Alan & Elke
Our adventure began in the late 1990's. My husband Alan and I shopped Christmas Eve looking for two lumps of coal. We shopped until the stores closed. We came up empty. We couldn't find appropriate gifts for my two nephews, who at that time, were naughty during the previous year.
So, as we drove out to my parents for Christmas Eve, Alan came up with an idea and blurted out "we should make one!" I sat there and paused in the car as we are traveling on the highway. I actually scoffed at the comment. Then Alan said, "Just think how many people from our generation know about, a LUMP O" COAL TM in the Stocking hung by the fireplace at Christmas!". Again I paused, and actually laughed at what I thought was a hair brained idea. Then my mind went to what kind would be best. We threw around all kinds of ideas. We brainstormed for almost a year. Easter had passed long ago and I saved the plastic container for Easter goodies. My mind went to thinking, if they can make a hollow egg, why not make a container that looks like a lump o' coal.
So this is what we did. We contacted a plastics manufacturer to design and create a mould for plastic injection. Following this milestone, we found a Trademark which had been abandoned and bought it. The Proverbial...Lump O' Coal TM was born.
We chose to work with Adults with Developmental Disabilities (ADD) and brain injury and trauma victims due to the similar injury I sustained in 1999. I suffered with migraines for years until my Dr. discovered I had a HUGE brain aneurysm and underwent emergency brain surgery. Having had brain trauma, I was no longer able to work full time as I could not guarantee any employer a full 40 hours per week thru employment, due to severe migraines. We wanted the ADD to find employment and to be part of something meaningful and contribute in the community and felt this amazing fit was meant to be.
The first year we were in production was 2002. That year we sold 11,000 lumps of coal just in the Edmonton Area. Everyone sold out. We were thrilled. Every year we moved closer to approaching the large chain store head offices.
In 2005, we finally reached Head offices of Major Retail Chains and our product, The Proverbial...Lump O' Coal TM, appeared in select Shoppers Drug Marts, Federated Coops, London Drugs, Safeway, Calgary Coops and other smaller Retail Store in Western Canada. We have appeared on the CBC Reality TV Series, "The Dragons Den", in the Western Grocer Magazine, the Local Newspaper, and on the Radio for a live interview. We love what we do and we strive to put smiles on many different faces with our Products. We truly want to make a difference in the life of ADD by giving training opportunities to this group so they can attain full or part-time employment. With our product we create skills such as: working in groups, staying on task, conflict resolution and many more. In return we give a sense of accomplishment and pride; the feeling of belonging to society; being part of something big; helping to increase confidence in their abilities. Through our Products we hope to bring Joy to people at Christmas.
Founder of Lump O' Coal Corp. and of Lump O' Coal TradeMark