Tell us about yourself?
We both have pretty common full time jobs, I work in planning and Veronica is a nurse. It was the height of the pandemic in January 2021 and we were on a little day trip to Niagara on the Lake when I decided to just go for it and start a business. I’ve always wanted to be a business owner so why not start during a global pandemic when the world is shut down.
If you could go back in time a year or two, what piece of advice would you give yourself?
Just start and don’t be too hard on yourself. It sounds cliche but honestly starting and getting the ball rolling is the hardest thing. It might be that first email you send to a manufacturer or just thinking of a name, whatever it is, just doing something, little or big, is huge, you don’t realize how much you can accomplish. It’s also most likely not going to go smoothly, so roll with the punches and don’t give up.
What problem does your business solve?
By providing our customers quality made Canadian clothes we hope to provide a conscious shopper the opportunity to not only look good but also feel good knowing they’re supporting Canadian owners, business, and economy.
What is the inspiration behind your business?
We’ve always wanted to start a business and loved clothing, so why not a clothing brand. We like wearing a lot of basics, things that are not very flashy or full of logos, which sometimes is hard to find. Making the yellow fox, our goal for our clothes is to make elevated basics in Canada that we and you will feel good wearing, whether it be on the couch or on a night out.
Being in a position to give back was also a big inspiration in starting a business. Back in university one of my classes had us volunteer at a drop in centre for people in need and it was a truly eye opening experience. You might think that people who use food banks are people who are “lazy” or don’t want to work, when in reality it’s families who work harder than I could every imagine who still need help, or someone who has fallen on hard times, because we are all one bad turn from maybe needing help in life. After that, I always said that if I was in the position where I was fortunate enough to give back that I would. The yellow fox’s 1 dollar of every item being donated to charity is the beginning of that and hopefully as we grow, that can too.
What is your magic sauce?
Our magic sauce is our Old English Sheepdog Lola, she’s super saucy. All jokes aside, we know there are many Canadian clothing brands that make solid clothing, but we felt that there was a gap in a unisex brand that makes simple everyday basics, and that’s where we come into the picture. In addition, we are trying to focus a lot on giving back to causes that are meaningful to us and also our customers, which is going to be special to see evolve.
What is the plan for the next 5 years? What do you want to achieve?
The next 5 years I hope to see the yellow fox grow steadily and hopefully be in a position to give back in a larger capacity. One of the first things we wanted to one day achieve with this company is to start a charity for mental health and suicide prevention, so working towards that would be amazing. We would love to get into some stores and to just see where this brand takes us. We love living in the moment so we take it day by day!
What is the biggest challenge you've faced so far?
Just starting a business with zero experience in the industry in the middle of a pandemic when everything was done remote was a steep learning curve. Being able to change your business model, even early on and to be flexible is really important. There are a few ways you can start a clothing business, and we found out early that being open minded in how you produce your product can help you out and get product ready to sell.
Also getting samples through the mail and losing that sense of personal interaction with our manufactures was definitely difficult, but everyone we have worked with has been amazing in getting our product to the finish line. Without all of them the yellow fox doesn’t exist.
Thanks for taking time out of your busy schedule to answer all our questions Joe and Veronica!
You can find and order from the yellow fox collective on their website, Instagram and Facebook. They have totes, caps, tees and many more apparel items. Don’t forget, all their products are made in Canada!