We’ve all been looking for that perfect button up shirt. Maybe you were lucky and found it at your local thrift store or maybe you borrowed it from “that guy you used to know.” You know, that perfectly draped and lived-in boyfriend style that has made dressing like a dude an oh-so-stylish and undeniably comfortable go-to season after season. But maybe you weren’t so lucky to find the one just yet. And maybe, just maybe, you will be just as excited as we were when we stumbled upon Jess and Kyle, the creative masterminds behind Power Of My People. They make casual button up shirts that marry low maintenance style with tomboy influences for the perfect borrowed from the boys vibe. Lazy fashionista’s rejoice. We caught up with the two for the first in our Makers Series to hear more about their business, their initiatives, and how they are enjoying the final days of summer. Enjoy!

12 Where do you think your passion for creativity stems from?

Jessica

I think it’s just in my nature. It can be quite difficult for me to work on something that doesn’t inspire me creatively. It has definitely been a burden in the past, but I’m glad I have that intolerance because it’s sort of made pursuing a creative life a necessity. It’s something that I think requires a bit of determination. Sometimes the default for everyday life pushes you towards the mundane, and you have to look for inspiration and the alternative.

Kyle

I went to business school because I wasn’t sure what my passion was. I never thought creativity was my strong suit, I still think Jessica is the creative one. However, over time and through starting Power Of My People with Jessica I have come to realize I’m truly passionate about people and facilitating others to do what they truly love. I hope through our shirts and our People Series we are able to achieve this, and the People Series has become a creative outlet for me.

Jessica

I think Kyle needs to give himself more credit – he’s very creative! He has a great mind when it comes to seeing opportunities and solving problems. Creativity isn’t just about artistic ability, it’s also very much about seeing amazing possibilities that others may not recognize.

14 Being a small business, why do you think it’s important to shop small?

Kyle + Jessica

It’s important to shop at places that uphold your moral values and of course offer products you’re passionate about. Specifically with smaller local businesses, they are the life-blood and community of a city. By supporting local you’re supporting your schools, streets, friends and families to have a more diverse and vibrant environment. Whether that community is your city, your industry, or your online ‘neighbourhood’, it can all benefit.

What is your ideal summer day?

Kyle + Jessica

Vancouver changes during the summer. I think people make the most of the nice weather here – going to the beach, hiking, biking, patio hanging, just being outside. I like being around the city when it’s like that. Just being out and about!

6 What can’t you leave the house without?

Jessica

I’m a list maker, so I’m a bit lost without my notebook. I have to write everything down for some reason!

Kyle

My bicycle – how the heck would I get around without it?

What advice can you offer aspiring designers and creators?

Jessica

Creating something for yourself (not your employer) is awesome, because whether you mean to or not, it’s a direct expression of you. Embrace that – don’t feel like you have to fit your product or creation into a predetermined category. People appreciate honesty and integrity.

Kyle

You have one very important thing going for you – you know what you’re passionate about, so start small and see if there is an interest in your product. Online platforms like Etsy, Shopify, Square Space etc.., make it incredibly easy to put a store up and start selling. Just make sure that once you decide on something, your vision is clear and concise and never confuses your customers.