Nfld. & Labrador

St. John's entrepreneurs surprised by word-of-mouth success for SALT-emblazoned sweatshirts

The Shop Salt is a clothing brand designed by St. John's women Lauren Saunders and Emily Evans.

Lauren Saunders and Emily Evans make clothes for the 'salt of the earth'

Lauren Saunders and Emily Evans are the owners of The Shop, Salt. (Facebook )

It's simple.

A grey crewneck sweatshirt, with the word "SALT" emblazoned on the front.

The A in the word is replaced with the alchemist symbol for the word earth, a reference to the phrase "salt of the earth."

The Shop, Salt is a fashion line created by Emily Evans and Lauren Saunders, two women who began their venture a year ago and have seen it take off.

The appeal is a mystery even to Evans and Saunders.

"We can't keep this one on hand. It sells out really quickly," Lauren Saunders said.

"I think it's something that a lot of people feel like they can participate in. We're pretty active online, like our social media's really on the go," said Evans.

"When people would buy the shirt themselves they would take a photo and we would share it, so it's kind of become this, like, community where everyone loves travelling with their clothes," she said.

Success has come as a surprise.

"We generally don't have any expectations, we just keep going, keep pushing and see where it goes. We just really enjoy it — we wouldn't do it if we didn't enjoy it," Evans said.

Branching out

The Salt spring line includes original art from St. John's artist Mike Gough.

"Mike is a phenomenal local artist who we just did a collaboration with," Evans said.

"He created a bunch of beautiful original pieces for us to print on our clothes."

Gough's art is an exclusive commission for Salt, with the abstract images printed on sweatshirts, T-shirts and skirts.

The newest release for the designer duo is a line for children, with their brand printed on onesies and tiny tees.

"We're at the age where a lot of our friends and family are having children, so when we started Salt they were like, 'Well, I want one for myself, my partner, and my kid,'" Evans said. 

Is it delivery?

There is no storefront for The Shop, Salt, it's all online — but they do local pickups in unique packaging.

"We started with pizza boxes and people got such a kick out of it, there was a novelty there and we just kept with it," Emily Evans said.

"We always try to do pop-ups to have a bit more of a presence in [St. John's]," Evans said. 

"When we do get a chance to do pop-ups it does give us a chance to go out and talk with people a little bit more. Where we're an online-based business, sometimes you feel like you're not as connected with your audience," Saunders said.

"I think people connect with the message of the brand — the salt of the earth, good natured, genuine," she said.

Their projection to grow the business will start with Halifax pop-ups later this year.

With files from Weekend AM