Josh Lloyd and Drew Hampson started their own clothing company last November.

Josh Lloyd and Drew Hampson started their own clothing company last November.

Local friends start clothing business

Two young Fernie residents have started a clothing company called DIY or DIE and their items can be found a few local stores.

Do-it-yourself is almost a lifestyle choice in the Elk Valley, with many in the community thriving off of homemade projects and collaborations. At least Josh Lloyd and Drew Hampson know a lot of people who enjoy that lifestyle – enough to make a clothing company inspired by them.

D.I.Y or DIE started as an elaborate idea that morphed into a lifestyle clothing company.

“The original idea was to have a shop that sold records and had a radio station in the back, and then a tattoo parlour and then in the basement would be this big screen printing area. And it would sell coffee and stuff,” said Hampson. But as the two kept talking, they started playing around with putting art on shirts, using bleach and stencils to create artistic patterns on blank shirts.

The two weren’t sure that their work would turn into anything substantial until the first order of shirts was received. Within five minutes, Hampson sold the entire order. “After we sold out, it was like this could be a potential thing. So I did another shirt that was just a plain ship design and I sold 50 of those from pre-orders on Facebook, and that’s when were ‘Okay, we can do this. Let’s start taking this seriously’,” said Hampson.

Since November, Lloyd and Hampson have been taking it very seriously, going to markets and trying to get into retail stores. With the help of their friend a business partner, Murray Bouchard, D.I.Y or DIE got into it’s first retail stores and Halifax. Pro Skates and Fresh Goods both picked up the line.

All three business partners have an artistic flare, and all contribute to the design of the shirts. Hampson works at Giv’er Shirt Works, which allowed them try out screen printing designs as well.

Hampson and Lloyd, who are 25 and 17 respectively, want to pursue expanding the company, and while they both have other jobs, want operating D.I.Y or DIE to be their full-time career someday.

“Ideally, in five years, I’ll be doing exactly this,” said Lloyd, who is entering his final year of high school. Both Hampson and Lloyd said that the next goal would be to get their own equipment to be able to scale the production of the clothing line. But for now, they are concentrating on markets and finding more retail spaces that would be open to their line.

“I think that the markets are a better way of turning profit other than retail, because when you’re first getting into retail stores, getting in their stores is the initial step and can be slightly expensive,” said Hampson. “But you got to spend money to make money.”

While they are committed to the business, neither Hampson nor Lloyd forget why they got into the project in the first place – to create art with friends. They are looking into making a catalogue featuring friends and locals known for “doing it themselves” in the clothes as an homage to the people and lifestyle that inspired the two to create the clothing company in the first place.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Fernie saw 20 new positive cases between Jan. 10 and Jan. 16 according to the BCCDC. (Image courtesy of BCCDC)
BCCDC reports 20 new COVID cases in Fernie health area last week

20 new cases were recorded between Jan. 10 and Jan. 16

City of Fernie city hall. (Scott Tibballs / The Free Press)
Speed boards proposed for Fernie

Mayor Qualizza floated the idea to councillors at the most recent Committee of the Whole

Environmental groups are calling for a federal impact assessment for a proposed coal mine expansion in the Elk Valley. Phil McLachlan photo.
Castle Project now known as FRO-X

Teck said the previous name was causing confusion

The Fernie Chamber of Commerce hosted this year's virtual 2020 Business Awards. (File Photo)
If there’s a risk, IH will take the lead: Fernie Chamber

Rumours about businesses and COVID numbers are doing damage to sectors already hurting according to Brad Parsell

Maj.-Gen. Dany Fortin, vice-president of logistics and operations at the Public Health Agency of Canada, speaks at a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic in Ottawa, on Friday, Jan. 15, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
B.C. records 500 new COVID-19 cases Wednesday, 14 deaths

Outbreak at Surrey Pretrial jail, two more in health care

Interior Health has declared the Cariboo Chilcotin a community cluster. (Angie Mindus photo)
Interior Health declares Cariboo Chilcotin region a COVID-19 cluster, 215 cases since Jan. 1

Most cases are related to transmission at social events and gatherings in Williams Lake

A woman writes a message on a memorial mural wall by street artist James “Smokey Devil” Hardy during a memorial to remember victims of illicit drug overdose deaths on International Overdose Awareness Day, in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver, on Monday, August 31, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. paramedics respond to record-breaking number of overdose calls in 2020

On the front lines, COVID-19 has not only led to more calls, but increased the complexity

Vernon's Noric House long-term care facility is dealing with an influenza outbreak amid the COVID-19 pandemic. (File photo)
Two more deaths at Vernon care home

Noric House case numbers remain steady, but death toll rises

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Eighteen-year-old Aidan Webber died in a marine accident in 2019. He was a Canadian Junior BMX champion from Nanaimo. (Submitted)
Inadequate safety training a factor in teen BMX star’s workplace death in 2019

Aidan Webber was crushed by a barge at a fish farm near Port Hardy

Southern resident killer whales in B.C. waters. Research shows the population’s females are more negatively influenced by vessel traffic than males. (Photo supplied by Ocean Wise Conservation Association)
Female orcas less likely to feed in presence of vessel traffic: study

Research the southern resident population raises concerns over reproduction capacity

(Black Press Media files)
Transport Canada not budging on enclosed deck rules, despite calls from BC Ferries union

There have been at least 23 cases of the U.K. variant detected in Canada, four of which are in B.C.

Throughout December, RCMP conducted CounterAttack road checks as police worked to keep roads free of impaired drivers. (BLACK PRESS file photo)
‘You can’t make this stuff up’: Stories from the B.C. CounterAttack campaign

Amusing, yes, but a reminder impaired driving affects ability to drive and to make good decisions

Most Read