When your message is Support The Locals, it’s logical to have your ecosystem be the physical community that surrounds you, particularly when pivoting to establish a brick and mortar location.
Speaking in alternate sentences, Phil Moreau and Mike Olah of Osgoode Company share; “Local is quickly becoming the new cool with young people, which in sustainability is huge, it’s better for your economy and environment”— supporting local is their cause.
Phil Moreau was immersed in the East Coast local vibe while obtaining his degree in Business & Environmental Sustainability at Dalhousie; with business partner and talented autodidact graphic designer Mike Olah, formerly of Tyger Shark, they opened Osgoode Company on Dunlop Street. The local community embraced this duo before the store; Tropical North and Ann Green carried their line. Mike Olah continues design work for local businesses, a prime example of their modus operandi, local supporting local.
They grew quickly; stickers morphed into apparel, which appeared online and in a pop up shop at J’adore. Every detail of their product line, branding to manufacturing, each fabric and design specifically selected for the vintage themed retail space. Family and friends are given props for their contributions of time and energy. These young entrepreneurs are doing it their way.
Examine an original #SupportTheLocals button; you’ll notice Osgoode in small print. As Mike Olah shares; “who the heck is going to disagree with that? Support The Locals was birthed out of Osgoode then came the desire to create a store. Osgoode Company is the store, the message is support local.”
“If someone asks you how is everything, you say, all is good, that’s os’good. Our motto and slogan for a lot of the Jackalope stuff is easy living, when you’re happy with what you are doing, then os’good. Support the Locals is a Canadian vibe, Osgoode is more playful.”
Mike Olah first drew the Jackalope as a bunny, and then added antelope horns, with his natural process of moving from paper to rendering, this mythical creature remained conceptual until an eBay search for relics discovered Jackalope, now holding a place of honour in shop and on apparel.
With the same attention to detail they give to their manufacturing process, complementary local brands are in shop. Apothecary products, soaps, candles, beer and wine glasses, handcrafted jewelry by Shiny Soul Creations, locally roasted coffee from Epic North and men’s grooming line, Always Bearded.
“We have fun but we work really hard, we’re willing to put in time and effort, attitude is a big part of it. A lot of people will hire someone to design a store, contractors to do work, we literally have done everything here ourselves, that was out of necessity. We’ve operated wholesale and online solely but now have to stock a store with product; we could either pay someone or renovate the space. We wanted to create our own vibe, so we did the work. I certainly wouldn’t pour this concrete counter again, but we did it ourselves, it was not easy.”
“Time is the biggest challenge. We’re conscious of how we’re fueling our bodies, eating at Lazy Tulip and Nutrition Plus, staying healthy as possible, trying to do as much as we can. The store is our office now.
It was never a thing we knew we were going to be ready for, but we knew we were going to do it. The stress leading up to opening was most trying.
If it wasn’t for our friends and family coming in the day before and the day of, kicking it into high gear, because literally 5-10 minutes before opening we’re hucking tools and boxes down the stairs.
If you don’t set a date we could have dragged it out for another month, opening Canada Day weekend was a perfect time for us.”
“I think we’re pretty lucky to get up and do this, being able to live as sustainably as we can within our communities. I don’t want a Ferrari.
Success in life is being close to where you are, able to ride your bike or bring your dog to work, a lot of people sacrifice quality of life without realizing what they are losing, it’s about living simply which goes back to supporting local.
We are living the brand, the challenge for us isn’t how do we make more money, its how do we make the best damn product we possibly can.”
The guys are looking forward to a full festival season this summer and branching out beyond Simcoe County to grow their brand.
Instagram: @supportthelocals & @Osgoodeco