to endorse my time out there in 2013.  


On September 20th, Maureen and Chantal invited me to be a guest speaker at the Wild Nights evening to share my entrepreurial journey with my ecommerce businesses, which include BeautyGram, Carrie's Closet and my Ebay Anchor Store.  I have to admit that even though I have 19 years experience in the Learning and Development field, I did not feel very confident when I was in front of a group of people talking about myself and my journey.  My comfort zone is teaching people how to do something that will help them, and that calling has nothing to do with me as a person or an entrepreneur.  I am use to speaking about the steps and the tasks to help someone, rather than blathering about myself.  So this was a good stretch for me, and I look forward with getting more comfortable with the vulnerability and transparency that is associated with an exciting, but definately ebbing-and-flowing small business journey.

The talk was around 20 minutes and there were a little over 30 women there.  I gave everyone there a sample diva kit with a few items, packed in red or black BeautyGrams, so that they could have the experience of a BeautyGram, that I fell in love with myself back in 2011 as a customer.  What is truly special to me about the BeautyGram experience, is that you have NO IDEA what is in the box, since it is not wrapped in cello, where you can see what is inside.   In their BeautyGram was a sample Diva Kit.  On the website, we sell them for $19.99 with 17 items inside.  This sample kit had six items, plus the patent pouch that fits perfectly in your desk, glove compartment or travel bag.  It had a mini nail file, earring backings, hair elastics, a safety pin and a sewing kit. And for good measure, some double-sided tape.

Thank you to all who attended, for allowing me to be vulnerable while sharing my journey.  And Maureen and Chantal, much gratitude for inviting me to speak, and I wish you an extraordinary Dream Your Dream Retreat mid October.



  • Carrie Paxson
Join us at WILD Nights on Wed Sept 20th at Marda Loop - Guest Speaker Carrie Paxson, BeautyGram

Join us at WILD Nights on Wed Sept 20th at Marda Loop - Guest Speaker Carrie Paxson, BeautyGram 0


WILD Nights is an evening out filled with girlfriends, food, wine, ambiance, fun and inspiration all rolled into one.  WILD stands for Women Igniting Life's Dreams.  Women share their trials and triumphs in the spirit of connecting and inspiring others.

The two founders of WILD nights are long time personal friends of mine, that also run a ladies retreat in Banff called Dream your Dreams.  I attended in 2015, right before I purchased BeautyGram.  I went onto the BeautyGram website to order two BeautyGrams to bring with me out to the retreat, and lo and behold, I saw that BeautyGram was for sale.  I was already in the ecommerce space with Carrie's Closet, was madly in love with the BeautyGram brand and product, and that is what started the wheels in motion.  At the retreat, all of my plans focused around how to acquire BeautyGram and evaluate the opportunity (since it was very much an unplanned purchase) and by October 21st, the deal was done.

My ecommerce journey did start before BeautyGram.  I already was the founder of Carrie's Closet, and I was a powerseller on Ebay with a US store.  Definately from the start of that, to present, I had a number of trials and triumphs and quite frankly, I am still learning every day through feedback of my customers, suppliers, followers and friends.

If my journey in this space interests you, I would welcome you to join us.  I will be speaking about my journey through ecommerce.  I am unsure of what the rest of the evening will entail, but I have attended these events in the past, and always have a mix of fun, networking, deep thoughts and inspiration.

Maureen Dobranski and Chantal Plowman, hosts of both Dream Your Dreams Retreat and Wild Nights Events are successful, powerhouse women, that are worth getting to know and following.

Purchase tickets:

Date: September 20th at 7 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.

Location:  Mad Rose Pub Marda Loop

Hope you can make it!

  • Carrie Paxson
PARTNER HIGHLIGHT:  Three Lollies with Queasy Pops and Preggie Pops

PARTNER HIGHLIGHT: Three Lollies with Queasy Pops and Preggie Pops 0

On New Year's Eve, Jaeger (my dog) and I went to Windermere, BC to visit my dear friend Ally Lane.  She has been a buddy, an inspiration, and also we have done a few "gigs" together that were a lot of fun. Namely, two variety show galas for the Liver Foundation called Liver Up.  We have attended seminars, brainstormed, were in a mastermind together.  She is obviously someone I care about and truly, truly trust.

Allison Lane Estay comedian actress motivational speaker on cancer survivorsAllison became a bit of a celebrity when she underwent chemotherapy for Breast Cancer in her 30s in 2008.  That is kinda what happens when you are amazing like Allison, and also, she is an actress and comedian.  So she decided to laugh her way through her chemotherapy journey by documenting it on youtube, with a comedic, and also a heartfelt spin.

Fast forward to today, she has a career msotivational speaking, and she continues acting and dabbling in the many things she enjoys as a serial entrepreneur.  It is always an honor to get together with her and to enjoy her friendship, company and her creative mind.  And when you get two capricorns together, we certainly enjoy talking shop.

Long and short of it, the conversation turned, and she mentioned when she was going through chemotherapy, that someone in her network gave her a gift basket that included Preggie Pops in them.  She certainly was not pregnant, but it is an all-natural anti-nausea solution that was effective in curbing her nausea during chemo therapy.

I did some digging, and learned that the company who creates this product is in the united states, and they do have distribution in Canada for Preggie Pops.  They also have a branded product called Queasy Pops, which has the right targeting for everything else.  

I contacted this business, and they were willing to sell to me wholesale.  Since people send my gift baskets to new moms, and to comfort their loved ones when they are ill, I thought this highly endorsed product needed to be available for selection in the custom BeautyGrams for those who are interested in them and certainly I will look at building them into some grab and go baskets as well.

I am not going to lie, this product was pricier than I hoped. I purchase them in USD, had them shipped to Calgary then I got a nice big custom fee to pay as well.  But the good news, is they are available and they are here.  If you are interested in giving them a try, they can be purchased on the website, or simply contact me if you are local to Calgary.  The three lines BeautyGram is starting with is Preggie Pops, Queasy Pops and Queasy Drops.  If there is demand for this product, I will certainly bring in more flavors and variations.

  • Carrie Paxson