By Steve Hubrecht
A familys love of the outdoors has helped spark the launch of a new Invermere business.
Cassy Campbell and her family took over Stripes Gear, which sells gloriously striped, colourful polypropylene (polypro) long underwear for adults and kids, and moved the business from Revelstoke to her home in Westridge a few months ago. Cassy says her past work in the ski industry and her familys endless playing time outside give her just the right background to build the business up.
My kids spend so much time outside. I know its important they stay warm and dry while they run around in the snow, she said. And with this business, Im trying to connect with other parents who realize that warm kids are happy kids.
Stripes supplies a few local retailers such as Rainbow Donkey, Panorama Resort and Toby Creek Adventures, as well as retailers across B.C., Alberta and in Ontario, but most of the selling is online, something that also plays to Cassys strengths, since she worked in web design for seven years. Buying and selling online is a reality that can still support local families, so we needed to rethink the traditional business model, by reaching a broader market online and bringing money back into the valley, she said. When I found Stripes for sale up in Revelstoke, I felt it was just such an opportunity staring me in the face. It was a combination of online work and the outdoors, two of my passions.
Cassy and her family have lived in Invermere for the better part of 13 years, but were living in Australia from 2011 to 2013. When they came back to Invermere, they wanted to invest back into the community and this business was the perfect fit. By September 2014, the Campbells had purchased Stripes from its previous owner, moved it to Invermere, doubled its stock and began experimenting with new designs and colours.
We just jumped in the deep end and enjoy the challenge as a family, said Cassy, adding that its been busy but great so far.
Polypro thermals are hypo-allergenic, warmer and better quality than polyester, but not as expensive as merino wool and so have a wide appeal, she said.
All the products come from New Zealand a country famous for people wearing flagrantly striped longjohns while playing outdoors and they intend to keep it that way, in part because the company that makes the clothing is based in Christchurch and has had its business devastated by the earthquake that struck that city several years ago.
Christchurch is really a beautiful city, and dear to my heart, so Id like to continue to support the rebuilding efforts there, Cassy said.
To learn more about Stripes or to check out its gear, visit www.stripesgear.com or contact Cassy Campbell at 250-688-1706 to arrange a time to view the sample studio located in Westridge.