It’s not often one finds a sewing machine in the home of a young, 20-something male, let alone three sewing machines and a serger. But Cameron Thompson isn’t your average 20-something male.
“These are all the machines my nana left me,” he explained during a tour of his home and studio.
“She taught me how to sew, so this is all her equipment — and I’ve been using it and it’s been great.
Thompson is an up-and-coming designer producing both skateboard designs and fashions. It’s a dream he started pursuing when he was 13.
“I wanted to make what was called a five-panel hat,” he said. “I didn’t have money to pay for one, but I wanted to design my own, too.”
Has grandmother walked him through the process and he was sold, quickly moving on from hats to tote bags and backpacks.
His current passion is reworking dress shirts.
Working from dress shirts that have been donated, purchased from thrift stores or crafted by him from scratch, Thompson remixes them by combining one shirt’s style with another.
“Basically, what I do is I’ll chop the arms and switch it with the torso or sometimes I’ll chop a torso or add pockets and stuff like that,” he said.
These sharp designs are popular within the skateboarding culture as well as with high school students.
These, as well as his skateboard designs, are sold under his Panorama brand and are available from his pop-up location at a kiosk in Aberdeen Mall.
You can also find his designs online at pnrm.ca.
The name Panorama comes from the idea of capturing something from multiple angles, but Thompson also pointed to his hometown as a source of inspiration, noting Kamloops is situated in a prime panoramic area.
His business has found some traction in the community, and he hopes to be able to grow it into something bigger, with a goal of becoming a fashion designer in the league of names like Tommy Hilfiger or Ralph Lauren.
“But I need to work my way and earn that,” he said.
Thompson’s board designs have already connected with some bigger names in the skateboarding community, including an anonymous skater from Dallas, Tex., known only as Ribs Man.
Ribs Man cloaks his identity behind a skull-faced mask and was photographed on one of Thompson’s boards.
“I found out about it later,” Thompson said. “He’s like this superhero, if you will, of skateboarders because he’s anonymous.”
Thompson is looking to the future with hope and excitement, but conceded he may have to step outside of his hometown to get to where he wants to be.
“I’d love to stay in Kamloops, but I don’t know if Kamloops is going to be able to keep me grounded.”
The decision to pursue his dreams of being a designer full time was a stressful one, but Thompson has no regrets and, in fact, encourages others to take a chance on their big dreams.
“I never thought that this would be something that I do for a living,” he said.
“And I just want to get that message out there to the kids that didn’t know, like myself a year ago, that you can do this. You just have to put in the work and find the connections.”