We are so excited to be back with a fresh batch of apparel for you guys. Much of late August to October we had been radio silent, on the blog and in our newsletters, as we worked behind the scenes to get this specific collection ready. Our summer was so fun and busy, it seemed like fall really snuck up on us. Juggling work and family life, plus putting in quality time towards Kootz Collective, kept us firing on all cylinders!
We wanted to give you a behind the scenes look at our new line-up of headwear and clothing, some of the inspiration behind the designs, as well as the fun we had on our most recent photoshoot. Lets start by dissecting these new looks!
Hey, it's me, Leah. I like my coffee served hot and preferably sipped in a log cabin. And here's Kelsey, President of the Lichen Appreciation Club.
Kootenay Babe and East/West Kootenay: These two designs are still going strong so we relaunched in new styles. Our East West Kootenay has been a consistently popular look and we are super excited to have a fresh new colour for the season (rich and vibrant heather navy), and our first hoodie (in grey with black imprint), to switch things up.
This Spring, we launched our first Kootenay Babe design on a t-shirt, followed by a cute tank top for Summer. During that time, we had quite a few requests for sweaters as well as darker and more jewel-toned shades. So, we have got you babes covered with 2 new crewnecks in black and maroon! Plus, we have new Kootenay Babe toques for campfire hangs, pow days and no shampoo days in 4 fun colours.
Limited Edition Ts: We print small quantities in all of our apparel and sometimes, we choose a design that we want to run at an even smaller quantity for a limited time. This summer, our Skinny Dipper Big Dipper tank with metallic print was our limited edition choice for the season. For winter, we wanted a unisex design and something that would work for all seasons. Say hello to our classic fishing lure tee. Printed on clay triblend with a casual unisex fit. This is our ode to days spent casting into Kootenay Lake with a cold beer and a bag a of Spitz® by our sides.
Camp Kootenay: Wanting to create a new design that was Kootenay themed and outdoor inspired, we honed in on the feeling of nostalgia and retro camp life. We grew up camping on Kootenay Lake (places like Sanca and Midge Creek) as well as attending Brownie Camp at Camp Rory (just outside of Rossland). A few iconic things that brought this look together: The smell of campfires and calamine lotion, camp counselors and side ponytails, dips in the lake at dusk while dodging bugs, and bunk beds piled high with itchy wool Hudson's Bay blankets. We've launched Camp Kootenay in a heather forest hoodie with a bright yellow-gold contrast lettering as well as a t-shirt with a pinecone crest in more subdued tones of khaki and military green.
Toques: Our classic toques were our most popular Christmas gift last year so we've reprinted them in 4 new colours. In addition, we added our new Kootenay Babe toques to the mix totaling 2 designs and 8 colours to choose from for winter headwear. We're guilty of it ourselves, we can never have enough toques - it must be a Canadian thing! By the way, our toques will fit kids (approximately) ages 6 and up.
We've had lots of positive feedback on the new looks so far and love hearing your ideas and suggestions. We are always open to receiving emails. If you've been following us for a while, you may already know that we consider ourselves a 'boutique' style shop - we print small batches of items. This allows us to manage the cost and time/space that the stock takes up. Kootz Collective is a side gig for us so we are always gauging how much we can, and want, to take on to ensure that our product is of good quality and our social content is engaging and fun. We are definitely more about connecting, sharing ideas and being creative than constantly worrying about profits. And, our first priority is always time spent with our kids and husbands. This project has been so much fun and we want to keep it that way!
Printing in small batches means that much of our apparel is unique and may never be printed exactly the same again, and items do tend to go fast! Another reason we work this way is because we would consider this business our creative passion. It allows us to test ideas, switch up designs and basically challenge our creative minds every time we do something new. So, thank you for being so receptive to what we'd consider a wild experiment gone right!
Fall/Winter Photoshoot 2019
We photographed our new batch of clothes in early November and it couldn't have been more perfect. We rented a "tiny house" in the woods and had our gang of models and photographer come out for the day while Kelsey and I stayed over for the night. Our photoshoots are always fun and casual and we never take anything too seriously (including ourselves). We spent the day walking around the forest and chilling inside the adorable log cabin with the wood stove burning and coffee being passed around. As the day progressed, we enjoyed a campfire and outdoor dinner complete with toasted marshmallows (obviously). The snow hadn't hit yet (we got a couple of cm the next morning), so though the shoot wasn't completely white and winterized, the mild weather worked best for photos and kept us all from freezing! We usually always use Kootenay-born models and love working with friends and family but also new people that we've never met before. This time we had an awesome group with roots from Wasa, Montrose, Nakusp and Cranbrook! It was a blast hanging out with these beautiful and laid back 'Kootenay Kids'. Our photographer Natalie (a Cranbrook gal now living in Okotoks) has shot for us twice before and we love her. She's so fun, has tons of ideas, and of course, her photos always make everything look amazing! We can't say enough good things about working with her. Check her out here.
After we got our team of talent packed up and on their way home, Kelsey and I had some time to relax and chat about the day. Actually staying over night at the cabin was a great way to brainstorm ideas for presenting the new line and get a little bit of time to ourselves. As full-time working Moms, having a quick getaway like this doesn't happen very often and it's such a nice way to shake up the creative process. We enjoyed wine at the fire and then moved inside to relax, eat snacks (without having to share with husbands and kids, haha) and really enjoy the rustic interior of our miniature logo cabin. The sleeping area was a loft and it was so cozy and nostalgic. And the best part, we woke up to the most beautiful blanket of snow gently falling in the trees. To make up for our wine and late night snacks, we made a healthy and hearty breakfast complete with farm fresh eggs delivered from the property owners. It was truly difficult to pack up and leave!
The whole gang. We had so much fun!
Cooking up some fresh eggs for Kelsey and I at breakfast the morning after our shoot.
WHAT'S COMING UP:
- Do you recall the month of giving contest series we did last year? We had 4 amazing collective giveaways leading up to the holidays packed with some amazing Canadian-made gifts and goodies. We are so excited to say that the Collective Giveaway series will be back again! The first giveaway launches November 25th on Instagram. Like last year, we are so stoked on the variety and quality of the products, with a focus on Kootenay-made items and a dabbling of Western Canadian goods. Stay tuned for announcements.
- If you haven't yet signed up for our newsletter, we encourage you to. We never spam and often send out discount codes and early bird deals. (Sign up in the footer of our website)
- Holiday orders might be on your mind already? If so, our cut-off this year, to guarantee packages arrive under the tree, is December 11th. We've never had an issue in past years with later orders, but with potential postal strikes and backlogs, we like to play it safe.
Feeling grateful for the friends and family that support us and all the talented people we get to hang with!