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“Small town, big achievements”

I enjoy reminding people that in Canada you do not have to be in a big city to achieve big things.

A perfect example is Kiln Art located in the small community of Chester, Nova Scotia. The owners Sharon McNamara and husband Paul Palango moved to Chester from Guelph, Ontario four years ago Sharon, an accomplished stained glass artist convinced husband Paul, a non-fiction and investigative journalist well known for his articles in the Hamilton Spectator and his books on the RCMP, to direct his talents toward the Kiln. Together they began producing creatively designed beautiful stained glass tableware. World class fused glass pieces sold through their retail outlets in Chester and Ottawa. They invited the world to order direct from them when they developed their attractive and eye catching website. Surprisingly the website has not worked for them because customers prefer to see and hold the items. No problem, if you do not see something you like, they will produce something especially for you. Their policy is working. Customers to their Ottawa store come from all over the world and they are spreading the story of this unique glassware for them.

From the small community of Chester they are placing themselves squarely on the world’s stage. Their success has not gone un-noticed. Sharon was nominated and received the RBC Woman Entrepreneur of the Year award.

Her business philosophy is straightforward "Pay attention to your intuition and don't be afraid to take a chance".

Her advice to anyone wishing to achieve is equally straightforward "Dick, in this world of mass production it has become more important than ever to strive to do the best job you can and to have a standard of service to your customers". To that I say "Amen"

It is comforting to see small companies in small communities succeeding while holding onto their high standards and principles.

As I said earlier. In Canada you don’t have to come from a big city to do achieve things. These two Canadian Achievers Sharon McNamara and Paul Palango are living proof.

Learn more about them at

Next week the achiever who retired at 55, then went to work for good.

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