When you live to be outdoors, you tend to cross paths with others who do the same. The type of people who are happy to share stories of their adventures, in turn inspiring new ones. That’s exactly what happened when Leslie, one of the founders of Camp Brand Goods, told us about the new retail space they’ve just opened in Calgray’s Inglewood neighborhood. As long time fans of their brand and mentality, we were stoked to catch up with Leslie & Connor Gould in this edition of Uncovered.
Read on to hear more about their favourite adventures from across the Rockies, including their latest one: the opening of The Livery Shop – our newest stockist in Calgary, AB.
All photos by Mike Seehagel (mikeseehagel.com)
Looking back at the past 4 years of starting and growing Camp Brand Goods, what are the highlights?
The entire last year has been a trip. We quit our day jobs to focus on growing the brand and it seems to be paying off. It’s been a lot of work and we didn’t (/still don’t) really know what we are doing, so the first couple months of 2014 we had knots in our stomachs and lots of sleepless nights. It’s been a lot of fun too - we were able to get away for some pretty memorable road trips and some good camping trips around BC and Alberta. It’s awesome to see something we’ve built from the ground up and are super passionate about having such a good response with others.
Tell us more about your latest adventure, with the opening of The Livery Shop?
Opening a store was really not something that was on our radar. We were looking for studio/warehouse space and were having a hard time finding something we liked for the right price. Connor set out just driving around neighborhoods we liked hoping to find something, and that’s how we stumbled across the barn. The space we acquired is Calgary’s first livery stable and was built in 1907 to house the animals of guests staying at the National Hotel next door. We teamed up with our friends Dorian Kitsch and Kofi Oteng who own a jewelry business called CoutuKitsch. It’s bigger and more expensive than we had originally planned but we crunched some numbers and as luck would have it were able to sign a lease and open our doors right before Christmas last year. It’s actually a big enough space that we are planning on having events here as well so it is going to be quite the multi-use area.
What are you most excited to bring to the city with this new retail space?
It’s awesome to be able to have a place to really showcase our brand. Before opening the store the only place you could view our entire collection was online. Now we get a chance to interact with our customers and give them a better brand experience.
It also gives us a chance to showcase some local designers we like and bring in some companies that we personally like.
Between designing an amazing line of casual wear for the outdoorsmen & women, and creating a new and authentic retail experience – where do turn to for inspiration?
I’d say mainly travelling. Whether its overseas, a road trip to the US or camping around here each trip refreshes us and brings new ideas to the drawing board. We were recently in Mexico and spent a couple days in Guadalajara wandering around Tlaquepaque. The main shopping area is in the historic downtown area and many of the shops and restaurants are old colonial era mansions turned into amazing furniture and interior decor stores.
What is it about Calgary that makes you happy to call it home?
We are both born and raised Calgarians, which is a rarity. Both of our families are here and we grew up going hiking and camping in the mountains around Calgary. There really is something different and special about the Rockies. The city has really been on the up and up lately. There is so much cool stuff going on locally so it’s a great scene to be a part of right now.
When you’re not working, what do you love to do most?
Hike, camp, canoe, whatever we can do outside. The longer the trip and the farther into the backcountry we can get the better.
With the Canadian Rockies on your doorstep, what are your top three weekend adventure destinations?
Luckily, our two favourite camping spots are within an hour or two from our front door.
- Our favourite spot to go car camping would have to be Two Jack Lake. Every time we’ve been we’ve gotten caught in the craziest hail or rain storm but it always ends up making the trip that much more memorable. The lake is so nice and warm that we always just end up waiting out the storms by bobbing around in the lake.
- Our favourite place to go back country camping is Pickle Jar Lakes. It’s quite an intense hike but once you’re there you’ll never want to leave.
- Fly fishing on the Oldman river.
When it rains, what do you do?
Camp Brand Goods began in Calgary, AB in the summer of 2011. Camp takes its inspiration from classic sport design and the nostalgic memories of a youth spent outdoors. comfortable fleece that will instantly become your favourite sweatshirt.
The Livery Shop opened its doors in December 2014. You can find the store in Calgary's Inglewood neighbourhood, at 1130 10th Ave SE, Calgary, AB. Next time you're in the area, be sure to stop by and say hi.
All photos by Mike Seehagel (mikeseehagel.com)