One of Clearwater’s entrepreneurs is seeing her business gaining attention over the past year, with her products’ reach going national and beyond.
Alexandria Campbell, whose brand My Black Treasure offers various clothing items and a unique stuffed animal line called Chibals, is seeing success across the country, picking up in provinces as far away as Quebec.
While the clothing appears to be doing well, the Chibals are gaining more and more interest, prompting her to expand the mediums and forms of the stuffed animals and the fictional world she’s creating for them.
“They’ve taken a turn on their own; basically they’re now in schools from B.C. and as far as Quebec,” said Lee Campbell, Alexandria’s father.
“In B.C. they’re being used in a reading incentive program and in Quebec they’re being used as incentives for children in a behavioral program—so that’s where they’ve gone so far.”
Teachers give away Chibals as prizes when students achieve specific reading goals, or if they’re well-behaved in class as is the case in Quebec, and Lee added this all came about from the family selling their products at various markets between Clearwater and Kamloops.
When asked what he attributes to the success of his daughter’s product, Lee laughed and said, “I think cuteness overload.”
Alexandria said she just wanted to bring something unique to the markets that make people happy, and to share in that happiness.
“It just kind of came about; I was thinking of something for my sister and I made it as a present,” she said.
“Dad suggested I make the head a little bigger, so I made them with bigger eyes then tested them out in the market and they did really good.”
This all began taking place just more than a year ago and since then, people who’ve bought the Chibals while in B.C. on vacation have taken them back to places like Europe and Australia and now the Campbells are getting orders from further abroad.
A lot of the Chibals come in the form of familiar animals like cats, frogs and birds, but lately they’ve been making custom orders in the forms of hybrids like unipigs, a cross between a pig and a unicorn, and even going as far as making Chibals in the likenesses of the people who order them.
With all the success, Alexandria is now making story lines for some of her Chibal characters with plans on animating her creations into digital cartoons, though this aspect of the business is still in its infant stages.
“There’s a lot more in the background going on—for example, we’re looking at characters of animation that she is presently writing because she wants to bring animation to Clearwater and the TNRD and we’re working to achieve that,” said Lee.
“It’s a very long process, it’s not something that’s going to happen over night; it’s going to take a while, but that’s the end goal, to present animation.”
Those interested in buying a Chibal or two can browse online at http://www.myblacktreasure.com/