Kyle Closen was already busy enough in the days leading up to the holidays. As owner of Clo’s Handmade Quality General Leather Goods Co., things got really busy just days before Christmas when he received a phone call from Explore Edmonton.
“They asked us if we were interested in working on a project,” said Closen. "We had a super short timeline so we didn't have a whole bunch of time to put anything crazy together."
That project was making 56 handcrafted leather wallets for Hockey Canada, which would be awarded to players of the World Junior Hockey Championships.
"It was a little bit of a challenge to accept, if you will, but we were really excited about it and didn't want to pass up the opportunity to be a part of something so unique."
A challenge because Closen’s three-person team only had four days to fill the order.
Part of the payoff was the fact that the in-house rink announcer would recognize Closen and his shop by name after every game.
“Each winner will be awarded with a custom wallet from local maker Clo’s General Leather Company,” was clearly broadcasted in Rogers Place and into living rooms around the world.
“To actually hear it being said on TV it was a great experience," Clo's owner said. "It felt really good."
If it’s true that word-of-mouth advertising is one of the best methods of marketing, then Closen had hit a gold mine.
“After the game I would pop onto our Shopify site and I would take a look at our viewers. You can kind of see that on a live screen where they're tuning in from, and how many people are tuning in and it was pretty fun to watch the numbers kind of go up and then slowly watch it go back down as people were checking out what they were looking for."
Closen’s handcrafted leather products include bags, belts, gloves, and, of course, wallets.
He says to have his business broadcast to millions of people around the world has been humbling.
"Honestly, it was a great honour, you know, to be a part of this."