The “Straight Outta Rutland” brand is everywhere—on the backs of vehicles, t-shirts and even the occasional beer holder.
Two Rutland men, Greg Greenough and Dale Martell, owners Valley Contract Screenprinting, are behind the growing phenomenon.
Six years ago, Greenough’s nephew was in Grade 11 and for his birthday, the duo made a Straight Outta Rutland shirt for him. The slogan paraphrased the title of U.S. hip-hop group N.W.A.’s song Straight Outta Compton.
“We just made it up as a joke… he thought it was kinda cool, Straight Outta Compton, Straight Outta Rutland, that sort of thing,” said Greenough, who along with Martell grew up in the community.
But the pair didn’t expect the brand to blow up like it did.
“Everyone at the school absolutely loved it. So we did up a couple for ourselves. A couple of weeks later we put them on our Facebook pages and everyone started commenting on them,” Greenough said.
The pair made around 50 shirts, and it took off from there. Straight Outta Rutland now has its own Facebook page and features pictures of Rutland residents wearing them on their travels around the world.
“We went from 50 likes to 2,000 likes in two days,” Greenough said. “We’ve got pictures of people in China, Australia, the Sydney Harbour Bridge, New Zealand…. everywhere.”
Since their inception around 5,000 to 10,000 shirts have been printed, which Greenough said he never expected. The purchases have been steady as well, with peaks at Christmas season and in the summer months.
“Nobody really relates it to Compton,” said Greenough. “Everyone who buys it for Rutland is for Rutland pride.”
He said the majority of buyers are women aged 40 to 70, who buy the shirts for family members.
And he feels they remain popular because of community pride and because its Rutland-area residents enjoy sticking it to the rest of Kelowna.
“People born and raised in Rutland have always been super proud of (their community) and we love the fact that everyone else in town doesn’t like us,” Greenough said.
While Rutland sometimes gets a bad reputation, he describes the area as “just the working class part of town.”
“If I had done Straight Outta the Mission, or Straight Outta Kelowna, I wouldn’t have sold 20 shirts,” he said.
“Everybody from outside of Rutland hates Rutland… every demographic. But every age group (in Rutland) loves the fact they’re from Rutland and nobody else likes us. We find it funny.”
Growing up in Rutland, Greenough said the area is no different than other parts of Kelowna.
“I played sports here all my life, and it’s no different (here)” he said.
To find out more about Straight Outta Rutland, visit the business’s Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/pg/StraightOuttaRutland/about/?ref=page_internal.