Monday, February 7, 2011

Burnaby Newsleader

A Big Thank you to Wanda Chow & Mario Bartel who did a great job on a recent article about Aly Dahl Designs going to the Baby Boom Boom Room as part of the pre-Oscar 2011 events!

By Wanda Chow - Burnaby NewsLeader

Published: February 07, 2011 3:00 PM

Aly Johnson seems to have a knack for good timing.

It was shortly after the North Burnaby resident returned to work from maternity leave following the birth of her son that she started to question her situation.

"It was the realization someone was spending more time with my kids than I was, it was making a hole in my heart," said Johnson, 34.

As if in response, the economic downturn happened and she found herself being offered a buyout from her employer, after working 15 years in the financial services industry.

She took it as an opportunity and launched her own business, Aly Dahl Impressions, turning her longtime hobby of jewelry-making into a full-time venture.

Now, only months away from having to take a regular job again after her husband had to take on lower-paying work, the Forest Grove resident has received another boost.

She's headed to Hollywood to take part in the Baby Boom Boom Room, a pre-Oscar event Feb. 25 and 26 where A-list celebrities and their young children will peruse the latest and hippest family-oriented products.

Johnson (her married name), will be showing off her signature items—custom jewelry featuring clients' fingerprints. She'll be handing out kits that will allow the celebrities to create impressions of their family members' fingerprints (or toeprints, for babies whose fingerprints aren't deep enough yet) which will then be sent back to Johnson to incorporate them into silver pendants and rings.

She said being chosen was thanks to Douglas College's Self Employment Program where her instructors stressed the importance of using social media.

Indeed, organizers of the event first spotted Johnson's blog about her business and being a mom, then followed her on Twitter.

Even then, she almost didn't see the email after it ended up in her junk mailbox.

Again, with her knack for timing, she just happened to have a look at the mailbox and spotted the message.

"At first I thought it was a scam," she said with a laugh. She asked the organizer to call her and when she got off the phone she was just ecstatic.

"This is huge. There's probably no better way to grow my business and it couldn't have come at a better time."

While she's somewhat daunted by the prospect of meeting stars from movies, TV and music, she's more nervous about being introduced to media such as Entertainment Tonight.

Then there's the thought of rubbing shoulders with icons from the fashion industry.

"When I was booking my hotel room they asked me, 'Are you part of the Tom Ford booking?'" she recalled.

Stifling a gasp and a sigh, Johnson managed to reply in the negative.

Meanwhile, her four-year-old daughter and three-year-old son don't really know what all the excitement is about. In the past, they've tagged along with mom to work only this time, "they're excited about going to Disneyland."


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