$3 from each limited edition unisex t-shirt will be contributed to Canadian Tire Jump Start Hockey which supports youth hockey programs throughout the prairies! Canadian Tire Jump Start is dedicated to removing financial barriers so kids can have the opportunity to get off the sidelines and get into the game. We hope this can be the first of many collaborations with prairie organizations where we can continue to allow you to wear the pride, while investing back in the prairies!
A Saskatchewan-based clothing company is taking off in western Canada. With its logos making their way across the country, Prairie Proud is living up to its name.
Cole Thorpe launched the clothing line in 2014 with a goal of giving back to the community. The company sells shirts, hoodies, hats and accessories. Now, he's beginning to see his hard work pay off.
Thorpe grew up in Spy Hill, Sask., where the village's population has been hovering around 200 people for the past few years.
"Community was something that was very important to me," explained Thorpe. "I got to see [what if felt like] growing up in a small [place] where everybody has to pitch in and where everybody has that prairie pride to begin with."
It wasn't until his university years that the idea to start the clothing company came to him. After entering in various entrepreneurial roles & business competitions, Thorpe wanted to build something of his own that incorporated his small town roots. This is when he came up with the concept: wear the pride; invest in the prairies.
Prairie Proud allows current and former residents of the prairies the opportunity to show that they're proud of their roots, said Thorpe. At the same time, about five per cent of the profit of each sale is given to prairie-based charities.
Prairie Proud is currently partnering with the Children's Hospital Foundation of Saskatchewan, the Alberta Cancer Foundation, and the Children's Hospital Foundation of Manitoba.
So far, Prairie Proud has been able to make charity contributions totaling $3,000.
"From a very early age, I've been very motivated and driven," said Thorpe. "So, when I started something from the ground up, I knew that I was ready for the work that I was going to have to put in to grow a business."
"It's a pretty cool feeling when you're walking down the street, whether it be in Saskatoon or in my home town, and you see people wearing the product," he added.
The Prairies are never far from Cole Thorpe's heart or his business for that matter.
"We have a truly unique character," says Thorpe, who was born and raised in the tiny community of Spy Hill.
That small-town living and the Prairies are ingrained in Thorpe, who has used it as a platform for Prairie Proud Apparel.
Prairie Proud, which opened a storefront location in the Ideas Inc. building, offers casual clothing in which people can wear their Prairie pride while also giving back through charitable contributions.
The company currently sells hoodies and T-shirts, V-necks, tank tops, hats and sunglasses, with a portion of every sale going to one of three charities - the two children's hospital foundations in Saskatchewan and Manitoba and the Alberta Cancer Foundation.
Thorpe has been heavily involved in entrepreneurial activity through the Edwards School of Business, where he graduated with a commerce degree.
"I got the (entrepreneurial) itch," he said. "I really wanted to start something from the ground up."
But he wanted the company's values to align with his own, namely passion, community and quality.
Thorpe launched the business online in 2014 with the motto, "Wear the pride, invest in the Prairies." Soon after people who bought Prairie Pride shirts were using social media to post pictures of themselves in the attire at iconic places around the globe.
He even has had celebrities like Doc Walker and Graham DeLaet don the Prairie Pride logo.
"They are like me, they've grown up here, are proud of their roots and want to give back," he said.
With the storefront location there is now a customer pickup option for people in Saskatoon and area.
And it is also giving Thorpe a chance to meet customers face to face.
"The experience so far has been the biggest reward."
Prairie Proud is open Wednesday from noon to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
We want to thank supporters for wearing their pride not only across the Prairies & Canada, but Worldwide. Wear the pride. Invest in the Prairies. #prairieproud