Hustlers: Jeremy Watt, Co-Founder of Province of Canada

Comments (1) Hustlers


Since last year, I’ve been following the made-in-Canada lifestyle brand Province of Canada. I may be biased as a Canuck, but there’s something quintessentially comforting and familiar about their product line, but yet it still maintains a high-quality, culturally relevant vibe and aesthetic. And for just about as long as I’ve followed them, I’ve been email-chatting back and forth with Jeremy Watt, the Co-Founder, about their start and what POC is all about, including some banter about Instagram, manufacturing, and Drake. Enjoy our brief, candid chat after the jump!

What’s the first ting you open and/or look at in the morning?

The first thing I do is open up Instagram. If current design (fashion, interiors etc.) is a reflection of society, then Instagram is the mirror everyone peers into for a glimpse of nowness (not a real word, but a great website).

I’m with you! IG is my first go-to as well. Do you think it’s an accurate depiction of “real life”? Are you in the camp of “if you got it flaunt it”, meaning if you live amidst beautiful mountains with a wolf-like dog, is it wrong to monetize that? (thinking of John Stortz  I’m so interested in this topic as it seems more and more, people bank off of their circumstances and being IG-famous can lead to being a job and I have no idea what the connotations of that are yet. It’s such a new frontier! 

I think it’s more “If you got it, curate it”, and if your curation brings visual value to someones Instagram feed then by all means monetize it. It doesn’t take much to create beautiful ‘Instagram worthy’ images. If you have a good eye and a well lit space, even a 300 sq/feet apartment can become an Instagram studio. At Province of Canada HQ, we’re always saying to ourselves “You’re only as good as your latest visuals”. In some respects lifestyle photo slideshows or ‘lookbooks’ are over. While you’re going through 1000s of photographs to create a 6 image slideshow, someone else is sharing a beautiful image on Instagram and it’s gaining 10 likes a second.

This is why you see more brands ‘collaborating’ with influential Instagram users. They could spend the time and money to shoot their own images or they could connect with someone who’s more in tune with the Instagram community, with more followers than their brand. If the product is authentic to them and they’re getting compensated from the brand it can be a win/win/win situation.

Amen! I saw you released a short and sweet Instagram photo book from Province of Canada, which looks pretty cool! Is networking online and on Instagram your most successful advertising? How did you get started with POC? What’s the inception story behind your business?

Right now, networking online is our only advertising (un-paid), so I guess by default it’s our most successful. We haven’t gotten into any serious paid advertising to-date. Like most brands, we see the most social interaction on Instagram, it’s where we put most of our efforts towards.

I feel like it’s a cliché to say “I’ve always wanted to have my own brand.”, so I’ll say this, it started as a kid when I discovered what a brand is. I remember doing this school project on Nike and became obsessed with the origins of the name, the logo, the slogan, the advertising, the products and the combination of all those elements. Since then the idea of starting my own brand was always floating around. It took design school, 10 years of experience and my wife/business partner, Julie Brown, to hone in on Province of Canada.

When Julie and I decided to dream up a lifestyle brand, we knew we wanted to keep it 100% made in Canada. That decision provided the framework for our brand name brainstorming sessions. Long story short, I was in the produce section at a grocery store and saw the phrase ‘product of Canada’ on some apples. I brought that back to Julie and we both thought it was a little too literal but loved the sound of it. Later than day, I was doing some research on the history of Canada and landed on Canada’s Wikipedia page – I was scanning through it and read the pre-Confederation name for Upper and Lower Canada, Province of Canada. As I read it out loud, Julie and I looked at each and within seconds I was buying the domain


I love the name, and it’s so great to learn that is it all made in Canada. What are the challenges of making your apparel in Canada? How do you go about finding a manufacturer? Take us a little behind the scenes…

Manufacturing in general is difficult, but manufacturing is Canada is extra difficult. The minimums and costs are higher and there are limitations to what’s possible. We try to use the constraints as a creative jumping off point. For now our core collection is basic in execution but the walls we’ve hit have ignited ideas that we wouldn’t have thought off.

As far as finding Canadian manufactures goes, you gotta do some deep Google research. It’s a lot of emailing, calling and question-asking. You learn a lot when you dive deep into the Canadian manufacturing rabbit hole.

What are the apps, tools, software, songs, services or programs or products that you can’t work without?

Photoshop, Illustrator, Shopify, a moleskine, the Uline catalog, a lifetime supply of black Sharpies, Instagram, Tumblr, a constant flow of Kanye and Drake, morning and afternoon lattes. I pretty much just outlined a day in the life.


I’d like to thank Jeremy for opening up, being super cool, and sharing deeper. Be sure to shop Province of Canada’s website, Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and shop on, whether you’re Canuck or not!

One Response to Hustlers: Jeremy Watt, Co-Founder of Province of Canada

  1. Jordana @WhiteCabana says:

    Cool interview. I think I first spotted Province of Canada on Instagram, so their non-advertising advertising actually works! I love learning about Made in Canada products.