Small business week: Edmonton man upcycling rock stone lamps to make roller massagers

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Edmontonian James Huber started recycling old rock salt lamps to make “unique” roller massagers that can be used individually or by professional registered massage therapists (RMT).

“I try to find lamps that are selling in, you know, second-hand stores or garage sale or wherever I can find them,” he said.

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The idea came up when Huber lost his job this summer. He worked in a steel fabrication shop as a vertical auto bender machine operator.

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“I had already been designing and crafting other massagers and I decided to take it a step further and try to come up with something a little more user friendly, recognizable, and pleasing to the eye perhaps,” said Huber. “And so, I had done some brainstorming, and this is what I came up with. So now this roller apparatus is my new focus.”

As is the way to start a small business, he looked to e-commerce company Etsy but now, he says, the rollers seem to be more attractive to the local community, especially through word of mouth.

“(That) is what I’ve experienced so far,” Huber said. “The one I sold yesterday, she (client) said that — because she brought it to work — her colleague now wants to order one. So, you know, it seems this is the key in selling these ones.”

Some RMTs, like Amy Tripp, have already been using Huber’s apparatus, and it’s been effective.

“Rock salt naturally has a high vibration and can be used externally to clear lower vibrations from the energy centres of the body,” said Tripp.

Tripp says the rock salt massagers are safe and effective to use, “ as long as you are asking the client how the pressure is when using the roller on them.”

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“I’ve been working with the new rollers for about a month now, and I feel they are a great tool to use. Not as hard on my hands, and I don’t need to add much pressure to get the depth that I need to release the muscle,” Tripp explained.

As the business kicks off, Huber is expanding his portfolio and introducing rollers made of soap stone, too.

To give back to the community, Huber has offered to place two massagers in an auction.

“A neighbour of mine is a big part of the Little Warriors association and had been asked to head the silent auction department of the Band-Aid Society at the downtown Edmonton Free Mason lodge that took place on Saturday, Oct. 7,” he said.

“They made the minimum bid ($75), and I was happy they found a home to be useful in.”

The two auctioned rollers are made of soap stone rather than salt rock.

Small Business Week, running Oct. 16 to Oct. 20, is a national celebration of local entrepreneurs and their contribution to the economy. The Edmonton Chamber of Commerce is celebrating small business owners through events running all week.

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