July 17, 2017
Brick and mortar shops in Saudi Arabia, Australia, the United States and Vancouver are carrying Rustic Pickle, a locally-made and owned children’s clothing line that now has more than 27,000 Instagram followers.
“The moment Rustic Pickle was on Instagram it took off,” says Russell, owner and creator of Rustic Pickle. “Most people are there to shop so it’s important to have a visually appealing feed.”
Most of Rustic Pickle’s market, 75%, is in the United States, followed by 20% in Canada and 7% of customers are located in a smattering of Asian and European countries.
Orders for Rustic Pickle have been increasing faster than Russell can sew. Starting this fall, the street-style children’s brand will be sewn in a Toronto factory instead of Russell’s Medicine Hat basement.
The expansion will allow her to keep up with orders and branch out from her No. 1 seller, the harem pant for two to four year-old children, and focus on developing the line to include a classic pant and more pieces for adults.
“It’s important to me that Rustic Pickle remains a Canadian-made brand,” says Russell, adding that the fabrics will also be made in the country. “Clothing made in Canada has a reputation for quality and I can see firsthand where the clothes are made.”
Russell started Rustic Pickle in fall 2014, after her third child was born. She left her job as a bank manager and started the clothing line at home part-time by creating custom pants for young children. After watching fashion trends abroad, Russell created the shredded harem pants, now Rustic Pickle’s top seller.
“I think it worked so well because people liked the product and I liked what I was selling,” says Russell. “I’m passionate about marketing my business.”
Instagram was the key in taking Rustic Pickle from Medicine Hat to the world. Many of its users shop from the social media site, including buyers for stores. As of April 2017, Statista reported the photo-sharing app had more than 600 million active accounts.
Moms from around the world participate in Rustic Pickle’s Instagram community by taking photos of their mini-me’s wearing the clothes.
Russell runs all aspects of the business, from book keeping and pattern creation to engaging with her social media following.
The Medicine Hat Chamber of Commerce selected Rustic Pickle for the 2017 Export Award and Russell was nominated for the Women in Business Inspire Award.
Now that the sewing will be done in Toronto, Russell will have more time to develop the business and enjoy time with her family in Canada’s sunniest city.