For those who don’t know, we’ve been working away on something exciting at Birch Hill Studio for some time now. This little project has been in the works since before Gerran and I even moved to Vernon in early 2015. Our own clothing line….Birch Hill Apparel.
We walked into this little project very naively thinking we could come up with an idea, print it on some sweaters and just watch the money roll in…..not so love.
First came the graphics, I had an idea but I strongly believe in hiring a professional, they’ll bring a completely fresh point of view to your idea. Plus I’m not terribly techy so taking my crappy drawing and turning it into something we can work with is beyond my capabilities. Enter Lisa, my sisters best friend. Simply put, she’s the tits. She has years of experience in graphic design from simple logo design (she designed my real estate logo years ago and is also the genius behind Birch Hill Studio’s logo) to major projects with the Winnipeg Museum of Art and now she works on her own from home. She gets emails from me weekly that start like this “I have an idea…” and she always humors me and creates something amazing. If you’re at all interested, contact me for her info.
Next came the sweaters themselves. I have stacks of sweaters and t-shirt samples from every brand you can possibly imagine. I have been consistently ordering sweaters from different companies from all over the world for 2 straight years and we just recently finally found one we love. But here’s the kicker, we can’t get them without THEIR own tags sewn into them so we have to have these exact sweaters custom made by another company out of Toronto. So now we’re just waiting to have that company make us a sample to see if they were able to duplicate it. Seems like a lot of work for a sweater right?? The reason we’re being so picky is that people will come back and buy the same graphic on a sweater over and over again if they love that comfy cozy sweater. It has to be soft with a little stretch to it but still look cute with a pair of skinnies and your #BasicBirch white Adidas. But they also have to appeal to dudes, they can’t be too tight or narrow but they have to able to withstand the dryer because guys don’t hang shit to dry…..ever.
So than came the screen printing…..here’s where a lot of time got wasted. Friends of ours in Terrace who own a shop called Ruins (check them out, it’s a rad shop that’s been around for almost 20 years) had all their own screen printing equipment. They used it to screen print everything from their own line to big jobs for major companies allover Terrace. But they decided to sell it. Gerran and I have always been into fashion so we decided to try our hands at this new venture which was the catalyst to Birch Hill Apparel. Once we set everything up in the back room of the store I put hours of blood sweat and tears into learning the craft with Kaitlyn by my side cheering my on. It’s not that difficult once you get a good rhythm going but it takes a lot of time, and with the store and the restaurant and a 5 year old it became pretty clear pretty quickly that I just don’t have time to take on this much work.
We decided to contract out the screen printing, we found a local company and they do a really great job….we should have done this from the get go seriously.
So here we are 2 years later and the one small idea we had has evolved into 2 completely different clothing lines, one aimed at our wonderfully loyal #BasicBirches and one super rad unisex line for the whole family. We’re also launching a special #Canada150 line in honor of our beloved countries birthday this year!
I realize the blog isn’t terribly interesting this week but we’re so close to having the line ready to launch that I just wanted to give everybody a little peek BTS.
So, my loves, stay tuned and get ready for something kind of amazing…..I get goose bumps just thinking about it!!