Shelley Dupont wants to encourage the community to get more creative — one stitch at a time.

Her passion for all things knitting started in 2016, hand-dyeing yarn in various pots in her home kitchen. She even travelled to local yarn festivals before deciding to open up her very own dye studio and yarn store in Airdrie at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Knitting and crocheting are very therapeutic,” says Dupont, who owns Polka Dot Creek Yarn. “We like to involve as many people as we can and make it accessible. So, we collect yarn for charities or people in nursing homes who like to keep their hands busy.

“It is just so rewarding to create the colours and then watch people create something using materials I created.”

In the three years Polka Dot Creek has been open, it has fundraised for the Canadian Red Cross and Ukraine refugees making a home in the city. Every Friday, Dupont offers ten per cent off for anyone bringing in a donation to the Airdrie Food Bank.

“When she is not in the studio dying yarn, she is researching the latest trends, staying on top of marketing, constantly pivoting and growing while providing a fun and inclusive workplace for her employees,” says nominator and employee, Jesse McNeil.

“Shelley’s ability to wear all hats, while caring for her family, friends, employees and the community she has called home for over 40 years, is admirable.”