Meet Heather and Little Rainbow Paper Co: a small business helping the 2SLGBTQ+ community feel seen and celebrated.
Heather Hansler is the creator and operator of Little Rainbow Paper Co., a small business specializing in a range of products, from greeting cards and pins to mugs and ornaments, dedicated to celebrating the 2SLGBTQ+ community. Heather's passion is rooted in the belief that everyone deserves representation and visibility in the products they buy. CFIB sat down with Heather to learn about her experience creating a small business with the big goal of spreading love and acceptance.
How would you describe your business in a few words?
Card and novelty shop that's a bit queer and quirky and focused on expressing love, affection, friendship, and joy for the 2SLGBTQ+ community.What would you say is the most meaningful part of being a small business owner?
For me it’s having complete creative freedom over my work and being able to serve my community in a way that truly helps them feel seen, recognized, and celebrated. I would say that the conversations that I have with my community members and the impact that my products have in their lives is the most meaningful part of what I do.
As a business owner, how are you involved with your community?
I'm deeply engaged with the community in multiple ways. Firstly, my presence as a queer individual creating products in the city of Calgary contributes to our community's visibility. The products I design are intended to support and uplift the 2SLGBTQ+ community, offering an opportunity for allies and those with loved ones in the community to participate as well. Additionally, I donate 1% of my profits to 2SLGBTQ+ serving organizations.
Over the years, I've engaged in various community initiatives, such as the Gender Phluid Collective in San Diego to run a fundraiser and supply pronoun pens, and Camp fYrefly, which provides unique experiences for queer and trans youth.What advice would you give to someone who is starting their own small business?
You don't need to possess all the knowledge before embarking on your entrepreneurial path; you can learn as you go. It's perfectly acceptable to venture into the unknown without having all the necessary skills.
It's crucial to allow yourself to fail because failures are valuable lessons in finding alternative paths to success. This philosophy is not only applicable to running a business but to life in general. Treating ourselves with the same kindness and patience as we would when guiding a child learning something new is the key to personal and professional growth.What would you say is the proudest moment for your business so far?
I think it's just finding out for myself that I was able to do it, even though I started with no skills, no understanding, no idea of what I was doing! I'm proud that I'm even here.
Learn more about Little Rainbow Paper Co. from Interac
Digital payment solutions support Little Rainbow Paper Co.’s growth because they help provide entry to different markets, people, and vendors. Heather explains: “Many smaller vendors or boutiques might not be able to access the platforms and marketplaces that I’m on. Often, they’ll find and order with me directly. In these cases, I accept Interac e-Transfer. It’s really shaped my business, in the sense that my products can get out to more places.” Watch to learn more about Little Rainbow Paper Co.
Visit littlerainbowpaperco.com for more information.