Port Dalhousie

Weekly Featured Client

Who are you and what do you do?

I am Christopher O'Connor, founder of the Port Dalhousie Supply Company. Our mission is to connect people through our brand and celebrate the unique fabric of our Community.

What products and/or services did Presstime provide you on your last order? How did it help you?

We dove in to high quality hoodies with our nautical flag theme. Everyone loves a little puzzle in design to figure out what the flags mean! Additionally, we have produced a commemorative design to celebrate the life of Neil Peart, a Port Boy, and drummer for RUSH. Proceeds from the sale of this shirt go directly to the Neil Peart Commemoration Committee at the City of St. Catharines to memorialize Neil in Lakeside Park, a place he cemented in history on one of their albums.
We are looking forward to our next order to elevate our brand with patches, and some new illustrative designs. Golf shirts too!

Where do you source your inspiration for the merch you create?

"Sense of Place". National Geographic defines it as, "the emotion someone attaches to an area based on their experiences." Growing up in Port Dalhousie, Christopher, a third-generation resident, has a lifetime of these experiences, some unique, some shared with the people he grew up with, some shared with the generations before him. The Port Dalhousie experience is unique to all, but there are common threads that create a powerful bond between inhabitants, visitors, and those that have come and gone. It's hard to explain... you just feel it!

How has the vision of your merch evolved over the years?

At the beginning I simply wanted a piece of clothing that said, "Port Dalhousie" on it. From there I gathered some inspiring thoughts and iterated my way to our iconic design we have today.

To capture that feeling Christopher created the iconic logo you see today; a rope circle representing perpetuity in a nautical fashion, an image of the famous Outer Lighthouse, the year in which Port Dalhousie was incorporated; application was made to the County Council and on October 30, 1862 the bylaw to incorporate the village was passed., the word "Original" to represent not only the local pronunciation, but the many original facets of our Town and people. That icon is now the internationally recognized seal of the Port Dalhousie Supply Company that adorns thousands of apparel pieces that have been shipped to every corner of the world. Every time someone see's it they "get that sense of place feeling".

What are some things you wish you knew before you got started?

It will be one of the most rewarding things you will ever do, but also one of the most difficult. You will have days where you couldn’t be more proud of what you have been able to achieve. Then you will have days where you think you can’t possibly find a solution, more time, or the energy. But somehow, things always have a way of working out. If you have a dream that you can’t seem to shake, take the risk. We promise the good days outweigh the bad and owning your own business of any kind is one of the best decisions you will ever make. Kathryn may be biased but start those social media accounts day one of your self-employment journey. Your online persona is like a portfolio of who you are, what you do, and why your clients should care. It goes hand in hand with any other branding, like merch, and helps to set you apart. If you are passionate about what you are doing, anything you put up online will feel authentic and help to foster a sense of community. #startthedamnbusiness

Any tips for newcomers in your industry?

Be authentic. Anyone can see through a flimsy persona or someone who doesn't lay their heart out there for all to see.

What are some things you wish you knew before you got started?

Never recommend a size to a customer! Just ask them which size they prefer! lol

Anything to add? Got anything cool coming up?

We have found that people like to travel with the PDSC gear so we always encourage people to send in their pics from abroad. We have received photos from far away places like Australia, all across Europe, Azerbaijan, Brazil, and most recently Tanzania! It warms our hearts knowing people take a little bit of home with them wherever they go. We've touched every corner of the globe now... and it keeps going!
We host several festivals in Port Dalhousie; Supper Market, Summer in White, and a Wine Fest in 2024!

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