Armstrong couple Lori Winje and Audrey-Lynn Fraser have a hit on their hands.
Well, actually, on their backs.
The pair were newly arrived in the North Okanagan in September 2019 to be closer to family when the pandemic hit just seven months later, so the accountant (Fraser, from Squamish) and paramedic (Winje, from Nelson) were essentially confined to their homes.
It was while watching one of their favourite shows – The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Orange County, Atlanta, Vancouver, New Jersey, pick one, the pair love the series franchise – that an idea was struck. The pair decided to make shirts for themselves.
Fraser made a grey sweater that has Armstrong written in black on the front, while Winje came up with The Real Housewives of Armstrong in white writing on a red T-shirt.
“I came up with the ‘plain’ Armstrong sweater and my partner came up with the Real Housewives of Armstrong T-shirt because we are fans of the show and we thought it was funny,” said Fraser about what started out as a fun T-shirt craft idea.
The couple has made other T-shirts for birthday gifts for family members who, Fraser says, “seem to love them.” She also made some masks with logos as well.
Winje is currently taking a Level 3 First Aid course in Nelson. She wore her Real Housewives of Armstrong shirt to a visit with her stepdaughter and stepdaughter’s mom who are from Robson, near Castlegar.
“They loved it and said they wanted one to say Real Housewives of Robson,” laughed Winje, a fan of funny T-shirts. She used to wear one teaching classes that said “Feel Safe – Sleep With a Paramedic.” She made a similar one for her son, a firefighter.
Response to the T-shirts has been spectacular. Winje’s fellow students all want one.
“Everybody who sees it wants to order one,” she said. “I’m trying to do my school work now so I said to Audrey ‘I think we’re on to something.’”
Fraser posted the shirts on an Armstrong Facebook forum. Requests have been overflowing.
“We had a lot of great responses and I’ve had a few ladies PM (personal message) me about how to get their hands on one,” laughed Fraser. “It was a unique way to introduce ourselves to our new little community. In this day and time, it is hard to meet anyone, as I’m sure you are very well aware. But the idea was really just to make them for ourselves.”
Because of the demand, Winje has said the pair will start a Facebook page when she is finished her schooling, and people will be able to order the shirts through that forum.