This week I’d like to share a story with you about how a donated fur coat became a heartfelt gift for the whole family. It’s Margo’s story and I have her blessing to share it with you here.

This is Margo

First, let me introduce you to Margo. Margo is a retired engineer who worked at Nortel. She’s an excellent baker and had her own baking business called Margo’s Cookie Jar. She’s also a figure skating coach at the Rideau Skating Club. And, fortunately for me, she just happens to be my skating coach and a COKANNA customer.

A heartfelt gift for the whole family by Colleen Kanna, Photos of Margo by Anna Ep Photography

This is Margo, Photos by Anna Epp Photography, 50 Over 50 Project

When Margo heard I was making bamboo toques with removable pompoms made out of pre-loved fur coats, she generously donated her grandmother’s muskrat coat. She wasn’t sure how it came into her possession and she didn’t know what to do with it. Voilà, a solution.

Margo's grandmother's fur coat

Margo’s grandmother’s muskrat coat

Her grandmother’s coat

The coat came with this touching story:

“For Christmas 1983, my grandfather wanted a special gift for my grandmother. You see my grandfather was dying and he knew it would be his last gift to her. He gave her another gift leading her to believe that that was her one Christmas gift. Later when my grandfather was resting in bed, she found a box hidden at the back of the tree. She took it to him, opened it and there was the coat. It was an incredibly special moment, a special love, and a special gift.”

~ Margo

It’s been an honour to bring a new life to a coat lovingly gifted from Margo’s grandfather to her grandmother.


A heartfelt gift for the whole family by Colleen Kanna, Photo of recycled muskrat fur pompoms

Recycled pompoms

Black Bamboo Toque with Removable Recycled Muskrat Fur Pompom

Toque + Pompom

Gifts of love

Naturally Margo bought herself a toque with a muskrat pompom, a keepsake of her grandparents’ love. And, then she ordered 15 more. She decided to give each of the female members in her family a toque for Christmas with a special note explaining the origin of the fur pompom.

“I was so happy to give these toques to the wonderful, strong, and lovely women in my family. There were some tears, smiles, and lovely warm thoughts when the gifts were opened. We’ve all been blessed with knowing a wonderful, strong, and lovely woman named Aileen. I miss her so much.”

~ Margo

Now all the women in Margo’s family have a wonderful memory of Aileen, a Mother, Mother-in-Law, Grandmother, and Great Grandmother. The toques are in Orleans, Carleton Place, Napanee, Toronto, Woodstock, Sarnia, Montreal, New Glasgow in Nova Scotia, and even San Francisco.

A heartfelt gift for the whole family, Photo of Margo with her family

Margo’s family warm & cozy in their toques

Here are a few of the thank you notes Margo received:

“It’s a lovely warm hat. I wore it when we were out walking last week. I love the pompom and idea of wearing a piece of family history and the warmth of family love. Thank you again for such a special gift.”

A heartfelt gift for the whole family by Colleen Kanna, Photo of Ahsha in her toque

“Just a note to say how much I appreciate your gift and thoughtfulness.  I have been using it for my daily walk and it does a great job keeping me warm.”

A heartfelt gift for the whole family by Colleen Kanna, Photo of Meredith in her toque

“OMG!! I love the hat so much and everything about it!! Thank you, Margo, for one of the most thoughtful gifts I have received in a long time!”

I love how sometimes the stars align and a true gift of love from years ago is unexpectedly recycled into new gifts of love for the next generation. Many thanks to Margo and her family for sharing with us.

Pick your pompom

I still have bamboo toques with removable pompoms available for these cold winter days. Buy a toque. Pick your pompom. There’s raccoon, black mink, beige mink, rabbit, and of course, muskrat. They’re all individually handmade and recycled from fur coats donated by women in the COKANNA coffee shop community.

Bamboo toque with removable fur pompom

Buy a toque. Pick a pompom.

Until next time,

~ Colleen

Colleen in black bamboo toque

I’m a recovering Chartered Accountant and Breast Cancer Champion turned Fashion Designer. My COKANNA Canadian-made bamboo clothing is all about comfort and style. Giving back to the community is important to me so I support Rethink Breast Cancer‘s metastatic breast cancer education, support, and advocacy work.