An Alberta woman who was laid off from her job in the oil and gas sector more than a year and a half ago, has just celebrated the one-year mark of a business venture she launched herself.
Erin Moffatt was working as a mechanical engineer and what sprung from seeming misfortune, proved to be a seedling for the budding entrepreneur.
“It’s tough when you’re in a position when you’ve lost your job and you’re not sure where to go,” she said. “Especially when there’s a lot of people who have been in the indsutry for a really long time. 10, 20, 30 years.”
Moffatt has now become a proprietor of ‘poop – art’. Her company, Poop Heart stemmed from a love of cheeky art. Among the assortment of Moffatt’s merchandise: Mugs, prints, baby clothing and cards actually made from elephant poop.
“I was actually just looking for something funny to put in my bathroom,” she laughed. “If something was funny, it wasn’t pretty – or I was crude. So I thought ‘why can’t something be funny and pretty? So that’s why I thought I’m going to just take that into my own hands and make my own artwork.”
The Calgary-based business owner had been making art for fun while she was working. Her company has grown significantly since launching last February. Poop Heart has generated sales of nearly $30,000.
Moffatt has also teamed up with the Centre for Affordable Water and Sanitation Technology (CAWST). The organization helps provide people living in developing countries with safe drinking water and sanitation. Ten per cent of Poop Heart’s proceeds from sales go towards CAWST.
“I had my original artwork that I actually made out of recycled magazine strips, but then that takes a long time to make,” she said. “So then I turned that into an art print.”
While Moffatt continues to pursue opportunities in engineering, rediscovering her passion for art has been rewarding.
“I kind of fondly say – I lost my job, but I truly found my occupation.”