Meet Jackie Martin, owner of Tiny Spark in Saskatoon

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At Refined, we recognize the importance of local businesses in our community. We often only see the business storefront, products and services, and never get to know the business owners behind the scenes. Refined is proud to profile two business owners who are winning at their game, and help you get to know them better with some personal and fun questions.

Where did you grow up/which schools did you attend? I grew up and went to school in Glenboro, a small town in Manitoba. After graduating, I travelled for a couple of years and then returned to attend university — two years in Manitoba and finished my undergrad at the U of S. I then completed a Master’s degree in Environmental Assessment.

What led you into this business/career? I own multiple businesses, but I always knew I wanted to create another business with heart and purpose. As the mother of two young girls, I was surprised to see their confidence dwindle as they hit school age. I wanted to create something that would help support girls’ confidence so they believe they can do anything — to help them down a path to finding a career that will allow them to achieve their dreams.

What do you love most about your business? I love that it makes a difference. Encouraging girls to believe in themselves and to try new educational experiences makes a difference in their lives. It is these types of experiences that will shape the women they become.

What is your most important characteristic? I’m not afraid to take risks. Starting a new company is always a risk, but you will never reach your goal unless you try.

How do you support the community/social causes? I wanted my company to give back to the community. With every TinySpark purchase, we donate a portion to our bursary program, IGNITE, which sponsors girls in educational opportunities such as coding camps, art classes, engineering programs and more. Many girls don’t have the means to engage in the activities they’re passionate about, so they miss out on developing the self-confidence that comes from doing what you love. It is our hope that with this confidence she will have a happy life and find a career that will allow her to achieve her dreams.

What do you value in your friends? Connection, honesty and support.

Who is the person you admire most? The person at the top of my list has passed on — my grandmother on my mother’s side. She gave me a lot of my confidence as a young girl. When I was young, she always believed in me. She helped me practice my speeches, making me repeat them over and over until I got it right. She was a teacher and a trailblazer. She lost her husband at a young age, but that never stopped her from travelling the world and doing what she loved. She was ahead of her time and I always admired her for that.

What one piece of advice would you give your younger self? To believe in yourself and not worry what other people think.

Let’s talk favourites:

Vacation - I went to Budapest in 2018; it was the best vacation ever.

Book - The Gifts of Imperfection by Brené Brown

Movie - Shawshank Redemption 

Song - Leaving on a Jet Plane, Chantal Kreviazuk

Food - Apple fritters from the Country Cross Roads in Wakaw

Dessert - Pumpkin cheesecake

Vehicle - My husband’s 1967 Ford Mustang

Way to relax - I love going to my family’s cabin, all year long

What is your motto? The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams —Eleanor Roosevelt

What talent would you like to have? I would like to be able to play an instrument; I have no musical abilities.

How would your friends describe your best/worst traits? They would say I’m kind, thoughtful and trustworthy. I am a homebody, so I don’t always attend all the events they want me to. I am working on that!

When did you make a difference? My life became so much richer when I had my daughters —such an awesome responsibility.

What brings you joy? Hearing my daughters laughing and playing together.  They are only 16 months apart, and I’m so glad they get along.

How did you know you were on the right path? The response from other moms in the community has been fantastic. Our collective desire to boost our daughters’ self-confidence is a common theme. Society still doesn’t tell them they can do anything they want. We need to change that message.

Do you ever consider closing your doors? What business advice would you give to others?

No. But it isn’t easy. I have other businesses, too, and have experienced the highs and lows that come with it. It’s hard work, but I believe in what we are trying to do. I would tell others to believe in yourself, work hard and don’t give up. A little progress every day will add up to big results.

Published on December 29, 2019 under Uncategorized


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