A trip to the mall for back-to-school clothing made now 19-year-old Julian Ryan of La Scie realize he could probably do a better, more cost-effective job himself. Some research, equipment purchases and a couple years later, he's now working with Naviagte Entrepreneurship Centre to grow his apparel business, Island Livin' Clothing Company in Corner Brook. Here's what he had to say about his new venture:
Navigate: What is the idea behind your brand and products?
Julian Ryan: I chose the name "Island Livin'" to promote the lifestyle we have in Newfoundland. My products feature symbols that represent the lifestyle and culture of the province – icebergs, anchors, ocean waves, hunting and fishing – the things that resonate with Newfoundlanders and Labradorians, as well as with tourists who come here to see our province.
Navigate: Tell us about the products you sell.
Julian Ryan: I order the apparel from a national distribution enterprise and brand them in my home workshop. I retail men's and women's hoodies, jackets, crew-neck sweaters, T-shirts, summer wear such as tank tops and baseball caps. I also can meet the needs of people who might want a custom-designed piece of apparel.
Navigate: You have described your business as being "on the side;" what else are you working on?
Julian Ryan: I've been fishing with my family as well as helping with other family businesses for the past few summers and am now pursuing a business degree at Grenfell Campus. I've relocated from La Scie and now live in my own home in Corner Brook.
Navigate: How has the Navigate Entrepreneurship Centre helped you?
Julian Ryan: Getting the word out about my business has been a challenge; Navigate is helping me with website design and other entrepreneurial processes. I already have Facebook and Instagram pages; I'm looking forward to establishing the website.
Navigate: How can people order merchandise from you?
Julian Ryan: Anyone who would like to purchase my products can either email me, call me, message me on social media – however they would like! I use a combination of drop-off, pick-up and mail service as modes of delivery.
To order apparel or to learn more about Island Livin' Clothing Company: