Success Story - Jessie Hann & Alexa Arenburg - Moonlight & Sage
What began as a major life challenge for Jessie Hann of Lloydminster has evolved into an exciting business enterprise. Along with Alexa Arenburg, Hann have started a handmade gemstone jewelry social enterprise. Hann, managing partner of Moonlight and Sage Jewelry, and Arenburg, founding partner have an incredibly strong passion for giving back to an organization that was critical in Hann’s child’s journey.
When Hann’s daughter was born with an immunodeficiency disorder, followed by complications and a birth defect, the family was plunged into an extremely challenging situation. They soon ended up at the Stollery Children’s Hospital in Edmonton.
The jewelry enterprise began with Arenburg hearing of Hann’s situation and having the idea to create awareness for those fighting illness by designing beautiful bracelets as a reminder of patients and then to donate some of the proceeds back to non-profits.
Initially one dollar from each handmade gemstone bracelet sold was donated. “At the time it felt good to give back even though we needed a lot,” says Hann. The donation has now grown to 50% of all profits going to the Stollery.
Moonlight & Sage has now evolved, “organically and naturally” to a growing business that not only sells the bracelets but also leads sip n shop events, workshops, birthday parties and other events tailored to the needs of customers.
“We were not business women,” Hann comments. Startup Lloydminster came on as a support last April when M & S set up shop in their Dreamforest co-working space. In addition to having a physical space they also worked with Startup staff and Entrepreneur in Residence, Wendy Plandowski to figure out direction and business planning. This was a key piece of the growth of Moonlight & Sage. The enterprise has expanded and now has its own office in the same building as Startup.
“It was a pleasure working with Moonlight and Sage partners Jessie and Alexa primarily due to their unique business model and generous philanthropic spirit. We are extremely pleased with the success they experienced working in the Dreamforest and are proud of them for graduating into their own space,” says Tess Wack, Executive Director - Startup Lloydminster.
The pair is always looking for new ways to grow and expand into a new avenues. Most recently, Jessie has taken meditation training and plans on adding that with Mala making to the offerings of Moonlight and Sage. “To teach the practice of mindfulness and meditation is like a dream come true,” says Hann. “The practice is kind of like swimming, to start it is easier with a teacher, rather than getting thrown into the water,” she adds.
Hann is thrilled to share that her daughter, who recently turned two, was just cleared of all health issues. “I cannot say enough how amazing the Stollery and in particular Dr. McGonigle and Dr. Chatur have been to us,” Hann exclaims.
“Moonlight & Sage and the things we are doing, sets my soul on fire,” Hann exclaims. “The key is creating resiliency within those challenging experiences. “ Passion driven to be sure.
As it states in their brochure, “We have had the opportunity to partake in various events that allow us to share our story, create awareness, and inspire others to generate positivity, love and peace from any difficult time in their lives.” A strong foundation for their future dreams.
“Startup Lloydminster and working in the Dreamforest, truly helped make it all happen!” Hann says.