Up in the rocky mountains lives Little Blue Canoe.
This company came on our radar when we spotted their cozy sweatshirts with cute sayings. Happiest when…at the lake, when caffeinated, when at home etc. They also offer a range of adorable houseware products. The perfect holiday gift for any true Canuck.
What do you think is your most CultWorthy product?
Without a doubt it would have to be any of the “Happiest” sweatshirts. They are comfy, cozy, and make great gifts for you or someone you love. I am also really proud that they are 100% Canadian made.
Photo courtesy of Her Modern Canvas
Love the company name, how did you come up with it?
Thank you! Because I “Curate Canada” I was trying to think of something that was “classically Canadian” to me. I like to go to the mountains and would often see canoes (usually red) paddling around some of the most gorgeous lakes (Moraine Lake, Lake Louise, Two Jack Lake). I was brainstorming out loud… “Red Canoes, Little Red Canoes”…and my Husband Chris said, “What about Little Blue Canoe?’. It was catchy but cute and very “me”. My family actually had a blue canoe when I was little, so it was perfect! The Happiest Collection came to me in a dream (seems super cheesy, right?). I wrote it down in a notebook and tucked it away for a solid year and a half before going down that path late last spring. I think I am a pretty happy person, and just wanted to have a line of clothing that was classic, casual, with simple, yet happy messaging.
Tell us about your office and process? Where do you find your inspiration for new slogans and designs?
I have the privilege of working from home, as we have two small boys that are in preschool/kindergarten. We turned a spare bedroom into the “shop” for all of the Little Blue Canoe items, and then the boxes with all of the apparel for The Happiest Collection has kind of spilled out into the basement.
The clothing is made on either the East or Western coasts of Canada (depending on the product and if its for the adult or baby/kids line) and then professionally vinyl heat sealed here in Calgary. Everything is packaged at my house and shipped out accordingly to customers or retailers. My inspiration for the pieces comes from things that I love and make me happy, and feel that would also make others happy.
If you could travel anywhere within Canada, where would you go?
I would LOVE to go to the East Coast one day! It looks absolutely breathtaking and I am obsessed with the ocean. Yes, we have the mountains and the prairies here in Alberta (which I am so thankful for), but I must go East. I have only ever made it as far as Montreal. I also have family in Ontario, so have spent time in Toronto, Kitchener, Owen Sound, Peterborough, and Burlington. I also really want to head up North to the Yukon to see the Northern Lights.
Photo courtesy of Lindsay Skeans Photography
Who would you love to see wearing your clothing?
Truthfully, anyone that just loves being happy and doesn’t take themselves too seriously, but cares about where and how their clothing is made. As far as a “someone famous”? I love people that are sarcastic and have a great sense of humour, so people like Jann Arden or Jessi Cruickshank immediately come to mind. I love people that feel like they could be my friends in real life. Jann Arden liked one of my tweets once, so we are pretty close to locking down a solid friendship.
Tell me about a design idea that sucked?
Hmm, ‘Happiest talking religion and politics at family gatherings’ never really took off, which I find so odd. (wink)
Where is your favourite place in Canada, and why?
This is a tough one. I am madly in love with so much of this amazing country, but these three always fight for the number one spot:
1. Banff, Alberta – There is something magical about the mountains. The mountain air is crisp and refreshing and the lakes are the most beautiful colours of blue and green. I sometimes forget that people come from all over the world just to see our magnificent Rocky Mountains! Banff also has ‘The Grizzly House’ which does amazing fondue. It used to be an old swingers club, so it definitely has character and makes for a fun night out. You can still call other tables!
2. Parksville/Nanoose Bay, British Columbia (Vancouver Island) – my parents had a house there for 13 years and being out there always made me instantly relax. I love the smell of the air, the sound of the waves, and the fact that everyone is just SO laid back and friendly. The beaches are really kid friendly, too.
3. Owen Sound, Ontario – I am really connected to my Grandma’s old farm house just outside of Owen Sound (where my mom was born and raised). Even though I never went often, some of my favourite childhood memories belong to that farm. Exploring the old barn, feeding the kittens milk, picking berries, and snowmobiling in the winter. It just feels really magical and rustic.
Photo courtesy of Charlotte Aksenchuk Photography
If someone had $99 what should they spend it on?
Greeting cards. NEVER underestimate the power of sending a hand written note. It will make your day and that of the recipient. I promise! I also love Bebe de Luxe Bath Milk. I live in the bath (I literally set up snacks, my terrible reality TV, and make an evening out of it) and even though the name has “baby” in it, you don’t have to have a baby or be a baby to quickly become obsessed with this three ingredient soak.
Tell us a Little Blue Canoe secret.
I am a pretty open book so this is tough, but I guess I would say that I have had the good fortune of actually becoming really good friends with some of my vendors and customers. My business is so much more than just a business for me and I hope that reflects in what I put out there.