On Alex owner Cheryl Bateman poses with Shuswap Soul proprietor Riley Corcoran and his sister Grace after they recently delivered the inventory of Shuswap Soul t-shirts and hoodies for display in the retail shop. The brand, designed by the 13-year-old, is also available at ReMarket Etc. in Salmon Arm and through an online store. (Photo contributed)

Entrepreneurial teen inspired by the Shuswap

Riley Corcoran, 13, creates his own company, Shuswap Soul Clothing

Riley Corcoran lives in Calgary, but his soul resides in the Shuswap.

Riley, 13, has spent time every summer at a cabin in the Shuswap, calling it a magical place where he loves to be.

And so, when coming up with an idea to start a business, the young entrepreneur was inspired by his surroundings.

“I was sitting on the end of my grandma’s dock last summer, I turned and asked my mom if I could start a business. We spent a lot of time talking about what kind of business, what I could sell, how I could manage it. Inspiration struck. I had a friend in Calgary who was designing and making cool shirts and I wanted to do the same,” says Riley.

But it’s been a big learning curve.

After hours of drawing out his ideas, thinking about how and where to sell the T-shirts, figuring out how to get the product made and learning about setting up an online shop, Shuswap Soul Clothing was launched to the web.

“I have learned how to add new products to my online store, and have spent lots of time learning about marketing. My mom is teaching me how to manage my accounting. We have had visitors on our site from across Canada and a few other parts of the world. Last month we had an order from Europe and last week we had one from Australia,” he says.

After the site went live, a T-shirt printer in Blind Bay contacted the family about printing the products locally. And Salmon Arm retail stores On Alex and Re-Market Etc. expressed interest in carrying the Shuswap Soul brand. Both Salmon Arm shops are now offering the shirts for sale in store. There are both T-shirts and hoodies available in various colours.

“It has been awesome. I get lots of encouraging comments on our Facebook and Instagram pages from people in the area and others who like to visit the lake. I can’t wait until our customers start posting pictures of their shirts on social media. I know that will be really cool and a very exciting day,” he says.


@SalmonArm
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