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B.C. woman says jam-making, pink car named Dolly helped her overcome adversity

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SAANICH, B.C. -

Driving a small pink car dubbed Dolly, while playing a show tune in salutation (“Hello Dolly”), couldn’t be more different that what Katherine Little used to do.

“I tracked down high-level organized crime terrorists,” Katherine says. “And I deported them out of the country.”

Being a plainclothes officer with the Canadian Border Services Agency inspired and defined her.

“It was the coolest job on the planet,” Katherine smiles.

While nothing felt better than catching a bad guy, nothing felt worse than suffering a series of debilitating injuries during violent foot chases – including one after she leapt over a 12-foot fence – that left Katherine unable to do her dream job ever again.

“This couple of years were not good,” Katherine says of the period after she left her career of more than 15 years. “They were really dark and there was no purpose.”

Until, during regular treatments for PTSD, Katherine recalled how her grandma taught her to make jam as a kid, and decided to try doing it as an adult.

“I sent it to a couple friends,” Katherine says. “And they were like, ‘This is really good!’”

The kudos felt really nice, which eventually inspired Katherine to set up a homemade jam stand in her front yard.

It was a hobby that felt healing – until one day a neighbour complained about the stand and its sign breaking bylaws, and Katherine had to shut it all down.

“I didn’t know I was doing anything wrong,” Katherine said. “(But) then I thought, ‘Why? It’s just jam!’”

The situation awoke something inside her, and with the same relentlessness she once pursued terrorists, Katherine strived to battle the by-laws

“I really do think it’s that David and Goliath moment,” Katherine says.

After two years of jostling over jam with the municipal government, Katherine inspired ten thousand people to sign a petition of support, and got the bylaw changed.

Which brings us back to Dolly the pink car (decorated with pink knick-knacks on the dash and a vase featuring a pink flower), featuring a perpetual soundtrack of "Hello Dolly" (a song that features the lyrics, "It’s so nice to see you back where you belong").

“We call Dolly an anti-depressant,” Katherine smiles. “There’s no way in the world you can be unhappy in that car!”

Especially when Katherine is driving Dolly to deliver her Little Stand Jam (https://www.instagram.com/thelittlestand?igsh=MWFqN2k2YWNkY3l2Mg==) to 10 grocery stores impressed by her product, and her business has inspired a renewed sense of purpose.

“Find something that you’re passionate about,” Katherine says. “Find something that makes you get out of bed in the morning, even if it’s jam!”

And like the lyrics to "Hello Dolly," you’ll find “you’re still growing, you’re still going strong.”

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