Amanda Buhse

CEO & Chief Creative Officer Coal and Canary Inc. 

Amanda is a multi-award-winning marketing maverick, entrepreneur, speaker, and overall creative force – she is the CEO and Chief Creative Officer of Coal and Canary. A bona fide celeb in Western Canada, her influence is growing internationally – because her amazing creative efforts with Coal and Canary have been featured in numerous national and international media outlets including, Forbes, the GRAMMY, Oscar, Emmy, and Golden Globe swag bags, The Globe and Mail, Good Morning America, Cameron Diaz’ The Body Book, Style at Home, Canadian Living and many more.  Why? Because she has an amazing product, but mostly because she has an incredible story to tell. 

Coal and Canary was started at her kitchen table, with fifty bucks thrown in by her and her co-founder, who she subsequently bought out, so they can start their next company…, but we digress! So – How did Amanda go from hobby candle making at her kitchen table to having a candle in Oscar and Grammy Swag Bags? How did she pivot from selling her wares at live tradeshows and her brick and mortar location, to increasing online sales over 500% when the pandemic hit and shut her down? Now her company is doing 2 million in sales!

Amanda defines entrepreneurial resilience, creativity, digital marketing, and leading through difficult times.  So what can be learned from this inspirational dynamo? 

Takeaways from Amanda’s talks include: 

  1. Secrets to pivoting during turbulent times – the Coal and Canary way
  2. The future of retail in a post covid world.
  3. Leading a team when your business just became “Non Essential”.
  4. Inspiration from the kitchen table – you can do it, no matter what.
  5. Marketing and digital marketing innovation, and so much more. 

Amanda is a passionate voice in the Canadian female entrepreneurial scene with a mission to empower others to harness their personal strength, trust their intuition, and live fearlessly. Sharing her journey of overcoming personal tragedy, she has inspired audiences across the country to live a life of their own design by showing up in the world as the truest expression of themselves.  

A sneak peak testimonial: Amanda Buhse is a powerhouse – an incredible marketer, an inspiring female entrepreneur and an electric personality which combined makes her one incredible speaker.



Before starting Coal and Canary, Amanda worked as a graphic designer and marketing executive for companies both large and small in retail, fashion, and agency environments. These diverse experiences gave her a global perspective on what it takes to lead a brand, a business and a team.

She lives and breathes creativity and brings design brilliance to every aspect of business and life. This quality was a keystone in growing her brand from a $40 investment to be a multi-million dollar business. Forbes Magazine has since recognized Coal and Canary as “Canada’s favorite artisan candle” under Amanda’s leadership. 

Amanda has been recognized by her local and national peers as “Female Entrepreneur of the Year” (WBOM, 2019), “Volunteer of the Year” (Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, 2019), “Small Business of the Year” (TWAD, 2019), Spirit of Winnipeg Award winner and more. Her largest accolade to date came in early 2021, when Amanda was named a G20 YEA Canadian Delegate for the global G20 Summit hosted in Milan which will focus on COVID-19 socio-economic recovery, as well as a global renaissance, for inclusive, sustainable, and innovative prosperity. 

Amanda’s leadership and commitment to the small business community are evident as she acted Co-Chair of the Small Business Advisory Council (WCOC, 2019), and a Chamber representative chosen to sit on the Mayor of Winnipeg’s COVID-19 Business Task Force to advise on the COVID-19 related impacts felt by the Winnipeg business community.

Amanda is a passionate voice in the Canadian female entrepreneurial scene with a mission to empower other to harness their personal strength, trust their intuition and live fearlessly. Sharing her journey of overcoming tragedy, she has inspired audiences across the country to live a life of their own design by showing up in the world as the truest expression of themselves.

Amanda’s speaking engagements span a vast array of international clients including Wix, Verizon and numerous business and educational institutions. She is an in-demand speaker on the topics of marketing innovation, entrepreneurship, leadership and personal growth.

In her spare time, you’ll find her creativity is alive and well whether its singing Whitney Houston ballads or prepping four-course meals for her friends and family. While she travels across North America regularly, she feels most at home with her loved ones at Brereton Lake in Manitoba.


From the Kitchen to the Oscar Bag

The business started as a way for two friends to reconnect. It’s now grown to be a multi-million dollar brand. How did Amanda Buhse take her project from kitchen-based production to a 10,000 square foot operation? Amanda breaks down the milestones and strategic decisions that took her from day one to year seven. She outlines how collaborations propelled the brand on its way forward. She gives a detailed account on how her products landed in the GRAMMY Award and Oscar celebrity gift bags. She tells her story – the behind-the-scenes one – that cascades through her highs, her lows and ultimately her triumph in entrepreneurship.

