Cynthia Samuels behind the counter of her new shop, Eagle Talon Adventures, which offers coffee, treats, and kayak rentals in Old Massett. (Jana Marie/Haida Gwaii Observer)

Masset Magic: Take-off for Eagle Talon Adventures

Eagle Talon Adventures offers smoothies, baked goods, gifts, and kayak rentals.

By Jana McLeod

I’m not a writer, at all. I do put words together occasionally and pray it makes sense. I know I have a good grasp on the English language. Thankfully, things get underlined and corrected by the word program. Back in the day, we had to write it out and wait for Ms. Elvira Bryant to mark it up. Now we have a way to communicate with those in Generation X and Boomers II that would be our secret code. Cursive is an art no longer practiced.

Of course, being this age means I’m quite illiterate in today’s world. I look curiously at my laptop and wonder how to accomplish the smallest task. Google is my best friend — it doesn’t judge my stupid questions.

Come to think of it, neither did the instructors who ran the Haida Owned and Operated Program I took in 2016. Through the Peter B. Gustavson School of Business at the University of Victoria, we received the best training and insights to help us become our own bosses.

The program objective was “to master the concepts, managerial skills, mental attitudes and basic know-how necessary for creating and growing a new business venture on Haida Gwaii.” It did just that.

For what seemed like forever we went to classes every weekend to fulfil the time needed for our certificate.

We had local entrepreneurs on site to offer advice and teach how to handle challenges we might face. We were shown examples of best practices, and given cream-of-the-crop experts to glean information from. It was amazing.

My idea of a local dating business — NOT My Cousin — seemed “wildly inappropriate” but others took the ball and ran. Our three-C challenge was a cookbook of Haida Gwaii recipes. Our book launch and dinner were well attended and we sold out quickly.

One couple who took the course with me, Lisa White and Jordon Seward, now have a booming business on Raven Avenue called Gin Kuuyaas Haida Art Studio & Gifts. It’s absolutely gorgeous and the go-to when I need something unique. Both are incredible artists, and are very respectful of having authentic pieces to offer.

The latest success story belongs to Cynthia Samuels. She was the strongest in our small group, very driven and goal-oriented. She knew what she wanted, gave herself deadlines, and is now living her dream. I popped by Eagle Talon Adventures to have a peek at her brand-new shop.

Eagle Talon Adventures offers smoothies, baked goods, gifts, and kayak rentals. Samuels also supports Jason Thompson and Andrew Finnie, who made her a special blend of their Elephant Cage coffee.

She motioned at her new debit machine telling me how quickly things are coming about. She can be found by watching out on Eagle Avenue for her huge sign. Her logo was done by Allison Bell — it’s so well done, an eye-catcher for sure.

The person who assisted me most was Evil Patrick Shannon. He is a very talented person, his awards are too many to mention, just a legend really. His course was on the web and social media. He rocked it! I understood things better.

I mentioned wanting to write a blog. He immediately, in five minutes, put it on my phone. I have a couple followers, I doubt people read it, but it’s become instrumental in my healing journey: medium.com/@janamarie_4473.

Take care and God bless

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