Some people while away the workday daydreaming about their happy place. Not Kristin McPherson. The founder of Happyland Print Shop mixes business with pleasure — day and night.
As communications manager at urban nature preserve FortWhyte Alive, the 2004 Graphic Design grad spends her weekdays where other people like to spend their weekends. When she goes home after work, Happyland is there waiting for her.
Since 2012, the 33-year-old entrepreneur has been increasingly successful at minding her own business, designing and selling prints, tote bags, pins and patches that celebrate Winnipeg’s quirks and customs — socials and salami shoulder, perogies and “majestic” Transcona’s pink flamingos, to name a few.
But McPherson doesn’t want to give up her day job.
“It’s a great gig. The role I’m in now I’m kind of like a one-person marketing department,” she says.
“I run the social media accounts, so every so often I get to go out and take photos of seasons changing or the wildlife that’s out there. It’s really nice; it’s nice to start my day with a walk on our trails with my camera. It’s a pretty incredible place to work — I like to go to work every day. It’s like going to a cabin in the woods, basically.”
Her dual roles are due to a combination of hard work and serendipity. After graduating from Graphic Design, a previous employer supported her professional development by funding a series of RRC Continuing Education marketing courses in Business Administration from 2007 to 2010.
“Design school was obviously very important. It gave me skills that I still use, but equally important was learning about marketing and how to manage your brand,” she says.