Interested in starting your own entrepreneurial journey in a clothing line but unsure what to expect? Then read up on our interview with Joel Barbour, owner of The Great PNW, located in Spokane, WA, USA.

What's your business, and who are your customers?

My business is The Great PNW, a clothing company. We create casual apparel for those who love the North West. Inspired by all the things that make the PNW unique, our designs cater to a wide demographic. We do our best to create timeless designs so that the same design can be worn by your child, yourself, a parent, or grandparent, and it will never feel out of place.

Tell us about yourself

I got started doing design when I was in college in 2005. Growing up, doing art with my grandma felt like the next natural thing to pursue. The main thing that keeps me motivated is everyone around me and the team we've built. I truly feel excited to go to work every day with my friends.

What's your biggest accomplishment as a business owner?

Business-wise, the biggest accomplishment would be when the NFL reached out to us to do a collab with the Seattle Seahawks. That was humbling and awesome. But really, as a business owner, the accomplishment of just doing what we do every day is satisfying; I feel lucky.

What's one of the hardest things that come with being a business owner?

The hardest part would be that pretty much 99% of people around you don't fully understand the weight that comes with it all. And there's the "well you should..." people, you know, the people who try to give you advice about bridges they've never crossed or act like they are on the same level. I heard the term "wantrepreneur" once; I see a lot of those people who think that because they want something so badly and it's on their mind a lot that they are indeed doing something, they aren't. Watching that stuff is pretty comical.

What are the top tips you'd give to anyone looking to start, run and grow a business today?

  1. Just fucking do it, for real; just stop talking about it and do it.
  2. Be prepared to put in the long hours and hard work needed. Every. Single. Day.
  3. Get your finances right; if that's not right, you may just have a very expensive hobby and not a business.

Is there anything else you'd like to share?

You are more than capable. People get worried about the skills they don't have, the website they don't have, the following they don't, or the time they don't have, etc. There isn't a single fear you can't overcome, not one. I have fears all the time running multiple businesses with lots of moving parts; my fears today are much different than my fears nine years ago when I started. But if I ever let the unknown stop me, I'd still be sitting at my day job thinking about how I could start a clothing company and hire all my friends. You are more than capable of pursuing your dreams; you owe it to yourself.

Where can people find you and your business?


If you like what you've read here and have your own story as a solopreneur that you'd like to share, then email; we'd love to feature your journey on these pages.

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