Made in Canada: Wild Outdoors Club
We love our Canadian small shops, so we’re very thrilled to be featuring one right here, on the blog each week! Tune in every Friday to get a sneak peek behind a variety of brands created and built right here in Canada! Be inspired by the owners who hustle, and grounded by their real talk – Cause it isn’t all rainbows and butterflies when it comes to being an entrepreneur, but it sure is worth it!
Wild Outdoors Club
with Founder, Luke Doell
Wild Outdoors club was launched in the summer of 2015 as a grassroots clothing brand, creating men’s and women’s apparel inspired by the great outdoors. With their roots planted in Chilliwack BC, surrounded by towering mountain peaks, forests, lakes and rivers, the brand draws much of it’s creativity from adventuring in Chilliwack’s ‘big back yard’ and finds it’s voice in celebrating a life spent outdoors. With their core motto being “Its better outside,” their collection of graphic apparel, headwear and accessories aims at promoting this message.
We sat down with the founder of the brand, Luke Doell, a local graphic designer and outdoors enthusiast, who shared some of his background and inspiration with us.
For readers who may not have discovered Wild Outdoors Club yet, tell us what your company is about and what inspired you to start the business?
I grew up playing in the forests of the Fraser Valley and going on family camping trips to the coast and the interior and just really fell in love with the ‘wild’ nature of BC at a young age. Going hiking, fishing, building tree forts, having camp fires… these are some of my favorite memories as a kid. And I think that’s probably true for most people. That child-like sense of wonder and the desire to explore is something that we all start out with, but has the tendency to get lost as we grow up and get busier, and that’s been a major part of what motivated me to start this brand.
To use my creativity to connect people with the ‘call of the wild’ that I think we all have and that I see people really resonating with. Especially in the digital age. I think there’s a real hunger to stay connected to the simple joys of spending time outdoors. The wild is where we go to find ourselves. The unknown is what drives us to keep exploring. Being surrounded by untamed nature makes us feel alive. So coupling that with my background as a graphic designer, my main focus with Wild Outdoors Club has been to use my products to express and encourage the connection we share with being outdoors and the designs and products I make are really a reflection of the inspiration I find daily in the wild.
Tell us about the “club,” and how does one join?
The ‘club’ aspect of the name was really about creating a sense of identity, based more on inclusivity than exclusivity. Enjoying the outdoors is for everyone! The name itself came about while out walking through a forest with a friend and talking about how outdoor adventures really connect people, and he just threw the name out like, ‘Wild Outdoors Club – if you love the outdoors, you’re a member!’ And that is what the brand has really been based on. Promoting an idea that people can connect over. Building community around a zeal for exploring and venturing out into the wilderness. Wearing the apparel is intended as a way for those who hear the call of the wild to identify with and express that.
What can we anticipate seeing from Wild Outdoors Club during the next year?
In 2016, it was been awesome seeing the support of local retailers like Mt.Waddington’s Outdoors and Spruce Collective in distributing the brand, as well as many other locally owned retailers across Western Canada, and I am excited to bring the brand to more communities this year, as well as releasing new apparel styles and graphics for the 2017 summer and fall collections.
What advice would you give to someone wanting to start their own business?
Whatever your business is, focus your early momentum on connecting with your local community and finding ways to work with other businesses and groups to grow. There is a lot of strength in joint initiatives and collaboration. People are drawn to synergy.
We live in such a beautiful place, where is your favorite local spot to explore?
There are a lot of amazing local places but our favorite is spending time on the Chilliwack /Vedder River. Whether it’s fishing, kayaking, campfires or swimming, it is such a great place to adventure!
Where can people find your products?
You can find our gear online, as well as our full list of Canadian retailers at www.wildoutdoorsclub.com . If you share our passion for adventure, let us know! Share your travels, adventure photos and stories with us online as we build a community of adventurers, either through sharing on instagram and facebook @wildoutdoorsclub, or by emailing us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Support local and stay wild!
Please join us next week for another feature on a Canadian brand we’d love to share with you! Follow along on social media using #LLFeatureFriday and join our community at @lovinglocal.ca on Facebook and Instagram! Thank you so much for being here and supporting local!