Homegrown Business: Ethically Sourced Clothing from Buttercream Clothing

Our Homegrown Business feature this week is about Buttercream Clothing. Founded over 8 years ago, Buttercream has grown from one woman making aprons, to employing 25 women and making a variety of clothing articles, while also teaching business seminars. We spoke to the wonderful owner herself, Candice Munro to learn more!

Candice from Buttecream
Buttercream Founder, Candice Munro

What is your business called and what does it do?

My business is called Buttercream Clothing and we ethically manufacture women and men’s clothing in Calgary, Alberta. Each garment is made with care using extremely high-quality fabrics.

What made you want to do this work?

After having my first baby, I was motivated to do something to allow me to stay home while still making an income. I started making ladies aprons and called it Buttercream Aprons. The business quickly evolved to clothing and the name stuck.

What problem does this solve?

Buttercream Clothing solves a few problems. Finding ethical, Canadian clothing at prices that most can afford is not easy and we have made a brand that is accessible to most. We also solve the problem of finding styles that are adorable no matter what size you are. Our size range goes from xs – 3x so no matter what size you are, the clothing fits wonderfully and looks great. Lastly, we solve the problem of finding clothing that works for most heights. We do a lot of custom lengths, whether it is extra long leggings, shorter alterations and more; we can make most items work for most bodies.

Who are your clientele/demographics?

Our demographic is actually pretty unique. We have a lot of moms shopping with us, maternity, men, all age groups. We love seeing women of all ages wearing our clothing.

How does your business make money? How does it work?

Buttercream Clothing sells online on our website. The majority of our business is done through the website now. We did have several dozen wholesale accounts years ago but we are now focusing on direct-to-customer sales in order to provide our customers with better service.

Model Wearing Buttercream's Lace Sweatshirt
Model Wearing Buttercream’s Lace Sweatshirt

Where in Calgary can we find your profession?

There is a very vibrant and lively ethical clothing movement happening in Calgary at the moment. Local brands can be found at local craft markets, online or in several small shops. At this time, you can find Buttercream Clothing in the Curated Shop in Cross Iron Mills or online.

What is the best question a prospective customer could ask a member of your profession when comparing services?

The best question that a prospective customer could ask is how our garments are made, by whom and how the manufacturing process works. We love telling this story and we are focusing more on that this year. Each one of our seamstresses has a wonderful story and so much talent and history behind their work. For instance, one of our seamstresses has sewn for a high end fashion house and is using those skills to make our clothing, another seamstress makes costumes for Hollywood movies and is running a team of amazing seamstresses that now work for Buttercream Clothing and, lastly, another seamstress uses her skills from design school to help create new and exciting designs for our brand every season.

What is the best part about what you do? What is the worst part?

The best part about my job is getting to see people absolutely in love with the clothing! It warms my heart to hear stories about how much they love the brand how it makes them feel. Building body confidence at any stage of life is so important to us and when people discover Buttercream Clothing, it can be so much more than just purchasing clothing. Another favourite part of the business is the community that has grown out of the brand. We have such a wonderful group of core customers (I think of them more as friends).

The worst part about the business can be finding the balance on time management. Owning your own business comes with wearing all of the different hats and I find that very challenging at times when it seems like there are just not enough hours in the day. This year has been a big shift in that aspect for me as we have a lot more support from our team so I think we are figuring that out as the years go by.

What is your favourite joke about your own profession?

How do you get a seamstress’s attention? A Hem (oh that’s a bad one… lol)

PAY IT FORWARD: What is another Calgary business that you love?

Salty Sea Dogs Pottery. They are a wonderful husband and wife team and have been in the Calgary market scene for years. Their work is impeccable and they have a wonderful community as well. @Sarah Dawes @saltyseadogsdesigns on Instagram or saltyseadogdesigns@yahoo.ca