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Episode 10 of The People Teaching People Podcast: Learning Through Creativity with Kiki Lally

010: Learning Through Creativity with Kiki Lally

In this episode with Kiki Lally, we talk about learning through creativity and art, especially when you’re feeling stuck.

We chat about learning environments that foster creativity, building community and connections, universal design principles to improve access to creative opportunities for persons with disabilities and so much more! 

Kiki Lally is the owner and creative director of Pinnovate DIY Studio, an art school and events space for children and adults to create and connect. 

Pinnovate opened its doors in 2017 with the hopes of filling the existing gap in children’s artistic programming in Calgary. Like many small businesses Pinnovate faced some big challenges in 2020 and had to face multiple studio closures. But with their small but mighty team they began virtual events and classes and even started another business called DIY Delivery. This business ships ready to go DIY crafting kits across North America and recently began a DIY Subscription service for all ages. 

Pinnovate has been featured in the Globe and Mail, the Creative Industries International magazine, as well as countless other publications. Recently they were the recipients of the City of Calgary Access and Achievement award as well as the Between Friends outstanding contribution award for their charitable local work throughout our city.


Listen in as we talk about:

  • Bringing together community, creativity and connection. Kiki shares how Pinnovate brings these three very important Cs together.
  • Improving access for people with disabilities. Learn how Kiki and her team are implementing universal design principles to improve access for people with disabilities. 
  • Learning through creativity. How can we learn and grow through creativity? Kiki tells us why it’s so important to bring more creativity into our daily lives.
  • Learning every day. This involves being self-reflective, admitting what you aren’t good at, and using failures as fuel to learn.


Connect with Kiki:
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Kiki Lally is the owner and creative director of Pinnovate DIY Studio in Calgary, Alberta

Art doesn’t have the same barriers or challenges when it comes to making connections in different spaces, especially for those who have disabilities or are newcomers to Canada, for example.

Everyone gets to be in the same creative space doing the same projects, and communicate through this shared language.

When you foster a loving environment and try to create projects for all niches, ages, demographics and wants. Through art, we have the capability to do something for everybody that doesn’t have barriers the same way as other things do. 


A DIY Delivery kit from Pinnovate DIY Studio


The minute you are proud of something that you have created you want to show it off to your partner or your friends. You want to hang it up in your house. Creating is a joyful experience. It can result in the release of endorphins. You use different parts of your brain when you are painting, drawing, or sculpting. 

Kiki talks about how this creativity was lost in the previous generation. It was more about technology, IT, and the Internet. However, there is now a renewed interest and appreciation for creativity and the arts. 

Pinnovate DIY Studio in Calgary, Alberta

During the COVID shut downs, it was really heartbreaking to see adults with disabilities being so socially disconnected, even more so than most demographics.

Kiki and her team reached out to the Between Friends Organization and donated DIY kits with all materials and supplies included.

They have since done many more initiatives supporting different groups.

The key is having a team that’s always thinking about how physically disabled adults or young children can still participate and get excited about the arts.

The logo for Pinnovate DIY Studio

Kiki shares that she is not an artist, and gives us all permission to “mess up” when it comes to creativity.

She reminds us that creativity is so much bigger than an art studio. Anybody can be crafty and can put anything together, you just need to have the right instruction and the right materials, and the rest is simple.

It’s important to let yourself be creative, enjoy the process and let yourself flow. You will learn so much from the process and will become more confident in your artistic abilities.


Kiki Lally of Pinnovate DIY Studio says, "We learn every day. As long as you are open to learning, you will."


Kiki has a lifelong learner mindset. 

“We learn every day. As long as you are open to learning, you will.” 

This involves being self-reflective, admitting what you aren’t good at, and using failures as fuel to learn. Kiki shares that there have been mistakes made in her business. There have been challenging times. They opened during 2017 when there was a recession. With being an event space, they experienced 2 years of shutdowns during Covid. 

However, through the mistakes and challenges they evolved and changed and grew. What started as a creative bar, with a liquor license, has evolved into a children’s event space with some of the best art classes in the city of Calgary.  As well, during the pandemic, Pinnovate pivoted by opening their DIY Delivery business. Kiki and her team have had to be open to changing their minds. They have had to really think about what they love, what they are passionate about, what they are good at, and what they are going to focus on.


  • What is something that you would love to learn about or something that you would love to learn how to do? Golf, technology, interior design
  • What is a place that is at the top of your travel bucket list? South America (Peru and Brazil)
  • What is a book, podcast, or TV show that you have enjoyed recently?Podcasts: Smartless, Diary of a CEO, The People Teaching People Podcast (Thanks Kiki!), YYC Sociables Podcast with Sarah Sociables
  • If you could sit down and have a conversation with someone that you would love to learn from, who would it be? Oprah 



1:00 Meet Kiki

2:55 Kiki’s story

5:20 Kiki talks about creating a joyful learning environment that helps people to accomplish their creative goals

9:30 How Pinnovate brings together community, creativity, and connection as a DIY craft and art studio

12:00 How Pinnovate has implemented universal design principles to improve access for persons with disabilities

15:20 Kiki’s favourite ways to be creative and what she has learned through her own creative experiences

18:50 How Pinnovate aims to build self-confidence through creativity 

21:43 Kiki shares her thoughts about challenges she has experienced as a business owner and what she has learned along the way

24:55 Kiki’s reflects on her favourite learning experiences 

27:45 What Kiki is most proud of looking back on her journey so far

30:25 Kiki answers some rapid fire questions

35:05 Kiki’s words of wisdom



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