Business Spotlight: Alberta Apparel
Alberta Apparel Showcases and Uplifts the Province
Alberta Apparel is made in Canada and designed and decorated right here in Alberta. This is clothing inspired by and designed for the active Albertan lifestyle.
"I saw that no one was producing a Made-in-Canada line of apparel to represent our beautiful province," explains President and founder, Thomas Mo. "I also wanted to start my own business and learn from the experiences of being an entrepreneur. I wanted our company to be an example of how to be local, source locally, and be ethical and sustainable, yet profitable too."
"I am determined to succeed," he continues, speaking to what sets his brand apart. "I have networked with many companies and individuals to learn from them, and to do business with them as well. When we first started, I did extensive research into the apparel world and I was quick to make decisions and small mistakes along the way. I have learned from those experiences. I think the delivery of our story has helped, as has having our network of ambassadors as our tribe to help sell our story."
Thomas reflects on some of the earlier challenges in his business and what he would have done differently if he knew now what he did not know then. "I would have started simpler for the apparel lineup itself, and for the designs we used as well. Less is sometimes more. I would change how we started and who we did business with, but you need to fail in order to learn and then succeed mentally."
"We started in the recession," Thomas admits. "We knew that if we could succeed in this recession, we could do anything we put our minds and hearts to."
However, the joy of the business outweighs the growing pains. "I have the freedom to talk with whomever I want and to do business with whomever I want, the freedom to work from home and to decide my hours and lifestyle." These are all perks Thomas loves.
Thomas could not be happier to be based in Calgary.
"The people are great! There is an entrepreneurial spirit here and people want to be a part of it. This helps with local businesses, who then spend and save locally, in order to keep a higher percentage of our revenues within the province. It does help that there are tens of thousands of small businesses here, succeeding and struggling like we are. It is important to connect with them, to help them and to get advice from them too. We are stronger together than apart."
Alberta Apparel is passionate about giving back to the community.
"We donate clothing to organizations almost weekly and also raise money for non-profit and charitable causes. We also donate funds from our clothing sales to local charities."
Alberta Apparel is excited about a new development. "We recently partnered with a retailer in both Alberta airports (Calgary and Edmonton). Towards the end of 2019, you will see our apparel there, which is amazing for our brand. This will be the largest retailer we work with to date," Thomas explains.
Currently, the best-selling Alberta Apparel item is the AlBEARta marled crewneck sweater in embroidery or silkscreen. The bear and the crest represent the province and nature together.
Learn more about Alberta Apparel at albertaapparel.com.