Birch Blog

#ChoosyBirch

So the store has been open for just over and year and a half now and I’ve definitely made a lot of mistakes, some much more costly than others. The learning curve on owning your own business is yuge, what works in my home town of Terrace or in Calgary, “the maker mecca” of Canada, may not work in Vernon. And just because a line does incredibly well in larger cities and is super popular on social media doesn’t mean the ladies walking down the street to their doctors appt. are going to give a shit. “Kaitlyn Bristowe wore this on her snap chat last week” doesn’t register for a lot of people. So I’ve really had to drown out the voices and opinions around me and go with my gut and follow my instinct. 

I’ve spent thousands, yes thousands on lines that didn’t work in the shop. 

There are a few lines in particular that I get asked regularly if I will bring in and I usually say “yes, I’m planning on it but haven’t placed an order yet” then when I sit down at my computer to place an order I walk away without hitting send or minimize it and never look at it again. I’m just now realizing that’s my gut telling me I don’t feel right about having these pieces in my shop. Kaitlyn will attest that I have a very clear image of how I want the store to look and feel and any time I stray from my gut the vision is muddled. 

Here’s an example, there’s a successful clothing line that has cheeky sayings on it, I made a small order with them once but have not ordered since. They’re a great company and I actually have a lot of respect for the owners of this company and definitely look up to them as business women. But they have this one t-shirt that says something that leaves an awful taste in my mouth, it has since day 1. I won’t say what it is because then you’ll be able to figure it out and I’ll get black listed in Canadian retail! 

Whenever I order lines I also think of my daughter at all times, a lot of our clientele are younger girls and I would hate if my daughter came home with a t-shirt that said something derogatory about a specific group of people. 

That being said she can always wear a shirt that says Fuck, all day, erry day. 

 

 

And while we’re on the topic of my daughter, why do girls clothes change so drastically as soon as they’ve outgrown size 6?? She goes from pretty flower tops and stripes to velour joggers that say “BRAT” on the ass? If it were up to me she’d wear denim overalls and high tops till she’s 28!

Fuck I hope I’m a cool mom……

So the point of all of this is I’ve decided to start carrying more socially conscious lines. I’ve just placed an order with BeHuman, and I’ve had these ideas for a smart kids line for over a year and I’m going to pursue it for Stella’s sake. 

 

I will still carry the all your favorite lines that are staples in the shop, I’m just going to try to be a little smarter about future orders. 

And don’t worry Birches I will never stop carrying lines that love the word Fuck as much as I do!

XO

S

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BTS of BHA CDN150

In case any of you are not aware….this year is Canada’s 150th birthday. And with the world being what it is today (mass bombings....everywhere! People being shot and killed in the streets, don’t get me started on climate change, oh and an ignorant unqualified Cheeto is running what most would consider the most powerful country in the world!) I feel more inclined to celebrate how friggin lucky we are more than ever! So in honor of this beautiful country we launched our CDN150 line last week. I know, I know, everybody is doing a CDN150 line….but ours is the best.

So I came up with the design, my graphic designer Lisa brought it to digital life and we finally found the perfect red sweater, ordered custom tags and delivered them to the screen printer!

But then came the fun part, the promo photo shoot.

 

I had a very specific feeling and vibe for this line. My inspiration was the song "Wheat Kings" by The Tragically Hip, one of the greatest Canadian bands of all time (also happens to be my OG bestie, Jocelyn’s favorite song) it opens with the sound of loons on the lake so we HAD to find a cabin for these pics, obvi. Due to licensing there was no way I could afford to actually use that song, so I poured over songs I could use for hours to find the perfect song! I wanted to launch the line for June 1st but we were already into the third week of May so it was crunch time. Then we heard threw a friend about Beaver Lake Mtn. Resort, I called immediately and managed to score a dope cabin on the water with it’s own dock. I spent the next week planning the shots we needed with our photographer, Amanda Wallace of Amanda W Photography, collecting props and convincing friends and family to come hang out at a beautiful cabin for a couple days, tough sell, I know.

So the weekend arrived and it was kind of amazing, the weather was so gorgeous, Gerran, Stella and I headed out early to get settled and explore than I drove back into town to pick up my Hype Girl and Amanda. 

Once we got there we started with pics of just Kaitlyn and I in the really large oversized sweaters just hanging out on the dock, it took a few minutes for us to relax but turns out we’re naturals in front of the camera!

We got amazing shots of Kaitlyn hiking thru the woods and Stella just being Stella curled up on the dock in my vintage Hudson’s Bay blanket (they’re my favorite of all the pics).  Stella and I hanging out in the log cabin, Gerran and Jeremy roasting marshmallows with Stella around the camp fire, Gerran and I in the canoe. I mean this couldn’t have been more Canadian if Bryan Adams followed us around while signing an acoustic version of “Summer of ’69" (have you ever wondered what Jimmy’s up to??).  

 

So we banged it out in less than 24 hours and I’ll admit I was nervous to see the final product. I could have hired models but I wanted this to feel cozy and familiar so I insisted we use ourselves as the models which clearly we are not so I was worried my Ork side would show in the all the pics, or Kaitlyn’s Vigo side would be front and centre. But after a few days Amanda emailed me the first draft of the video and holy jesus, I couldn’t have been happier or more relieved. It’s exactly what I had envisioned. 

Amanda did a brilliant job!

My favorite review of the video was Angelic from Centowear, she said “It made me want to go camping”. We hit the nail on the head!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=En5qLBgdr6U&sns=em

So here it is loves….enjoy the video and come on down to the shop to get your own limited edition Birch Hill Apparel CDN150 sweater or tee!

xo

S

 

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