‘It’s been awesome’: Alberta man laid off amid economic downturn

Click to play video: '2 Alberta men say being laid off amid downturn the best thing to happen to them' 2 Alberta men say being laid off amid downturn the best thing to happen to them
WATCH ABOVE: While the economic downturn has been tough on thousands of Albertans, tonight we have another story about people laid off during the hard times. This story is a happy one. You're about to meet two men who lost their jobs and say it's the best thing that's ever happened to them. Kent Morrison has their story. – Aug 13, 2016

The past several months have been a challenge for thousands of Albertans. Tough economic times have led to job losses, forcing many people to search for new jobs, often times pursuing a brand new area of employment. But while things have been rough for many, two Alberta men say losing their jobs ended up being the best thing to happen to them.

“It’s been awesome. Every day I’m smiling, I’m laughing. It’s my dream,” Rob Tryon said.

Originally from Effingham Inlet on Vancouver Island, Tryon came to Alberta to work in the oilfield. The fisherman’s son lost his job last year and was forced to look elsewhere for work. So he hooked into his contacts back home and Effing Seafoods was born. Now, the seafood supplier is one of Edmonton’s most popular dealers.

“I love what I do,” he said, standing with his two young girls who have also become involved in the family business.

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“Their interest in it has been awesome. They know all the products, they come to the farmer’s markets, they can run the booth without me. I don’t need to be there. They are amazing. The head seafood girl and the caviar girl. They even have their own business cards.”

READ MORE: 2015 worst year for Alberta jobs losses since 1982

Sandy Muldrew is now living his dream as well. Laid off last fall from his job as a television editor, Muldrew used his buy-out money to invest in a graphic art shop. While he calls the transition a “mid-life crisis in a way,” Muldrew is now the owner and sole employee at The Prints and the Paper.

“When you’re working for yourself, it’s very gratifying,” he said. “It’s sort of something I thought about doing in my retirement, but that’s been fast-tracked.”

Sandy Muldrew, owner and only employee of The Prints and the Paper, works in his Edmonton shop. Global News

READ MORE: Alberta’s oil and gas veterans look elsewhere for jobs after layoffs

The Prints and the Paper has everything from custom-framed prints and stationery, to coffee mugs and greeting cards. The shop’s been open for two months and for the first time in years, Muldrew is looking forward to what’s to come.

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“I’m working much harder now but I enjoy it,” he said. “Everything’s looking bright and I just keep thinking of all the stuff I want to get.

“I’m just a lot happier and a lot healthier and the future looks a lot brighter.”

With files from Kent Morrison, Global News. 

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