This story is part of the CBC Creator Network series. The network of creators amplifies the voices of the next generation of Canadian storytellers and connects them to CBC platforms, where they tell compelling stories and share unique perspectives that reflect the country in all its diversity. To check out more on the Creator Network, tap here.
In six short years, BC fashion designer Casey Lamb has built her own top fashion brand and created clothes for like Canadian pop star Carly Rae Jepsen, a triple threat [can sing, dance and act] Keke Palmer and American rapper Saweetie.
Lamb owns KSLAM, a game in her name, where she makes unique, sustainable pieces. She founded it in 2016 at the age of 18, knowing little about running a business.
“I’m the strongest when I just sew and create,” she said. “First and foremost, I’m an artist who makes clothes and comes up with new designs.”
Her work is now available in a number of boutiques on the West Coast, and she sells her products directly on her website, where she can send her clothes around the world.
A self-taught designer, Lamb says she started doing art in high school. While continuing her career in sociology at university, she began printing screen-printed T-shirts featuring her art.
“I feel like I’ve always been such a practical person,” she said.
Early on, she says, she started going to thrift stores in search of things that would otherwise be discarded to find a way to give them new life.
Since then, she has designed collections of old recycled belts and even knives.
“I think the sustainability aspect starts with me,” she said.
“I am a person who makes his own clothes [surplus] fabric is a good way to use materials that would otherwise end up in a landfill or somewhere abroad. “
Lam feels that her clothes embody self-confidence and independence, things she aspires to in her private life as well.
“It’s just about being original and creating what I think is true for me.”
She says she sews everything herself – which means it can take weeks to make a piece, depending on what the customer is looking for.
KSLAM was featured at Vancouver Fashion Week and in magazines, which Lamb said were a big boost for her ego, but didn’t result in higher sales – but she’s fine with that.
“Because I do whatever he wants, kill me. It’s so exhausting.”
She could hire a publicist or social media manager or other staff to help her, but she says she’s happy with how her job is going.
“For me, it’s become more about figuring it out on my own and following what I believe in more, instead of listening to someone else,” she said.
“I think as my business grows, so do I.”
On the coast7:44The 25-year-old artist has built her own independent fashion brand