Business, Marketing & Leadership Lessons:

The Secrets to Coal and Canary’s Incredible Pivot

The biggest brands of the world are instantly recognizable. From colour, to feel to strategy, you know them when you see them. But how do you build that from the ground up? As one of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs, Amanda Buhse, details how graphic design, social media, strategic planning and company culture took her from a two person venture to a multi-million dollar operation. She shares the steps she took as a leader through the pandemic that ultimately doubled her annual revenue and streamlined her on and offline operations. How do you double sales, keep morale high and grow your business exponentially in the midst of global disruption? Amanda shares her wins, her learnings and her day-to-day that took the brand from her kitchen to 450 locations across North America.

Growing Through Loss, How To Pick Up The Pieces and Build a life of your own Design

When your life collapses, how do you move forward? When everything you thought you wanted suddenly shatters, what are your next steps? And even before that, how do you even get out of bed in the morning? Many see Amanda  as a fearless, charismatic leader. She is those things, but in 20xx, the person you see today looked different as she crashed into her personal rock bottom. The ‘picture perfect’ family life she had mapped out was no longer an option. After her devastating personal loss, she had no choice but to pick up the pieces and find her way through the darkness. Amanda shares how this collapse changed her perspective and gave her the opportunity to rebuild a life of her own design. She shares how she shifted her mindset. How she grew beyond linear thinking. How she overcame expectations that others had of how she should live her life. Amanda shares her story as inspiration to women everywhere to live fearlessly and recognize your worth on the path to being the truest version of yourself.

The Future of Retail in a Post-COVID World

COVID-19 stopped the world in its tracks and did something no amount of advertising could ever do. It rapidly changed consumer behavior and preferences. Globally, in a matter of months, it changed how we work, shop and live and the effects continue as we move into a post-COVID world. With e-commerce up 5% in the first quarter of 2021 alone, this trend is likely to here to stay, even as brick and mortar stores open for business. These trends are dramatically changing retail philosophy, and the retail experience, blending the digital and physical environments where retailers do business. From elevating your e-commerce experience to experiential marketing to click and mortar, Amanda dives into the trends taking shape and how business owners can thrive in the midst of exponential change.


“Amanda is one of those speakers you instantly relate to and want to be friends with. As a keynote speaker she leans on funny and memorable storytelling to educate us on marketing and building an international brand. As our Small Business Council Chair Amanda brought an engaging and bright energy on stage as our host and panel moderator during many events. “

— Elizabeth Cron, VP of Programs and Marketing, Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce

Amanda Buhse is a powerhouse – an incredible marketer, an inspiring female entrepreneur and an electric personality which combined makes her one incredible speaker.

Joel Waterman, General Manager, Inn at the Forks 

“Amanda is a top notch speaker and my class was thrilled to have her join us. Amanda generously shared her inspiring story about bringing Coal and Canary to life, what it takes to build a loyal online community and keep it growing. Amanda was fully prepared, captured our attention and eagerly answered questions. She created an unforgettable experience and I’d have her back again in an instant!”

Kelly Thibodeau, Founder & Director, Squarely Social

Amanda Buhse is beyond admirable. I saw and heard her speak at a Babes who Brunch here in Winnipeg a few year’s back as the Keynote Speaker. She is a really great entrepreneur who definitely doesn’t hold back. Her success story is truly inspiring. Her energy is really infectious. Amanda works hard and took a chance on making her dreams a reality, every single day.  Amanda’s focus was to make what is invisible, visible, when it comes to your dreams, to believe in yourself and believe in the process! Her company started in her kitchen and has grown exponentially and  I am so inspired by her and her message.

– Leslie Nicole, Makeup Artist & LifeStyle Blogger

“Amanda is such a talented entrepreneur here in Winnipeg and we knew she would be an incredible instructor for our class that focuses on up-scaling wholesale for small business owners. She blew our expectations out of the water with her inviting personality, wealth of knowledge, kindness and passion. Our clients walked away from the class feeling confident about their future goals that were going to elevate their business going forward. Amanda is welcome back anytime to teach this same class as well as any other topics her experience applies to!” 

– Kyla Klassen, co-owner of The Kinship Studio

“Our clients had such a positive experience learning from Amanda. Not only was she incredibly engaging and authentic, but she offered personal and specific advice to each entrepreneur to make sure they were confident in their understanding before the class ended. She knows her value and more importantly, how to use it to benefit others.” 

Sara Ford, co-owner of The Kinship Studio

“I had been a huge fan of Coal and Canary for years, but didn’t know much about Amanda or the background of the company. Her unique and inspiring story coupled with her bright and bubbly personality, are what make her such a captivating speaker.” 

– Julia Grubert Van Iderstine / National Business School Conference Co-Chair