The Bow Valley is bursting with talented and passionate folks. This place is home to countless artists, athletes, and entrepreneurs alike. Many people fit in all three of those buckets. Sports Garage has carved out some of our retail space specifically to feature local makers to pay a little tribute to our inspiring neighbours and friends. Our Local’s Corner has everything from apparel to accessories and more. We’re delighted to showcase the world of these unique and inspiring small businesses, and we want to help you get acquainted with the people behind our Local’s Corner.
Introducing Wild North Gear
Today, we’re stoked to highlight Wild North. Wild North is a local Canmore business that stitches up hand-made goods, including “sassy fanny packs” and “rugged rucksacks.” These durable and brightly-coloured items are full of personality. You’ll also find dog boots, duffle bags, and other bags and packs for your next adventure. They make a ton of custom orders, so if you don’t see what you need in stock, you’d be silly not to reach out and see if they can whip it up for you.
You’ll find a selection of fanny packs and bear spray holsters at Sports Garage. We caught up with Steven Hussey, owner of Wild North, to learn more about the brand. Here’s what you need to know!
Steven and his wife, Anessa, moved to Canmore in 2015. At the time, they got jobs in retail and construction. “I got laid off from my job after ten months and was back on the job hunt! I decided to become a school bus driver and use my music degree and teach around Canmore, which I still do to this day,” Steven told us. “During that period of being laid off and trying to figure out what I’ll do, I bought a sewing machine!”
He got the idea to make some harnesses for his dogs. There was a bit of a speedbump, though, being that he didn’t know how to sew, where to get the materials, or where to start. “I did lots of research, stumbled through some poorly designed harnesses and then actually came up with a super functional design (my dogs are still wearing the same harnesses I made six years ago!),” said Steven.
This ignited his passion and had him on the search for his next project. He made a duffle bag next. After a few drafts, he landed on a great design which he still has today. “This trend continued, and once I started selling my stuff, my hobby paid for itself, and I just continued to put money back into it and grow it,” he shared.
“Wild North Gear took a bit to get to where it is now. Once I realized I enjoyed sewing and was able to make money doing it, I started to find things I liked to sew and market those things. I found a gap in the bag world, and Wild North found its place through that discovery. Now we fill our time selling and branding fanny packs for other small businesses trying to make things happen for themselves!”
Steven told us that Wild North’s most popular products are dependent on the season, like most things in Canmore. In the summer, fanny packs are the staple item. In the fall and winter, dog boots are the talk of the town. Though, increasingly popular are the Wild North bike bags.
What's Next for Wild North
Steven is working on transitioning from “side hustle to full-time gig” and could not be more excited. “I’ve worked towards it for six years and this year has shown tons of promise so trying to make the jump which will give me the ability to grow this business. When that happens - tons of new products will be coming out!”
When it comes to Wild North’s stuff in our shop, Steven said “I’m pumped to be a part of the Local’s Corner! Not only to be there with tons of other amazing makers, but to have the support from a business like Sports Garage is awesome!”
If you want to get some Wild North gear for yourself, what are you waiting for!? Head down to Sports Garage, shop their online store, or get in touch with Steven for custom orders.
“We’re truly a small business. A Family of 4 with a couple of dogs just trying to make stuff happen! All of our stuff is designed by us, drawn up by hand and sewn on our own machines. When you contact us, we’re the ones sewing up the goods and answering the emails!”