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Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
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The Populess Company
Brad started The Populess Company in 2013. They detail the beginnings of their company in their Starter Story interview: 
Q: How did you get started on The Populess Company?
Populess was a high school project amongst 3 friends that hungered to deliver their art and philosophy through apparel. The concept behind the name “Populess” was a spin-off the word “Popular”.
We knew the value of an individual authentically being themselves. We felt it was important to be honest to oneself and not follow the sheep. It was ok to be “Populess” rather than “popular” - just do your own thing.
> I have really learned how important it is to know WHY I do what I do on a personal level and really challenge that and articulate it.
I had always had a drive for art and design and expression and Populess was my way to keep the creative juices flowing and hopefully give purpose through the apparel. My other two partners after high school went on to do other postsecondary things and I continued to keep the project alive.
I purchased my own silkscreen and rented a space in the back of skate shop while working another full-time job. I printed our own shirts for a few years selling through the skate shop and a couple other locations in town and out of the trunk of my car.
I later had the opportunity to partner up with a friend that had some financial backing and we purchased the skate shop I was working out of. During that process it allowed me to focus on the brand while my partner ran the skate shop. During this time I found a passion to work with leather as a hobby and then later started incorporating some leather goods into the brand all handmade by myself. Which now is the main focus of my business today.
The only experience I had at the time was working retail. I really just learned everything as I went. I had zero Idea of how the hell to run a silkscreen, run a small business or do leather work. I did as much research as I could and tried to figure it all out and to this day I’m still trying to figure it all out, I don’t think that will ever change...
Contributors to this article:
- Pat Walls, Founder of Starter Story