2019 esso cup caelyn parker

Carving her future

Caelyn Parker is furthering her hockey career with artistic flair, and it’s being noticed by some of the biggest names in the game

Quinton Amundson
April 22, 2019

The homemade products company, Caelyn’s Creations, was born out of Caelyn Parker’s desire to help her family during a difficult time.

Several years ago, her mother, Heather Armstrong, received the diagnosis that she had Sjögren's syndrome, a systemic autoimmune disease that can affect your entire body. She would no longer be able to work, and it would be much more difficult for Parker to pursue her hockey dream.

“We were really impressed with her when we said we weren’t sure if she would be able to keep playing at such a competitive level on a travel team because of the expenses involved,” Armstrong says. “She said, ‘Don’t even worry about it, Mom. I’m going to start a business!”

A successful execution of her entrepreneurial and artistic vision has furthered the hockey dream for the Halifax Fire defenceman. The 14-year-old – her Sept. 23 birthday makes her the youngest player on the team – has put herself in a position to contend for an Esso Cup with the Fire.

She has also achieved impressive business growth. In addition to Nova Scotia, Caelyn’s Creations have attracted clients from British Columbia, Ontario, Nevada, Texas and the Bahamas.

The South Berwick, N.S., native is particularly known for her ‘Smoke Heads.’

A Smoke Head is a log with a personalized design that is wood-burned on the front with holes drilled into a hollowed out center core. Parker’s website says the Smoke Head is “designed to burn from the inside out” and it “offers 2-4 hours of entertainment watching the face or picture change as it burns.”

A particular incident inspired Parker to start making her signature item.

“In the winter, a tree fell on our car, and I was like, ’Dad, can I do something with this?’”

Envisioning an artistic project out of something random like a broken tree is something Parker does all the time.

“If I were to get some clothes or something for Christmas and it came in a box, I’d be happier with the box because I would be able to build or create something out of it.”

Her business picked up steam when she received publicity for delivering a personalized Smoke Head for a celebrity client: Sidney Crosby.

“When I heard he was running a camp nearby I thought, ‘You know what, I think I’m going to make him a Smoke Head.”

Parker wood-burned a Smoke Head for Crosby that shows him wearing his No. 87 jersey lifting the Stanley Cup. She also carved the name ‘Sid’ near the top.

She dropped the personalized gift off at Cole Harbour Place with the hope that a rink attendant would pass it along to Crosby. She was not expecting an invitation to meet the NHL star.

Armstrong said her daughter admires Crosby because of how he handled his concussions earlier in his career because Armstrong is going through a similar experience – a medical problem with symptoms that are not obvious to the public.

The meeting went so well that Crosby and Parker have seen each other several more times since.

Parker has gone beyond supporting herself and her family with her work. She has donated creations to numerous good causes that include the SPCA, the Sandra Schmirler Foundation, the Humboldt Broncos, Movember and Fill a Box of Cheer Annapolis Valley.

She has also stepped up for Fill a Box of Cheer in another impactful way.

Parker discovered the organization on Facebook and was impressed with how the initiative aims to deliver goods to various shelters and other causes. She realized she could help because she has held onto numerous amenities from road trips over the years, such as small soaps and mini shampoo bottles.

In addition to making her donations, she challenged other minor hockey players in Nova Scotia to do the same – and they did. Fill A Box of Cheer Annapolis Valley filled about 400 boxes of donations in 2017.

“Caelyn always acts out of a desire to help other people,” says Laura Churchill-Duke, one of the founders of Fill a Box of Cheer. “We need more people like her in the world.”

Parker will be continuing in her role as the CEO, manufacturer, distributor and marketer for Caelyn’s Creations in a bid to continue funding her hockey career and to raise money for her post-secondary education too. Unsurprisingly, Parker envisions herself pursuing a business degree.

Her immediate goal, though, is to enjoy some of the fruits of her efforts by soaking in every aspect of Canada’s National Female Midget Championship.

For more information:

Esther Madziya
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 284-6484 

Spencer Sharkey
Manager, Communications
Hockey Canada

(403) 777-4567

Jeremy Knight
Manager, Corporate Communications
Hockey Canada

(647) 251-9738

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