When Emily Evans purchased her home, the previous owners simply asked her to refer to one of the rooms as The Shop.
Evans and her childhood friend Lauren Saunders took the request one step further and turned the room into a dream, a clothing line called The Shop, SALT to honour the space.
“That’s where the name comes from. It was a convenience store run by the grandmother,” said Evans of the location.
The Shop, SALT is a Newfoundland based clothing company designed and operated by the two friends.
“We wanted to design clothes growing up as kids. Lauren has this story she loves about us designing Barbie clothes as kids,” said Evans.
“I still have our first Barbie dress. We dreamed of going to Ryerson for design,” added Saunders- though both pursued different careers paths through Mun, they have always wanted to try fashion design together.
“It’s been a dream of ours since before we left high school,” she continued.
What started as a thought became a few t- shirts which quickly turned into the now established fashion shop.
“We were hoping it would turn into something but we didn’t go into it with any expectations. It’s something we always wanted to do,” recalls Saunders. “When it started we were seeing where it goes organically. We started with just ten t-shirts, then added sweatshirts and it went from there.”
SALT has gone far beyond t-shirts, the brand quickly picked up and the girls brought more ideas to life. There are toques, accessories and onesies available, which come packaged in pizza boxes to add to the aesthetic.
The Shop features Salt Moves: an athletic-like seamless line featuring a popular crop top and outdoor activewear. In the past, the designers have worked with artist Mike Gough for an exclusive special edition feature and they promise new limited editions pieces will be released before Christmas.
The holiday season has opened a new opportunity for the business.
“We are running a retail space for Christmas in Grand Falls -Windsor, where we are from,” explained Evans. “Last year there was a shop set up at Common Grounds and it sold out. There was a line out the door.”
“We will drive back and forth from St.John’s and have to hire employees which is new for us,” added Saunders. “It will be hard giving up control. It’s our baby.”
Both Evans and Saunders will continue to work their full-time jobs, both of which bring something extra to their clothing line.
“Following both our career paths allows us to make this,” said Saunders who graduated from Mun in business, while Evans is a photographer. “Social Media is a primary marketing tool for us and we have lots of fun doing it and talking about it. Our Instagram stories are us having fun.”
“When the lights went off to start this, we used everything in front of us,” said the photographer. “We are always being ourselves and staying genuine to the public. Nowadays social media can be such a facade. Our social media is us because we are friends.”
The company has stayed true to the genuine message since the beginning, it’s how the branding and designs came to be.
Evans had created two t-shirts for her and an assistant to wear during photography shoots, then people started asking about them.
“The design was almost by accident, like everything with SALT. That’s the charm of the brand. I always had this salt of the earth idea with me, the idea of being there and being genuine,” explained Evans of the origin. “I’ve carried around this salt philosophy for years. There was just something about it that I wanted to use and it worked. Things happened naturally for us.”
The process may have played out in a natural manner, but the success can be attributed to hard work.
“It pays off and we step back and observe it sometimes,” said Evans of their chaotic schedule. “We barely sleep. We should have lost friends but luckily our friends are understanding and encouraging.”
“Pick the thing you want to do and even if it’s a risk and hard work, do it,” encouraged Saunders.
SALT has been sold in every single province and both entrepreneurs are thankful for the immense support.
Be a part of the movement and be in the moment: get your salt pieces here and follow the friends throughout their adventures on social media @theshopsalt