Being a respiratory therapist is a fulfilling job, however, Fiona Lee needed a hobby to fuel her creative side. The pandemic started shortly after Lee graduated from NAIT, and she decided it was the perfect time to start her side business, Sarcastic Shrug Society.
“I started when the pandemic started, and the idea came from me wanting to express myself during a time where everyone was trapped inside,” says Lee.
Lee learned how to build a business up from the ground on her own with the help of the internet. While challenging, she says overall the experience was rewarding. After some trial and error, and a lot of money, she created a line of enamel pins and stickers. She expanded her merchandise to include apparel and is planning to create stationery.
“I have a very chill, laid back attitude towards everything, and it really comes from just having an apathetic attitude,” says Lee. “I really like satire and self deprecating humor, so I would say a lot of my style comes from dark humor, and, honestly, a lot of the ideas come from when I’m having some sort of crisis.”
Lee designs and makes everything herself, and her best-selling creations are the enamel pins. She created a Health Care Heroes line to honour frontline workers. The pins come in a variety of shapes including a pill, stethoscope, bone, heart and stomach.