Now how cool is this tagline 😉 But don’t be fooled with the thought of wine and beer. Read more on what they are referring to when it comes to “The Original Happy Hour Brand”. Today, in our Little Black Book Spotlight we are so thrilled to introduce you to two sisters who started a great company from my lil’hometown – KOOTZ ROOTZ.
*As written by Leah Pavlick. One half of Kootz Rootz*
- KOOTZ ROOTZ, we love that name? Do tell us more!Kootz Rootz is a term that’s been around forever in the Kootenays, long before we were even born. It’s about taking pride in your roots and a passion for your hometown. People use it to describe the geographical location, but more than that, it’s a certain laid-back attitude and spirit for outdoor life that is unique to the Kootenays. We capitalized on that feeling when we started the company. Kootz Rootz as a brand has been brewing since 2013. We’ve owned the website and social media for years and spent a lot of time brainstorming on how we wanted to share our love for the region. Kelsey even has it tattooed on her ankle!
- Who is the team behind KOOTZ ROOTZ?Kootz Rootz consists of Leah and Kelsey, two sisters born and raised between Trail and Creston, BC. We grew up fishing and camping on Kootenay Lake, and skiing Red Mountain in Rossland. We both have a Bachelor’s of Visual Communications majoring in graphic design and spend most of our free time outdoors with our families. Leah has a solid marketing and writing background and Kelsey has done multiple photoshoot styling projects for other businesses. (Check out her snaps on Insta @kelseysantucci) Basically, if it’s got nature and design combined, were on it! Our goal with Kootz Rootz is to take these communications skills and really do the Kootenay area justice with quality designs that speak to our surroundings.
Can you share with us your company’s philosophy? What are you known for?
We call ourselves The Original Happy Hour Brand… and it’s not all about drinking (though we never turn down a glass of wine!) Happy Hour is how we were raised in the Kootenays: You work hard, and you play hard. Quality time is spent with friends and family around a campfire, annual fishing derbies, and outdoor picnics. It’s the time you get to spend doing whatever makes you feel the best, whether it’s mountain biking, yoga, or just enjoying a beer from a local Kootenay Brewery. As designers and writers, we won’t just slap a clip art mountain on a T shirt and call ourselves an outdoorsy brand, or send a blog post live with a ton of errors. Our photoshoots are meticulous and we do tons of planning. We spend a lot of time crafting our work and paying attention to small details. When we collaborate with another business we put the same care into making their product look good!
Our final philosophy is keeping things local. We print 100% of our apparel in British Columbia, and all of our models are from the Kootenays. We continue to collaborate with numerous Kootenay businesses and creatives and it’s the most inspiring and rewarding aspect of our work. The region is full of talent!
- What are some HOT products you have been selling?Hats! People love our hats. They’re simple, and look good on everyone. We’d love to do a mini version for kids. Our classic Kootz Rootz Ts for both kids and adults have been consistent sellers for us. It’s our trademark brand and people have resonated with it. Our newest Fall line has been well received and our laid-back long sleeves are the most popular now that the cold has hit!
- Where do you ship?Canada only. But we did do an awesome pin exchange with a lovely guy in California who HAD to have our Happy Hour pin!
- Fall is here! What products do you recommend?Hats are perfect for all seasons and our stickers are a must for the upcoming ski and board season. Our new hoodie (laid-back long sleeve) is an awesome layering piece for winter and we definitely recommend our new Kootz Tree T’s and Kootz Mountain T’s as Christmas gifts for the outdoorsy people in your circle!
*Don’t forget to #entertowin this t-shirt from @KOOTROOZ over on our Instagram account today!
- As business owners, what are some challenges you face? How do you overcome them?Balance! We both have full time jobs and are raising kids, so time management and splitting our workload is key. Brand differentiation is also something we work hard at. Many outdoor-inspired brands exist but we try to keep ours unique. We use a lot of typography in our design and that sets us apart. Budgeting is always tough when you’re a small business – we have so many ideas it’s sometimes hard to reign things in and focus on our top priorities and goals for the brand.
- Can you share with us what motivates you?Our families and each other. Kootz Rootz is something that is a true reflection of who my sister and I are – a combination of our youth, our hometown, and our passion for creativity. We want our kids to see what their Mamas are all about. We want young people to know that you can absolutely be a Mother and a bad-ass lady boss at the same time! We started our official product line while both of us were on maternity leave. We had no money, but we made it work. Motivation came from knowing that we had the design, marketing, and business skills to launch something that was high quality. We are also lucky to have a large pool of creative friends and alliances that support our ideas. We’re hard working, passionate women who need a creative outlet and we really feed off each other. We motivate and challenge each other on a daily basis – Kelsey really appreciates my fixation on grammar 😉
9. Favourite quotes?
Leah “You had a purpose before anyone had an opinion” I don’t know who said this, but the first time I saw it, I was like “hell yes.” If you have a passion, just go for it.
Kelsey “The secret of getting ahead is getting started” – Sally Berger. You have to take the first leap. You might fail countless times but at least you can say you tried and gave 100%.
- Looking ahead, is there anything you can share with us that will be coming to KOOTZ ROOTZ (new products, locations, etc)?We had a successful market season this summer and even bigger and better collaborations are coming down the pipe! We hope to expand our product line for shirts and more accessories in 2018 and are currently producing a few goodies for Christmas orders! Our expansion has been slow – we prefer to order small batches first and determine if the quality and look is what people want to buy. We really focus on customer feedback and hope that people are willing to grow along with us!
To learn more about KOOTZ ROOTZ be sure to check them out here!
Photography by JustineCelina.com