A New Challenge!

Posted by Ian On June 5, 2009

I'm pleased to announce that I have started my own little company - mare ad mare, which is latin for 'sea to sea' and part of the Canadian motto (check the cover of your new passports). Our goal will be to build a fresh new brand of clothing for Canadian (and wannabe Canadian) girls. I will be using this blog, much as I have in the past - to continue showing people around the globe (over 50 countries now!) what it's like to be a Canadian girl, tracing the footsteps of our 3 girls as we explore more of this great place we call home.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Now for big girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Fall shirt for Canadian girls

A big pile of leaves for you here! As a Canadian summer turns to fall, the leaves change colours and then fall off the trees. Kids rake them up and play! So go on, Jump into Fall with this Orange T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Pass the Marshmallows!

Summer shirt for Canadian Girls

Summer in Canada is the time for camping, camp fires and of course - Marshmallows! Get ready to go roast some in this summer yellow T. Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.


Spring shirt for Canadian Girls

After a long Canadian winter, spring can never arrive too soon! Pull on this Spring Green T and go planting girls! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

It's not ALWAYS cold in Canada...

Winter shirt for Canadian Girls

How many times have you had to tell someone that it's not always cold here? Well, sometimes it is cold - but to make your point, grab this little winter blue T and let them know that it's not just snow and ice up here all the time! Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

Un petit baiser

Unique shirt for Canadian girls

'Gimme a little kiss' - says it all. Girls, grab this little white T, and go get your kiss ;-) Check www.mareadmare.ca for more details. All designs copyright of mare ad mare.

We finally received some of our test shirts yesterday.

Quick background....
A quick rewind...why are we doing this? Well, when we were expats, we would come back every once in awhile and of course wanted to stock up on Canadiana - so everyone else wouldn't think we were americans ;-) Problems was, there was little in the way of good canadian girl gear. There was the overly touristy crud that simply said Canada (ooooo imaginitive!) or the Roots stuff, but there wasn't even much in way of that for little girls... not to get off track - but do you remember when Roots was Canadian? It's a glorified Old Navy/Gap now - sporting gear, with Roots plastered on it somewhere... made in Vietnam, or Thailand, or somewhere not being here... I guess that's how they can get those dirt cheap prices now (ala Old Navy). But to get back to the main point... I wanted the girls to have something they could wear, show that they were proud Canadians (with overdoing it!), were slightly clever and of course, had to be cute...

So based on those ideas, I came up with the 'canadian butterfly' as a logo of sorts... played with that forever, and finally got around to creating some supporting designs. The seasonal designs made sense, as I wanted to reinforce the point that it's not always cold in Canada like everyone other than Canadians seem to think... So, these are some of the designs that I've been playing with, and the girls have been giving me their design inputs - colour combinations, what colour for the shirt, what brand, patterns... We picked four, and had them test printed - here they are...

- Fall -

My thoughts... I really like this design, it really reminds me of fall around here with all the colours in the trees. But - the test print wasn't the best. The brown didn't turn out as well as I'd hoped, and I'm not sure about the burnt orange coloured T. I like the American Apparel cut, but might have to change if I can't get a better orange.

- Winter -

It's not always Cold in Canada
but it is today ;-)

I like the way this came out, and the girls love it too. Shows up well on the shirt, and think it will look even better when screenprinted. Like the colour of the shirt, and the long sleeves (helps keep her warm in winter!)

- Spring -


Not all that happy with this one. The green is too deep, hard for the design to stand out - even with the bright colours. That's something else that doesn't work - the butterfly over the flowers - red on hot pink... not so good. My wife was the first to tell me that it didn't work - but of course I didn't listen... The girls loved the design from when they first saw it - but it doesn't quite work. I've already made adjustments, and the new Spring design is basically the new blog header - tell me what you think... The girls like the new flight path of the butterfly over a few rows of tulips (honouring our local tulip festival).

- Un Baiser -

Donnez-moi un petit baiser!

I wanted to have a few shirts that were not seasonal - something they could wear throughout the year. This little phrase is something I say to the girls all the time to get a kiss, and it reflects on our other national language.

I'll probably put some of these on etsy, and maybe try to distribute some to local tourist shops and see how it goes from there...

Let me know what you think! Cute? Retarded? And let me know if you have an idea for what I could do for the summer... I'm thinking camping, marshmallows...something along that line.

4 Response to "Shirts! (a first attempt)"

  1. Jenn Said,

    I love the winter shirt, as well as the "Give me a kiss" shirt, and would totally order some (if I had a little girl to put them on!) Great job!


  2. mare ad mare Said,

    Thanks! Maybe I should make a few in big girl sizes ;-)


  3. Anonymous Said,

    I like the butterfly off to the side in the last shirt. It could be like that in all the shirts? I agree about the orange and the green colours being too vivid. A mint green is good for spring or even pale yellow. Fall could also be brown or beige. I like how the winter one isn’t just a big rectangle. Summer needs a beach scene, I think. It’s all very clever – but I think I like the white one best of all. It’s clean and simple and not just because of the white.


  4. mare ad mare Said,

    Thanks XUP, that's a good idea (off to the side...) I'll play with it a bit, see how it works. The girls really liked it for the blog header - so great minds must think alike ;-) (Theirs and yours that is... definitely not me!)


    About Me

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    It's not about the money you make, the toys you have, the clothes you wear - it's about the life experiences you go through, the challenges you face and the stories you tell... Having just moved back to Canada (after almost 8 years in the U.S and Germany), we have lots to show our girls and our friends around the world about Canada. We're going to be telling our stories, hope you enjoy our adventures. Mare ad Mare means 'sea to sea' and we want to show the world, from Sea to Sea - this is what it's like to be a Canadian Girl!