welcome to eastvan x i, vancouverite


had a recent interview with Lima from I, Vancouverite.
It was good to meet with her and see what other people are doing in the city. The following is taken from the interview.

i, vancouverite x welcome to eastvan

When I was 16 years old, some friends and I met some people who lived in East Van. We decided to be adventurous and pay these lads a visit to see what kind of life there was beyond the border of our tiny West Vancouver neighbourhood. We weren’t accustomed to travelling beyond downtown, so we thought it was high time that we expanded our horizons.

Two busses later and we reach our destination: an old, broken down building which now houses The Whip restaurant. Back then, there was a skeezy bar downstairs and barely any sign of life around save for the bums and perverts crowding the entrance of the Triple X movie theatre across the road. We felt like we were in the middle of nowhere…

Almost ten years later and East Van has become a hot spot for students, artists, fashionistas, young families and even culinary enthusiasts. So much so, that it’s even becoming a brand in its own right thanks to 28 year old Rob Geary, creator of the T-shirt line “Welcome to East Van”. I sat down with Geary last week, appropriately at the JJ Bean on Main Street, to chat with him about the origins of this community-minded, community-based clothing brand.

I, Vancouverite: How and why did you come up with the “Welcome to East Van” brand?

W2EV: It started when I realized I was kind of tired of wearing other cities’ logos and their brands. I wanted to represent my own city and my neighbourhood. I wanted to tell the story of where I grew up.

I’m a graphic designer by trade, among many other things, but “Welcome to East Van” was something that just sort of happened. About 3 years ago, I started making these tshirts just for my friends and I to wear. Then other people started seeing them and asking them about where they got them – it sort of all grew from there.

The first year was slow because I was just selling everything out of my house and I’d even deliver the tshirts to people who bought them on my bike. I kind of liked it though, it was like that extra little bit of customer service.

I,V: How long have you lived in East Van and how would you describe it to people who aren’t from here or who just don’t visit the area as much?

W2EV: I’ve spent the majority of my youth in East Van – I’ve lived in almost every neighbourhood in it. It’s a beautiful place, with its stretches of tree-lined streets. It’s really just like any other neighbourhood. The thing that makes it stand apart is its diversity.

the rest of the article can be read here


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3 Responses to “welcome to eastvan x i, vancouverite”

  1. Lima Says:

    Great meeting with you Rob and definitely cool to connect with creatives who are making our city grow and our communities stronger. I’m sure I’ll catch up with you again about some other rad project! 😉

  2. Justine Says:

    great interview! I remember getting my shirt from you on your bike somewhere on the skytrain and I was late haha.

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