In 2010 I set in motion a plan to create and build something of my own. Something that could serve as a creative outlet for myself and hopefully allow me to connect with people who shared similar ideals.
The next two years were spent staring off at Brereton Lake sunsets dreaming up an identity for this brand, a name, designing an initial collection, reading every business book under the sun and of course saving the funds necessary to properly bring to market collection 1. I knew the brand was something I wanted to build on my own dime. To know your own money is on the line ensures you don’t take it for granted.
The first collection would be a rude awakening that selling t-shirts wouldn’t be as easy as I had anticipated. Much in part to the fact that I have never liked to talk about things until they come to fruition. So when I had 400 tees in my parents basement I had about 3 people in my inner circle who knew this was coming. Fortunately that collection would come and go (and the remaining would sit ideal in my basement in a box probably never to see the light of day again).
2017 marks the five year anniversary of Oak + Oar. And to say it has come a long way from this first collection would be a giant understatement. I never believed, in my wildest dreams, as many people would connect with the brand. I never anticipated that many of these people would become good friends. And I never thought a physical store front supporting just the brand would exist. But here we are. 5 years later and looking around the shop it is refreshing to see how far this brand has really come. Slowly but surly becoming a reflection of the brand I carefully scratched out on paper on the deck of the family cottage. Still lots to headway to make but I’m smiling at where we have taken it.
To everyone who has a Summer Loitering tee or a Return to Glory snapback thank you. You are the reason the brand was able to put out a second release. To everyone who has shared the brand with a friend, a post with family or a exchanged a story with a complete stranger in an airport because you guys had the same tee on I appreciate you.
We have a lot of new product in the pipelines this year, a couple 5 year anniversary special releases and a handful of pretty significant projects slated to celebrate this milestone. The first announcement comes next week. And who knows. Maybe this year we even add a splash of colour to the monochromatic closets we’ve forced you into.