Two friends from Timmins are spreading a positive message with their new business.
Noah Lacroix and best friend Vincent Cavalieri have developed the brand Egothentic, offering a line of clothing and other items with a special message.
“The message of the brand is for everyone to be proud of who they are regardless of what other people think,” Lacroix explained. “It has turned into a movement which we are calling the We Are Us movement, we are who we are, we are us.
“The entire movement is based on a symbol that I had come across in the birth of the company, the O-X symbol, which is an O that is crossed out, representing crossing out opinions.”
Personal experiences inspired the development of the message and the brand.
“It all came to be because I personally was witness to people being victims of bullying, discrimination and being shunned for who they were trying to be,” he said. “I was also a victim as well, which, in a way, motivated me to try and combat that.
“The best way I found to do it was to take something as simple as clothing, something that we put on every single day — you know, we throw the shirts on our backs, pull our pants up every morning and we go out. I thought, let’s make that mean something. Because a lot of people are now wearing clothes that are somewhat out of the ordinary and they’re being shunned for it. Let’s make clothing mean something and put a symbol on it and make a movement behind it.”
The Egothentic brand was launched this past spring. Customers can order shirts, hats, towels, mugs and other items through the Egothentic website.
“I founded it myself April 1, and my partner showed interest in it mid-April,” Lacroix said. “To develop the clothing (for customers), it can vary, but at least a week. We use a third-party manufacturer right now to development the clothing, then it is immediately sent freshly made to our customers.
“We started in April, now we are in our fifth month operating.”
The duo has relied heavily on social media to spread the word about their business.
“We done multiple interviews … we’ve had a couple of podcasts, we’ve had a lot of shares on Facebook, likes on Instagram too,” he said. “We’re now moving into a new chapter where we’re going to start doing wholesale soon, so we’re going to be present in the city, we’re going to be in public stores and trying to put ourselves out there even more to eventually be outside of Timmins.
“Vincent is in Ottawa right now, so he’s probably going to be doing some sales down in Ottawa, so we’re trying to get further around Ontario to get people to see the message.”
Lacroix described the thought process used to develop the logos used in the Egothentic brand.
“I wanted to make something simple. There are opinions people want to get rid of out there that shouldn’t matter, the only opinions about yourself that matter are your own,” he said. “So, I thought of crossing it out, something very simple that you can put on a hat, you can actually incorporate it into a logo, the actual Egothentic name.
“The name itself, Egothentic, is symbolic. Ego meaning pride, yourself proud, and thentic meaning authentic, which when you put them together means authentically proud. Egothentic is being authentically proud of yourself.”
People on social media have embraced the brand and help spread the message behind Egothentic.
“Every share that everybody does, every small exposure doesn’t just help us, it helps those who are being shunned or discriminated against for who they are,” Lacroix said. “We’ve gotten some sales, not only in Canada but in the United States as well.
“The feedback has been widely positive, very little negative. People understand the message we’re trying to push, what we’re doing.”
One of the keys to the success enjoyed by Egothentic so far is that the brand’s message is genuine.
“People love the symbolism. People love the fact that we’re real people,” he said. “We enjoy staying close to the customers that we have. We enjoy hearing people’s stories, supporting everyone who is trying to be themselves. It’s not just a company that we’re trying to put out there, it’s also me and my partner trying to say, ‘Hey, we’re real people. We’ve been through everything.’”
Spreading their positive message is most important to these young entrepreneurs.
“We want to continue to grow, continue to push the message that everyone should be proud of who you are,” Lacroix said. “That’s what we’re really standing behind.”