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  • Writer's pictureCreative Return


What does it take for a t-shirt company to become a brand that is recognized on a global scale? If you are having trouble finding the key to rising above your competitors, here are some insights from a success story that will broaden your perspective.

Dustin Paisley is the co-founder of the Calgary-based apparel brand Local Laundry and he's here to tell us how he turned it into something more than just clothing.

Local Laundry is a company that builds community. They have raised over $175,000 for local charities. They're also always looking for ways to reduce their environmental impact.

“The company was started off of a Google search, which was ‘how to start a t-shirt company?’” — Dustin Paisley [0:06:20]

Dustin dives into the highs and lows of growing the business from a t-shirt company to where it is today – a globally recognized brand. The brand now offers a variety of ethically-made products including tees, socks, and hats.

You'll hear the story of a small business rising to success and how Local Laundry survived the pandemic by adjusting its offer. Dustin also shares how he navigates day-to-day operations with his team.

“It’s important for us to showcase that just because you are a small business does not mean you can’t have an impact.” — Dustin Paisley [0:21:43]

We learn about weekly cash flow and how Dustin applies the knowledge he gained from working in the banking sector to business ownership.

We're excited to be sharing a Calgary success story that is brimming with real-life insights and practical advice to enhance your financial or entrepreneurial journey. Thanks for listening!


  • Dustin's experience of studying entrepreneurship at Mount Royal University.

  • Why he’s interested in creating positive change in the community through business.

  • Moving from on-demand/no inventory to having to stock some inventory.

  • The bootstrapping process behind funding the company.

  • How the YYC design kick-started Local Laundry’s rise to success.

  • Surviving 2020 and the difficult decisions it elicited.

  • Shifting from a retail-only business to dressing Shaw Mobile employees across the country.

  • What it has meant to build a community in Calgary.

  • Why Calgary scores high on connectedness despite not being a tech hub.

  • Choosing to remove all the latest tools to run everything via spreadsheets.

  • Two fundamental recommendations for anyone looking to start a business.

  • The value of contacting your bank before they contact you.

  • The malleable nature of entrepreneurship.

  • The value of validating your assumptions.

  • Navigating imposter syndrome.


Please note that the information contained in this interview is not financial advice but for entertainment purposes. I am not a financial advisor and make no warranties or representations concerning the accuracy or suitability of the information contained in this interview. I recommend that any and all investment decisions be made with the advice of accredited investment advisors.


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