East Coast Lifestyle Marks 10 Years with New HQ and Expansion Plans for Canada and Beyond [Interview]

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East Coast Lifestyle, a clothing brand based in Nova Scotia, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, is preparing to open its new headquarters, and will be expanding more in Canada and internationally.

To celebrate its 10th year, East Coast Lifestyle will be launching its anniversary limited clothing collection in May. The CEO, Alex MacLean, started the company in 2013 while studying at Acadia University and has steadily been growing.The iconic clothing symbol was created for a class project and the brand took off from there, MacLean started by just selling hoodies but now the brand includes a variety of clothing for women, men, and children, accessories, drinks, and chips. 

“We have brought back the original hoodie which was the very first design before the anchor and logo and we have brought in a bunch of different designs that kind of incorporate the number ten, 2013 to 2023, and some roman numerals. You will be able to see t-shirts, hats, hoodies in the collection and then we are going to be doing more down the line – but our first capsule collection will be shirts, hoodies, and hats.” East Coast Lifestyle will also be doing a large back to school collection for its tenth year that will be released in the Fall. These collections will only be available once. 

Rendering: East Coast Lifestyle
Rendering: East Coast Lifestyle

For the 10th year, MacLean said they will be celebrating with a party when the new East Coast Lifestyle headquarters is up and running and will hopefully have a DJ, catering and new collections. MacLean said they are looking forward to celebrating the grand opening of the new building, which has been a two year project, and to have a “big ten year party” with the community. 

New Headquarters 

Image: East Coast Lifestyle

The new East Coast Lifestyle headquarters, located in Bayers Lake, broke ground in June 2022 and after years of planning the building is now in the final stages. MacLean said the goal is for it to be ready by September. The headquarters will not only be for retail space, it will also be a place for the community as it will include picnic tables, a coffee shop, a basketball court, and a place where people can enjoy its East Coast Lifestyle beverages.

“The building is just over sixty percent right now, so they are saying they will be completed by the end of June, which will allow us to get in the building by July and start fabricating the inside of the building with things like desks and office tables. We will need at least a month or two to prep the interior of our storefront. It has been a long two years working on it and we are really excited to see it come to life and we can’t wait to get in there.” 

10 Years of Growing and Future Plans

Image: East Coast Lifestyle

“I was 21 when this all started out and I was very new to the world of entrepreneurship. It was challenging and I had to do a lot of research and hire great people which allowed the businesses to grow pretty quickly. I was really focused on marketing and was really bad with accounting and finance, so knowing my skill set when I was 21, I was thankful to be able to hire people who could help me in those areas.” 

Looking at today, MacLean says his main challenge of a growing business is finding the right staff and has learned throughout the years to not rush the process and to take things slowly.  

“Hiring is important to us. So instead of going out and rushing to hire someone today, we really hire slow. We take our time to look at the pool of people that applied and really take our time to hire the right people. We are really passionate about what we do and we need our staff to feel the same way. All the people working with East Coast Lifestyle love what they do so we need to make sure we hire the right people for the brand.” 

MacLean mentioned he has recently hired an additional salesperson to take on East Coast Lifestyle’s expansion into the United States as the US market is their main focus right now: “we are really trying to break down the door of the USA and try to get into that new market – particularly by attacking a few states.” No locations are known at this time. 

East Coast Lifestyle also has plans to continue its growth within Canada. Back in 2022, the brand collaborated with Bauer Hockey which allowed its products into more stores out West. Now East Coast Lifestyle is looking to make the collaboration stronger by looking at expanding into more stores throughout Ontario and Alberta as MacLean sees high potential as there are a lot of people who are familiar with the brand. Stores and locations are unknown, but will be announced once confirmed. 

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Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala
Shelby Hautala, based in Toronto, is a new Journalist to Retail Insider. She has experience writing for local newspapers and also internationally for Helsinki Times while she lived in Finland. Shelby holds a Bachelor of Journalism Honours degree from the University of King’s College and a Social Work degree from Dalhousie University in Halifax.

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