Stay Home Club manages to find whimsy and humour in the introverted prospect of hanging out at home—instead of socializing and going out.
If your weekend goals include hanging out in your comfiest sweats, spooning your kitties and watching Netflix, STAY HOME CLUB is right up your alley. With sayings like “Stay Home and Watch Buffy” and “Boring Is Best,” this clothing and accessory brand makes introverts feel less alone. Founder and artist OLIVIA MEW knows this well. The recent popularity of her lapel pins, patches, and simple apparel with strong messaging—often with tongue firmly in cheek—has boded well for Mew, whose small business in Montreal is thriving. Now the brand has over 23,000 loyal Instagram followers and 14 of the 32 styles they've expanded to are completely sold out. That's pretty freakin' impressive for a brand selling sweatshirts that read "Awful" and "The Worst."
How did you come up with the name Stay Home Club?
I started the business when I was 24 and felt like my friends and I had totally different ways of blowing off steam and spending our free time. They were working day jobs all week and partying all weekend and I wanted to be working on something I loved, alone at home. One of my earlier Etsy stores was named ‘Stay Home’ and I added the ‘Club’ when I decided that SHC would be a collaborative brand with work by other artists as well as myself. It went on to feel like every customer got initiated into the ‘club,’ which I loved.
Many of the SHC designs seem to tap into a certain malaise or apathy. How tongue-in-cheek is the brand?
While we’re evolving away from being just a “negative slogan” brand, that’s definitely a core part of how we started, and we still continue to nod at it in new collections. We’re definitely tongue-in-cheek with lots of our designs, but we aren’t limited to malaise. Our “I will make it out of this alive” patch is our best-seller, and the opposite of apathetic!
What trends are you currently interested in?
Lapel pins are a great way to showcase different aspects of your personality or aesthetic without being as in-your-face as a slogan t-shirt. Plus, they’re inexpensive. I’m also equal parts mad and enamored with the fact that Gucci’s recent collections have been covered in incredible embroidery and patches—a sort of upscale version of what we do. I studied fibers in university so I’m all about interesting surface design and fashion’s recent re-embracing of intricate floral embroidery has been huge for me.
What’s the biggest reward of being a small business owner in Canada?
Canada celebrates its entrepreneurs and successes by feeling a certain sense of pride that I don’t think exists for businesses in more populated countries like the USA and even the UK. You see it with our pop-culture icons all the time—for example “Canada’s own Drake!.” People are excited to have that ownership over what they do.