Calgary's First DIY Studio

Happy Canada day YYC, we hope everyone's been enjoying their long weekend! Tonight we have a special guest on the blog, owners Kiki and Sameer, owners of the Calgary's first DIY studio! A DIY studio, how cool is that?! Kiki and Sameer tell their story about how they met, their inspiration for becoming entrepreneurs and everything you need to know about their studio, Pinnovate! Please read and enjoy!

All photos from Jennifer Chabot

Hi, we’re Kiki and Sameer Lally, the husband and wife team and Co-Founders of Pinnovate! We’ve just opened Calgary’s first Pinterest inspired DIY studio which combines all of our favorite things, wine, coffee, crafting, daytimes with our kids and nights out with friends.

Our story began in 2001 long before online dating was a thing, we met at a bar. Yes, a bar, The Capital nightclub to be exact, a local favorite at the time .  I had just started working as a flight attendant for this “new & upcoming” airline called Westjet, and Sameer was finishing up his final year at the U of C. After dating for 3 years we had a big fat Indian wedding with 800 of our nearest and dearest. We are both proudly born and raised in Calgary as are our children, a rarity these days. Both of us come from big families which immigrated from India in the 1970’s who have instilled how fortunate we were to be able to born Canadian. Coming from deep Punjabi roots is what brought us together, and also what took us into the ‘burbs’. Our children are surrounded by their family in the SE, a barrage of aunts, uncles, and cousins which help raise them… a big part of the reason of why we are able to bring our business dream to life.

Pinnovate came from the realization that there were not enough child/adult friendly things to do in the suburbs. The creative outlets that did exist for children, were very child-centric, not at all catering to the adult crowd.  We were tired of heading downtown to bowl and drink beer and thought the burbs deserved to have some fun! Now we’ve created a local hang out with a Rosso café program, a full wine/beer menu and a great place to bring the kids if you choose to. We call it “Paint night, meets the board game café, meets Pinterest, meets Rosso, meets a bar, meets YYC”.

Being YYC kids, and myself spending the last 15 years at YYC airport, we knew our partnership with Local Laundry was a no brainer! We love what they represent and more importantly love the concept of business and charity combining forces. When I realized Auburn Bay didn’t have a community shirt lineup, Local Laundry gave us the opportunity to come up with a design. Lucky for us at Pinnovate we have some insanely talented people who have come through this door and helped us come up with the cool shirt representing Auburn Bay. We can’t wait to have it for sale in our space in the next weeks!

Our Partners, family, and friends have made this entire journey remarkable.  Our team of Pinnovators has brought this dream to life and having so much local love throughout the process has really kept our momentum going. We’re excited about the ride, but more importantly to give back to this city that has given us so much!  




Back to Kathleen here! New in next Monday to see who we have on the blog next! If you are someone you know would like to be a guest blogger on our blog drop us a line! Chat at chaaa next week Calgary - stay local!