Skip to main content
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track on the Olympic Games
Enjoy unlimited digital access
$1.99
per week for 24 weeks
Complete Olympic Games coverage at your fingertips
Your inside track onthe Olympics Games
$1.99
per week
for 24 weeks
// //

Photograph by Silvain Dumain

Anna-Maria Mountfort came up with the idea for her business while changing her daughter's diaper.

To distract the fidgety baby, the Toronto-based mother of two put the child's socks onto her flailing hands. It worked. The image of her daughter trying - and failing - to remove the garments stuck in Mountfort's mind, leading her to create mimiTENS, a line of children's mittens that stay on without the help of strings.

Though the idea was born in 2006, it took Mountfort more than two years of research to get her product to market; she insisted on making the mittens entirely in Canada. Even as her business snowballs - mimitens is manufacturing up to 15,000 pairs of mittens this year - Mountfort continues to hold fast to her values. "I love the idea of creating work in Canada and reclaiming the honour and dignity in making things," she says.

Story continues below advertisement

The process starts with sock tubes that pull up snugly to the elbow, which is the key to making the mittens stay put. The tubes are then attached to precut fabric panels, which are embroidered individually in one of the brand's more than 20 popular designs such as "Princess" and "Skulls vs. Robots."

Practical, attractive and made of eco-friendly bamboo and organic cotton, mimitens got the requisite celebrity boost when Gwyneth Paltrow anointed them a must-have in her popular Goop newsletter earlier this year. Now Paltrow can pick up her own pair, as Mountfort has expanded into adult wear with Smartpretty mittens, a similar concept.

With her products in stores across Canada and the United States, as well as online, Mountfort wants to keep growing. "I am more and more interested in building a family business," she says. "A brand that has staying power."

Just like those mittens.

Report an error Editorial code of conduct
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

If you do not see your comment posted immediately, it is being reviewed by the moderation team and may appear shortly, generally within an hour.

We aim to have all comments reviewed in a timely manner.

Comments that violate our community guidelines will not be posted.

UPDATED: Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies