Celebrating Inspirational Women: Meet Kalie Wang

Originally from Lanzhou City, China, Kalie Wang made her way to Cape Breton in 2012 to pursue a Master of Business Administration (MBA) at Cape Breton University. She quickly discovered a love for the Island and it was here that she met her husband, Daniil Titov, another fellow international student. In November 2021, both Kalie and Daniil became Canadian citizens and are proud to now raise their two-year-old daughter here in Cape Breton.

Being a student isn’t Kalie’s only connection to CBU. During her studies, she became a student-employee and now works full-time as an International Student Advisor in CBU’s Student Affairs Department. “I started working at CBU part-time when I began my studies in 2013,” shares Kalie. “I am now a regulated International Student Immigration Advisor (RISIA), which means I’m able to provide immigration advice, manage international student medical insurance and serve as a liaison to various community services and government agencies.”

On top of motherhood and her full-time job, Kalie is also a small business owner. Kalie’s microgreen business, Urban Grow Farms, is an indoor family microgreen farm. Opening in October 2019, Urban Grow Farms originally stemmed from Kalie’s interest in gardening, and now produces fresh, quality food right here in our community.  

“I did some research about indoor growing and microgreens came to my attention,” says Kalie. “After a couple of growth cycles, I decided to approach chefs. I convinced my husband to come into the restaurants with me on the weekends, even though I was worried people would think I was crazy trying to sell these tiny greens.” 

Despite Kalie’s fears, Cape Breton foodies were enthusiastic about the business and its products. “We received orders on the first day,” shares Kalie. “Daniil and I then decided to sell at the Cape Breton Farmer’s Market and Cape Breton Food Hub. People are amazed by how tasty the products are, and they thank us for providing them in Cape Breton.” 

Kalie was recently nominated for an RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Award which recognizes female business owners who make impressive and substantial contributions to the local, Canadian or global economy. “This nomination means the world to me personally, and for our business,” says Kalie.  “To be nominated among so many accomplished female entrepreneurs was not only one of the greatest honours I’ve had, but it encourages our team to work harder and build a future for the company.”

Kalie is grateful for her husband’s constant support. “As a young woman entrepreneur, a mother of a two-year-old and having a full-time job, I’m very used to working long hours, weekends and holidays. It’s not easy, but my husband has provided me great support from day one,” she explains. “I wouldn’t be able to continue this journey without his support.”

Cape Breton University is proud to have dedicated employees such as Kalie who inspire our next generation of leaders. 

Click here to learn more about Urban Grow Farms or visit their social media pages on Instagram and Facebook