An unlikely business partnership started when neighbours Jan Wallace and Jennifer Mikula had to raise $5,000 each for the Haida Gwaii Totem bike tour.

They decided to sell mittens similar to ones that Wallace already owned.

"She said, 'Do you think we can make these?'" Mikula said. "She doesn't sew, but she thought it looked like something a person could make."

JJ Wool mittens

Mikula and Wallace comb through thrift shops to find the material to make their mittens. (CBC )

Mikula, the sewer in this partnership, agreed that it could be done. At first, they sold their mittens through word of mouth. 

"People really loved them," says Wallace. 

They sold enough mittens to meet their fundraising goal in six weeks, but decided they shouldn't stop there. So they created a company they called JJ Wool.   

Each pair of mittens costs $45. While most of their wool comes from thrift shops, some of it comes from their clients.  

"Some of them we've made with sweaters that people gave to us that they wanted to incorporate as a sentimental value," says Mikula. 

JJ Wool donates 50% of its proceeds to the iHuman Youth Society in Edmonton.