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Kylee Bakowski: A Journey of Community Advocacy and Entrepreneurship | Canada

Button Maker | Community Advocate | Educator | Entrepreneur - Owner

Kylee Bakowski's journey began in the picturesque city of North Bay, Ontario, where she embraced her passion for community advocacy and education. From a young age, Kylee knew she wanted to make a difference, and that drive led her to work with various non-profit organizations and community groups in numerous roles—ranging from volunteer work to full-time employment. In January 2023, Kylee took a bold step and founded her own small business, Beyond Buttons. This venture allows her to combine creativity with advocacy. Beyond Buttons handcrafts a variety of buttons, keychains, bottle openers, art, and other accessories. Partnering with local artists and businesses, the company brings fun designs and important educational messages to the forefront. Beyond Buttons unofficially started in 2020 when a hobby met a passion. During preparation for an event, Kylee and colleagues were creating consent buttons. Feeling inspired, Kylee wanted to have some extra fun. She decided to create cheeky buttons for her and her friends that said what they really wanted to say and empowered them. In 2021, Kylee continued to explore her button designing and making passion independently. By 2022, Beyond Buttons became an official Ontario Registered Business, dedicated to the sale of radical, fun, and inclusive buttons. The business quickly gained momentum. In 2023, Beyond Buttons attended its first pop-up events: The Artisan Way Handmade Market and the Phelps Community Farmers Market. The following year, Beyond Buttons was honored with the Canadian Choice Award in the Education & Advocacy category. This recognition fueled Kylee's commitment to making a positive impact through creativity and collaboration. Beyond Buttons has expanded to offer custom/bulk orders and event bookings while continuing to attend pop-up markets and events.

Alongside her entrepreneurial pursuits, Kylee has been serving as the Education Manager for the National Abortion Federation since May 2022. In this role, she leverages her skills in customer relationship management, training and development, team management, and analytical skills to support vital educational initiatives across Canada.

Kylee's career has been diverse and rich with experiences. From being a pet sitter and relief youth counselor to serving as a Sexual Violence Prevention Education Coordinator at Amelia Rising Sexual Violence Support Centre, each role has shaped her understanding of community needs and the importance of support networks. She also had the opportunity to work as an office administrator and women’s HIV & AIDS initiative coordinator at the AIDS Committee of North Bay & Area, where she focused on education, awareness, and harm reduction strategies.

Education has always been a cornerstone of Kylee's journey. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Criminal Justice with a focus on Criminology and Sociology from Nipissing University and a Diploma in Community & Justice Services from Canadore College. Her academic achievements, coupled with in-field placements, have provided a strong foundation for her work.

Reflecting on her path, Kylee believes in the power of trying new opportunities, learning from failures, and building on successes. Integrity and a bold vision are essential for anyone aiming to make a difference. Her story is a testament to the idea that no matter your background, there is always room for your success in this world. Kylee is passionate about inspiring others, especially the younger generation, to dream big and stay true to their values.

Today, Kylee continues to be driven by her commitment to community advocacy, education, and entrepreneurship. Whether through Beyond Buttons or her work with various organizations, she strives to create positive change and support those around her. With her entrepreneurial spirit and dedication to community empowerment, Kylee Bakowski is a shining example of how passion and perseverance can lead to meaningful impact.

Social Media Handles:

LinkedIn: Kylee Bakowski

Instagram: @kyleebakowski


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