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Evolution of a Brand

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Hey all and Happy November. You may have noticed some changes around here. We're here to tell you about our hot off the presses brand update!

What an exciting adventure we’ve been on since launching this business. Kootz Rootz initially started for us with a blank website in 2011. Eventually we got our sh*t together and started to develop something around a popular phrase that had become synonymous with being from the Kootenays (and proud of it). We rolled around a lot of ideas in the beginning, from a full line of goods to a simple blog tracking our adventures. After lots of exciting life events like travel, moving, and babies, we were able to get our ideas implemented and created our apparel line.

Develop a sense of nostalgia for something or
you'll never figure out what is important. - Gary Shteyngart

We launched Kootz Rootz with a very small selection of goods and actually started our online shop while we were both on maternity leave (yeahhh, we're crazy!) We were new Moms getting little sleep and sporting the latest pureed veggies across our unwashed sweaters (too much information?) Though we had minimal savings set aside for the endeavor, we knew that we had some great designs burning holes in our sketchbooks and iMacs that had to be set free. We were itching to design something that was more personal to us than our day jobs in the city that we'd each temporarily left for 12 months. We went for it and the positive feedback was immediate. The response from folks with Kootenay connections all over the world was heartwarming and exciting. (Read our About Us page for more)

Leah at the top of Kicking Horse Mountain (Golden) & Kelsey hiking in Tofino.

Running a small business is definitely a challenge and we’ve learned a ton the last few years. So many accomplishments, big and small, and so may days where grey hairs and frustrations were abundant. (Disclaimer: No actual grey hairs guys, realllllly, we're flawless!) The basics of running a business, plus being full-time working Moms, has been an experiment in balance, patience, and compromise (also, troppo vino rosso)!

Have you ever had an idea for a business or creative project that took awhile to get off the ground? Tell us about your entrepreneurial journey.

If you want to read about our one year anniversary of the online shop, check it out here. We were also featured on the lifestyle blog Boombaloo talking about some of our best biz tips and advice from 2017.

Our 2018 'report' is going to be really exciting to write, as another chapter is unfolding. We are in love with this community that’s been built on a mutual love of nature, creative design, supporting Canadian makers and our Kootenay heritage. Opportunities for change and growth flourish when cultivated within a supportive environment, so thank YOU for that. 

Sister-sister beach days and cabin life as littles, Kootenay Lake

As designers and free thinkers, we crave new experiences and fluidity. As we’ve grown, we've seen our area of focus expand and with it comes a revamped brand with a modernized logo and tagline, update to our core products, and new paths to explore. We think of our brand as a continuous project that is never completely finished. We’re taking a bold step forward with a name and tagline pivot. We have relaunched as Kootz Collective! Our new tagline is “laid back lifestyle”; a phrase used previously in our work, now embodied in our brand.



Our most popular apparel designs will not disappear and will be returning with new colours and shirt styles. Fresh designs will be unveiled throughout 2019 that we’re stoked for you to see and wear! Head to Kootz Collective right now to see the latest... we've got classic toques in 4 wicked colours just in time for Winter and the most glorious and comfy plaid flannels this side of Salmo, BC! And festive holiday cards, because it's that time of year!

New season. New looks. Available online now.

The word Collective allows us to broaden our creativity beyond apparel designs. We have left-brained interests that we feel can be better pursued under the umbrella of our updated name. We make a great team (we are sisters) because we have skills that are different but complimentary. Kelsey’s art direction and styling skills are muscles she’d like to flex more. (Leah setting up a flat lay photo is nothing short of a layout and props disaster.) Leah’s community building and writing skills are something she’d like to push further. (Much to Kelsey's chagrin, the grammar police will continue to stalk her till the end of days.) We want to be able to expand our talents, learn more, and bring you new experiences all under the “Collective”. 

Summer at Kootenay Lake and Winter at Red Mountain in Rossland. No complaints.
The mullet life, errr we mean farm life, and our Italian heritage in Wynndel, BC.

Our brand personality will not be changing. Leah's mullet will not be returning. Our love for our Kootenay roots and supporting other small-scale makers won’t change. In fact, we will be expanding on these elements in bigger and better ways. We've had the opportunity to work with many awesome local makers across Western Canada, (with a focus on the Kootenays and Calgary) and it's so fun! If you're someone who'd like to team up with us, check out our collaborations page for details. We are both graphic designers with experience in marketing, photo styling, art direction, writing and social media management. We love doing it all!

Business brainstorms at Kuskanook and wine tasting in Creston, naturally.

We are pretty excited about all of this now that the evolution has happend. It can be daunting to change up a brand that's still young. Pushing ourselves creatively is also tough when we are juggling careers and kids. It can make life pretty busy. However, we appreciate and recognize how privileged we are to even attempt to work a side hustle on top of all that. It's become clear to both of us that this gig is fulfilling in a way that is instrumental to our experimental nature. And it's honestly just really fun!

We would love to hear from any of you who have also experienced an evolution of your company or personal brand. Why did you do it? What did you learn?

To celebrate our latest business leap, we will be hosting a number of really awesome giveaways (like, amazing). We’ve teamed up with old friends and some great new brands that we want you to experience! Make sure to check our social media for updates (we are on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter now as @KootzCollective). We've also got NEW nature-inspired freebies for your digital devices. You can download those beauties right now here.


We will continue to sell the rest of our Kootz Rootz items in the shop. Everything has been marked down to make way for new awesomeness so now is the time to grab something for holiday gifting. As mentioned, our popular designs will return, but nothing will be exactly the same (we will have new shirt silhouettes, new colours, etc.) If there's something you've been eyeing, get your hot paws on it before it's gone!

We've had a few messages already about holiday order cut-offs. Our 2018 deadline for holiday shipping is December 5th. Any orders placed beyond that day cannot be guaranteed to arrive before December 24th. Due to the postal strikes cut-off is early this year. If that changes, we will update as e find out more info.

Thank you for coming along this ride with us. Welcome to the Collective!

There are no strangers here; Only friends you haven't yet met.
-- William Butler Yeats

All new apparel photos by Natalie Pinchak Photography | All archive photos © Kootz Collective | Portrait at Kuskanook by Justine Celina
Shop the brand here   |  Contact us here  |  Collaborate with us here 

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  • Jessamie on

    Your creativity together is amazing! Keep it coming!

  • Pam Gosse on

    Congratulations girls, Kootz Collective looks amazing. Wishing you great success😘

  • Mom on

    Awesome girls🥰😍

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