The Spirit of Entrepreneurship: Unveiling uOttawa businesses featured at the Holiday Market

Student life
Illustration of holiday market booth.
As the winter chill settles in, the uOttawa community is in for a treat: we are gearing up for the much-anticipated Holiday Market on November 21 and 22 at Alex Trebek Hall. This festive market will showcase the entrepreneurial spirit that thrives in our very own students, staff, and alumni.

Here’s a sneak peek of some of the businesses that will shine at the Holiday Market and the ambitious people behind them. Whether you’re looking to shop locally, sustainably, or with discernment to find a one-of-a-kind gift, there’s something for everyone and every budget.  

AKARTS Comics - Andy Akangah (BCom ’19)

Two comic graphics on tshirts.

Andy Akangah is a self-taught published illustrator from Benin living in Ottawa. He is currently the CEO of AKARTS Comics, a line of hip-hop inspired streetwear that has already caught the eye of A-list celebrities like Timothée Chamalet, The Weeknd and Director X.  

His designs are well known for their bold colours, pop culture references, and unique details. His work has been recognized by the NBA, Microsoft, Complex, AT&T, Faces magazine, NRML, and Esquire. 

Tota’s Gems – Amal Abed

various images of jewelery.

Amal Abed is a third-year uOttawa student aiming for a degree in biomedical science with a minor in psychology. With the support of the Entrepreneurship Hub at uOttawa, Amal established Tota’s Gems in January 2021. Her business is a small-batch jewelry business, specializing in handmade custom designs with an emphasis on quality and affordability.  

Werking Worms – Dominique Bower (BSc ’19)

Worm composter.

Dominique Bower is an environmental science graduate who currently works in the Hydrogeology Lab at the University of Ottawa. She started her business out of a desire to make green living easier and closer to home. Werking Worms is a micro worm farm in Ottawa that breeds worms for Canadian vermicomposters who need an affordable, easy, at-home composting solution.  

Beandigen Cafe - Paula Naponse (MEd ’18) and Jayde Micah

Beandigen cafe art, mugs and coffee beans.

In 2021, Anishinaabe mother and daughter duo Paula and Jayde co-founded Beandigen, an Indigenous cafe located in the popular TD Place. Biindigen means “welcome” in Anishinaabemowin and they welcome you to enjoy delicious coffee and the art and culture of Indigenous people displayed in their café. 

Beandigen will also be offering free hot chocolate to market shoppers, courtesy of our affinity partners, belairdirect, Manulife and Johnson Travel. 

More entrepreneurs to discover and support

Sisters Émilie (BA ’17) and Sophie Longtin (BScSoc ’21) will be on site selling greeting cards (Made by Émilie) and affordable minimalist jewelry (Sage Jewelry).  

Rose Caddy (BScN ’15) will be highlighting the services offered by her beauty and wellness business, Rodaderm Clinic. Shoppers will be able to purchase gift certificates and beauty goodies that make perfect stocking stuffers! 

Paula Naponse and Jayde Micah will be displaying their artwork and intricate beadwork designs from Jayde Micah Designs

Those looking for size-inclusive loungewear will love shopping Kailey Longhurst’s cozy hoodies and sweatshirts. Take a peek at her collection on the Grabbing Grapefruit website. 

Art lovers will surely find a new treasure among the pieces in Madeleine Merritt’s selection of pottery, prints, and jewelry. 

Looking for an original snack? Tetia Bayoro will be offering delicious Ivorian-inspired snacks from her business, Chap Chaps Snacks. 

The decorations featured in the Holiday Market are courtesy of sisters Émilie (BA ’20) and Stéphanie Lalonde (BA ’23) and their event rental business, Vision Event Rentals. 

Learn more about the Holiday Market