When Jennifer Marshall’s son, Memphis, decided to pitch the idea of opening his own business, she was a lot more receptive than many parents may have been.
“We were driving to go drop something off and I said, ‘Hey mom, maybe I want to start making clothes,’” said Memphis, who will turn nine in September.
“And she said, ‘OK.’”
The business is called Streetside Apparel and, along with clothing for adults and kids, it also features bags, backpacks and home décor.
“He’s brought me drawings of skateboards and stuff like that,” Jennifer said. “And then I kind of digitize them and put them into the computer and play with them a little bit — and then get them onto clothing.”
Besides helping design the products for sale, Memphis is involved in other aspects of the business, such as naming the items and setting their prices.
“Last night, when we did the backpack and it was $60, he was, ‘Why is it $60?’” Jennifer said.“
That’s a lot of money. So then it opened the door to explain, this is how much it costs us. So we need to make some money.
“So where do we think is a reasonable amount to charge? And how do we figure that out?”
For the moment, Streetside Apparel products are available exclusively online, either at the company’s Etsy store or on the website at streetsideapparel.ca.
All items are print-on-demand, so when customers place an order, they’re getting an item that was created just to fulfil that order and not one that’s been sitting in a warehouse.
“I have a number of different manufacturers,” Jennifer said. “So it’s typically between two to seven days, print time, and then shipping depends on what location it’s coming from.”
If you want to see some of their work in person, the duo does plan to sell some of their products directly at booths during upcoming markets and fairs in the Kamloops area.
Though they’ve only been at work on the business since January, Jennifer said growth has been steady, with sales from as far away as Hawaii.
“I find a lot of our sales are coming through Etsy,” she said.
“I’ve set up promotions on our products on Etsy to kind of keep them in the forefront. And I feel that that’s really where we’re seeing most of the focus.”
At the moment, Memphis doesn’t have too many plans for the future of Streetside Apparel besides continuing to make it bigger and better, but he does have advice for anyone considering getting into business for themselves.
“Go right ahead,” he said.