Chayle Beaudoin was working in insurance in Nanaimo when she decided to combine her personal passions for art and community into a business. As a creative artist, she designed and launched a clothing line featuring her very own art prints. Interest in her clothing steadily grew and Beaudoin decided to investigate the world of athletic apparel. It was the perfect fit, and from there Brío Soul Apparel was created.
Brío Soul Apparel blends art and ethical fashion into functional pieces while making a difference for the planet and within our communities. “All of our pieces are ethically crafted using the highest quality materials to ensure that customers purchase a garment they’ll love,” explains Beaudoin.
Running a fair and ethical business is core to Brío Soul Apparel’s operations, and they personally visit manufacturers to ensure they provide fair wages and safe working conditions. “You can focus on being a conscious consumer and feel good wearing our clothing,” assures Beaudoin. “We close the loop by giving back to our communities through one of our partner charities.”
Turning a new leaf
With deep roots on Vancouver Island, Beaudoin sought to expand Brío Soul Apparel into new markets. She first heard about Export Navigator through Community Futures Central Island and decided to embark on a new chapter joining the program. Her Export Advisor, Brady Calancie, helped Beaudoin feel confident as she learned. “It’s nice knowing someone has my back,” Beaudoin reflects.
As Beaudoin developed knowledge about exporting, she uncovered new roadblocks. “The main challenges we’re experiencing include making contacts for market entry, sorting out international logistics, and being able to scale efficiently based on the opportunities at hand,” lists Beaudoin. “Having Brady consistently send relevant resources such as tech opportunities and grants has been invaluable.”
From local to global
After Export Navigator, Beaudoin sees opportunities for thoughtful growth. “We’re working on targeting more emerging markets for international distribution,” she explains. “Recently, I’ve spent time in Alberta, Dubai and South America working towards our goals.” Thanks to this recent growth, Beaudoin has hired three more employees, making Brío Soul Apparel a team of six.
For Beaudoin, the ongoing network developed through Export Navigator is the best part. “As an entrepreneur, I will always have questions, but now there are resources where I can find the answers,” she says. “I feel supported with what I’m doing.” For other business owners contemplating an expansion of any size, Beaudoin encourages thinking bigger by connecting with Export Navigator. “I absolutely, one hundred percent recommend this program.”