YYC is bursting with up and coming businesses and brands – Calgarians are amazing at #supportinglocal. I think we are at a point where we don’t even need to shop at the mall anymore, there are so many options that you can build a diverse wardrobe (and everything else you need in life) through local brands; which is amazing to say the least.
This blog is full of different brands and their stories – it would be so hard just to feature one over any other. Plus you can’t only wear one brand, so I like sharing the stories behind as many companies as I can in hopes to inspire you, my readers, into finding a brand that speaks to you.
Local Laundry Apparel was one of those brands that I kept seeing around the city and kept saying, I need to get myself one of those sweet t-shirts. As you can imagine I was super excited to partner up with them when they were looking to collaborate. I met one of the co-founders, Connor Curran, and had the chance to interview him about where Local Laundry came from and where the brand is going.
Connor co-owns Local Laundry Apparel with his business partner Dustin Paisley – who both have full time jobs by the way, starting a business isn’t as easy as it looks! Both partners saw an opportunity in the Calgary fashion scene, and jumped right in with Local Laundry. The great thing about starting a clothing company is all the info Google provides! It makes it easy to get your brand up and running and it lets company’s create something great and give back to the community at the same time. “Many of the other clothing companies like ourselves don’t see each other as competitors but as collaborators which is so cool to see.”
The inspiration for Local Laundry Apparel happened when Connor was studying for his MBA in Sweden. “I wanted something to represent Calgary and its communities while I was traveling.” Unlike Toronto or Van clothing companies that were fashionable, Calgary only had novelty tourist t-shirts. Local Laundry was born in April 2015 as a passion project, and in November 2015, Connor met Dustin Paisly who helped turn the project into a real clothing company.
Where did the name come from?
“It was actually my fiancée, Erin, who came up with the name Local Laundry. I wanted something that emulated our love for bringing that local pride that people have for their city and their community to the clothes that they wear, right to their laundry, a part of their daily lives.”
As all entrepreneurs know, there are ups and downs of starting your own business. For Connor, the most rewarding part is the sense of pride and joy you feel when other people are equally excited and proud of your clothing as you are.
“To build something from nothing and for complete strangers to spend their hard earned money on it. Also contributing and giving back to our Calgary community. To learn about these charities and the people behind them is absolutely incredible. Also, the amazing people we have met in the process, from photographers to marketers, models, bloggers, entrepreneurs, retail store owners etc. We have met more like minded people through Local Laundry than ever before. It is so inspiring to other Calgarians equally as passionate about their city and their craft.”
On the other hand, the time and effort it takes to grow a brand and company is enormous. Both Connor and Dustin have full-time day jobs, and of course the rest of life to enjoy. But the late-nights and sacrificing weekends is worth it when you are working on something you love. When you pursue your happiness endlessly, it will be the most rewarding thing you do. “Don’t make excuses, don’t put things off, don’t wait for the perfect time, just do it, do it now and attack it like a mad person!”
Their contagious motivation is driven by the customers, followers, and fans of the brand. When you walk around Calgary you can see the loyal Calgarians out there repping Local Laundry and their city.
What’s the next step for Local Laundry?
Next steps for Local Laundry is to continue to add different YYC communities, add new products to our product line, expanding to communities outside of YYC and to bring our whole production and operation as local as possible.
Photos by Hayden Pattullo | Check out his instagram