Founder, Lumel Studios
Finalist, Micro Business Award presented by Diversity Institute & Magnet Export Business Portal, CENTRAL
It took four years of struggle, perseverance, and long conversations with safety authorities for Luann Baker- Johnson to build Lumel Studios, a Yukon glass blowing and hot glass facility that offers lessons as well as Northern-inspired glass creations. But Lumel is not just a glass gallery or a teaching studio — they are creating social connections within the Whitehorse community for locals and visitors alike. With the goal of making glass blowing accessible, they are teaching individuals of all ages and from all walks of life, including special programs for seniors, the homeless, those struggling with addiction, and more.
My first job ever was… mowing lawns for $0.10 a lawn.
I decided to be an entrepreneur because… there was a dream to be fulfilled.
My proudest accomplishment is… I am a world traveler, marathon runner, mother of 6, skydiver, carpenter, welder, potter, glass blower, business owner, Governor Generals award winner, outdoor adventurer, but if I really think about it, my proudest accomplishment is surrounding myself with happy people.
My boldest move to date was… turning down the proposal from the love of my life to go off and travel across Africa (I said yes a year later).
I surprise people when I tell them… I get power tools for Mother’s Day presents.
My best advice to people starting their business is… dream big – the worst thing that can happened is that you fail, and there are worse things than failure.
My best advice from a mentor was… My high school drama teacher told us, “Clean the excess paint from the rim of a paint can before closing it.” This advice covers so much …always do a good job…always clean up…always be aware that present activities influence future efficiencies. He was a cantankerous man, but in my memory his practical wisdom outweighs his grumpiness.
If I could have dinner with anyone, dead or alive, it would be… my daughter Rondi, she died in 2006 and I would like to tell her that we were very proud of her and that we still love her dearly.
I would tell my 20-year old self… eat ice cream (I tried it for the first time when I was 26).
My biggest setback was… the death of my daughter, Rondi.
I overcame it by… I don’t think I can overcome Rondi’s death, but I keep busy, push onward, and create incredibly wonderful moments within the fracture.
I never go a day without… laughing out loud.
The last book I read was… I reread The Lizard Cage by Karen Connelly – an amazing book.
I stay inspired by… spending my days with inspiring people of every age.
The future excites me because…it is unfathomable.