Embrace Your Creativity
Erin McDonald and Ian Tang

For most people, the thought of starting a new business would seem daunting; however, for alumnus Ian Tang (Class of 2003), it seemed like a natural solution for what he considered “lacking” in the market.

“As a realtor, I purchased consumer goods as part of my marketing strategy and was tired of buying things that accumulated environmental waste,” explains Ian. Although he doesn’t necessarily consider himself an environmentalist, choosing to support an initiative that is good for the planet and supporting local Canadian businesses helped make his decision to create a sustainable card business easy.

Over the past few weeks, many people in our community received a volunteer appreciation or Mother’s Day card from Ian’s company, Plantable Greetings. This unique card company is 100% Canadian-owned and manufactures zero-waste greeting cards, based right here in Vancouver. Their cards are made from Canadian sourced materials, designed by Canadian artist Tess Sereda, and has charitable partnerships in Canada. For each card purchased, you’re also supporting the growth of forests worldwide because the company plants two trees for every card sold.

“I remember the Entrepreneur and Innovation Club at Southridge and how it helped me develop my confidence to be self-employed,” explains Ian. “The theories discussed along with the inspiration of learning from a self-made entrepreneur proved to me at a young age that if you balance your passion and motivation, with the right skills that you can open whatever business you dream of.”

Ian also used that confidence to pursue a successful career in real estate after graduating from the University of Calgary and is now recognized yearly for his success in buying and selling properties in the Lower Mainland and Squamish.

“I’ve always found it easier to invest in something you love, so my advice to anyone looking to take the entrepreneurial plunge would be to embrace your creativity, develop that idea and just go for it!”

Contributed by Erin McDonald, Alumni Relations Coordinator and Ian Tang (Class of 2003)