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From left, Lucky Nessa, Protima Sarker, and Jamee Ara Hosne of the Dunia Design Collective at the AccessPoint community centre on Danforth Avenue.  From everyday shirts and skirts to laptop covers, pillows, even wedding dresses, the women at Dunia Design Collective can design and sew it all.  Designer Lucky Nessa described the group’s style as a hybrid of contemporary Western and Bangladeshi styles. While they show finished pieces at craft fairs and community events, most of Dunia’s work is custom-made. Working Saturdays from the AccessPoint centre at Danforth and Victoria Park, all the women in the three year-old collective learned to design and sew in Bangladesh. Home to some of the world’s best cotton, and muslin so fine that “a whole saree can pass through a ring,” Bangladesh also has a strong tradition of home designers that has the effect of turning thousands of families into competing fashion houses. To learn more or to place an order, email duniacollective@gmail.com. PHOTO: Andrew Hudson

From left, Lucky Nessa, Protima Sarker, and Jamee Ara Hosne of the Dunia Design Collective at the AccessPoint community centre on Danforth Avenue.
From everyday shirts and skirts to laptop covers, pillows, even wedding dresses, the women at Dunia Design Collective can design and sew it all.
Designer Lucky Nessa described the group’s style as a hybrid of contemporary Western and Bangladeshi styles. While they show finished pieces at craft fairs and community events, most of Dunia’s work is custom-made.
Working Saturdays from the AccessPoint centre at Danforth and Victoria Park, all the women in the three year-old collective learned to design and sew in Bangladesh. Home to some of the world’s best cotton, and muslin so fine that “a whole saree can pass through a ring,” Bangladesh also has a strong tradition of home designers that has the effect of turning thousands of families into competing fashion houses.
To learn more or to place an order, email duniacollective@gmail.com.
PHOTO: Andrew Hudson

Beach business Little Kickers, which offers an introduction to soccer to children from 18 months up to seven years old, has won a major award.

The program was founded in the UK in 2002, and brought to Canada five years ago by founder Christine Stanschus and her husband Frank. The couple now coordinates 21 Canadian franchises from the Queen Street East head office.

Recently Little Kickers was honoured as the grand prize winner of the 2014 Canadian Franchise Association awards of excellence in franchising, along with also being named the gold winner in the category of non-traditional franchise systems – new/emerging. The awards were presented during the CFA’s annual convention in Niagara Falls. eob-LittleKickers1

Frank said by email the award was a great way to end a fantastic period for the Stanschus family.

“The last few weeks have been the culmination of all of our plans coming to fruition, with passing our Canadian Citizenship test a few weeks ago and now winning this prestigious award. We are well on the way to completely establishing our lives in Canada,” he wrote.

He said he and Christine were also proud of being able to create local jobs while offering a positive introduction to sport to young children.

For more on Little Kickers and its ‘Play not Push’ philosophy, visit littlekickers.ca.

Welbanks Mortgage Group will hold a grand opening for its new mortgage storefront operation, opening on June 1.

“This is the next logical step for our boutique brokerage as it is important to establish a presence in the area where most of our clients are located. We’re thrilled to be right on Queen Street, in the heart of the action,” principal broker Lee Welbanks said in a statement.

The storefront will offer a more inviting environment for anyone to walk in off the street to apply for a mortgage or ask questions about their existing mortgage. The location, on Queen Street East just west of Woodbine, is located for the convenience of existing clients, most of whom are Beach or Leslieville residents.

Welbanks said the storefront environment will offer a relaxed, street-level ambiance, with private meeting space and parking available nearby.

The Welbanks mortgage store will be at 1834a Queen St. E., and a grand opening is planned for June 1. Visit welbanks.com for more information.

Nadja Hazard is preparing to open Ecodogs, a small, local, eco-friendly dog walking service for the Beach neighbourhood that will rely on foot power, rather than vehicles, to get furry four-legged friends out for their daily dose of exercise.

While Hazard is new to dog walking as a business, she’s no stranger to dogs.

“I’m a dog lover, and I’ve had a career working with dogs,” she said.

Hazard worked as a veterinarian before transitioning to stay-at-home mom, followed by educating children about animals. She has been offering free presentations to local schools on dog bite safety, as part of the Doggone Safe program.

A chance meeting with a professional dog walker provided the inspiration for Ecodogs. Hazard encountered a dog walker pull an SUV up to a hydro field and let 11 dogs out to run around. She told Hazard she’d spent the last hour and a half picking up the dogs, and would spend the same dropping them off after the field play session.

“I thought to myself, ‘there’s got to be a better way,’” she said.

Hazard plans to walk dogs only within a half hour walk of her home near Victoria Park and Gerrard. She also pledges to dispose of dog waste properly, and, in keeping with the ‘eco’ theme, has already organized one cleanup of the quarry lands, and plans to do so again in the fall.

The Ecodog service will be available by July. For more information, visit ecodogs.org, email info@ecodogs.org or call 416-616-0832.

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