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About Shuswap Soul

How it all started

I created Shuswap Soul to show my love for the Shuswap. Shuswap Soul is all about the place I love to spend my summers.

But where did the idea come from? My name is Riley and I started Shuswap Soul when I was 13 years old.  I love being at the Shuswap. I love life at the lake - being on the boat, hiking in the trails, and testing out all the ice cream around the lake. I also like skiing and hockey.

A few summers ago, I was sitting at the end of my grandma's dock telling my mom about the new hockey stick I wanted. I already have a hockey stick, but this other one was way cooler. She asked me how I planned to earn the money for it. 

I asked my mom if I could start a business. We spent a lot of time that summer talking about what kind of business, what I could sell, how I could manage it. Inspiration struck. I have a buddy in Calgary who was designing and making cool shirts and I wanted to do the same.

So fast forward a few months, I drew out my ideas and worked with an awesome designer to help me create the digital files. My parents helped me figure out how to set up an online store and we found a printer that would print hoodies and t-shirts on demand and ship them out for me. I got some samples and we took some photos and launched a clothing company inspired by the Shuswap. My mom and I were working out of a coffee shop that we call our office and I still remember hitting the publish button. It was a pretty exciting day.

In just a few days, a couple of stores in Salmon Arm asked if they could sell some of the products. I was so excited. And then a printer in Blind Bay reached out to see if there was a way for us to work together. Suddenly my business was changing really quickly from just an online store to a business that had suppliers and retailers and people could actually go somewhere to buy a hoodie or a t-shirt. All so cool.

We still have our online store and all of our printed tees, hoodies and sweaters are now printed in the Shuswap. We've also added some other products like  snapback hats and toques. We recently added some hoodies and crewneck sweaters which are made in Canada. Our products are available at local marinas throughout the Shuswap (for those of you out enjoying lake life in the summer) and year round at On Alex in downtown Salmon Arm. 

We've been lucky to work with a few local Shuswap based photographers and all of our pictures have either my family or other awesome local Shuswap people in them.

Having this business has given me the chance to meet some of the coolest and nicest people around. I am very lucky that I get to work with people who love the Shuswap as much as I do.  I hope you like what you see and if you do, I won't be upset if you want to share with your friends.

The Salmon Arm Observer wrote a story about Shuswap Soul.