Greenbelt Magazine: Wear Boise
By Veronica LeMasters, Greenbelt Magazine
Photos Kimberlee Miller
Husband and wife, Lisa McGrath and Paul Carew, never planned on their clothing store, Wear Boise, being more than a small side job for the duo. But with all the local love, they now find the store “busting out of its seams.”
While lawyer, McGrath, grew up in Boise, graphic designer, Carew moved here from New York City, but found that Boise was his answer to finding paradise.
“I love this place more than most Idahoans,” Carew said, with a laugh.
After the duo realized that a lot of Idaho swag wasn’t truly telling Idaho’s stories, they decided to create their own brand that would tell insiders’ stories.
“These were ideas we were just talking about over dinner and drinks,” Carew said. “Things that we’d come across everyday like the pronunciation of Boise.” This, along with other things that Idahoans do, is what inspired the pair to create t-shirts like the popular “BOY-SEE” tee, which helps correctly pronounce the city’s name.
“It’s about reflecting the culture of Idaho. The whole idea behind Wear Boise is wear your where, so we really wanted this to be for Idaho,” Carew said.
The company launched an online store in March of 2014, and found that six months later after being bombarded with emails and phone calls, a retail store was a necessity. Starting the company, the two knew that they wanted it to be a community brand. Because to this, they partner with many organizations such as the City of Boise and Interfaith Sanctuary, along with local businesses such as Mother Earth Brewing.
“It’s really a matter of partnering with not only nonprofit [organizations] but businesses to really just again tell local stories about their company,” McGrath said.
All merchandise from the brand is strictly local, with most of their vendors being based in Boise. The community can also purchase Wear Boise at local events. McGrath and Carew attended over 50 events this year such as Art in the Park, Hyde Park Street Fair, and Treefort to cater to larger audiences. “That’s really where we get to get out and interact with people,” McGrath said. “It’s really funny because they’ll walk by our table and we’ll see their reactions. A lot of times people will hold up a shirt and ask, “what’s the story?” and we’ll tell it to them and they’ll say “we want that.” Again, we love the conversations and the messaging about the stories behind Idaho.
“The shop is continuing to grow, and Wear Boise has no plans on slowing down. They sell hats, t-shirts, and stickers, alongside new merchandise such mugs, aprons, socks, and even coloring books collaborated with Kate Peterson of The Dapper Jackalope. They plan on launching their new website around January 2018, going to more events, and creating new designs.
“Truly, it’s been our love note to Idaho and Boise. I love it when I travel—to wear these shirts and tell people about Idaho,” Carew said.
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