...my about page.

Thanks for stopping by

About the Owner

  My name is Robbie, or Rob or Robert or Bobby, or Bobert!  Everyone calls me something different depending on our relationship.  I'm just some hoser from the hills of Ontario. While working as a Correctional Officer I started studying web-technologies as a hobby in hopes of eventually escaping a dark and negative job where the stress was very much impacting my mental health.  Through therapy I learned these type of jobs can have a very big impact on people with a creative introverted nature. 

While trying to catch naps on a dirty prison floor on night shift, I returned to school full-time during the day and studied web design, then, as luck would have it, good and bad, depending on how you look at it, I was diagnosed with PTSD following the last trauma incident I was involved in while on duty.  I was told I could not return to my position, so now I do this.

I have also spent time working for the Canadian Forces Military Police and working as a Support Worker supporting adults living with special needs.  I started this particular project because I missed my childhood home that was in a very small pocket of Ontario and couldn't find a shirt that represented it.

I am originally from a tiny farm community named Greenbank, in North Durham Region Ontario, which is close to the larger town of Port Perry Ontario.  I also have deep family ties to the Haliburton Highlands (East) in Ontario.  Particularly, Harcourt and Wilberforce.  My wife's family is originally from Prince Edward County Ontario and Conception Harbour Newfoundland. 

My wife and I have been together since our first jobs out of post-secondary education.  We both graduated the same program together not knowing each other and took the same positions within the indigenous community of the Mississaugas of Scugog Island where we were warmly welcomed with kindness.  We are very grateful for the opportunity to be educated on the historical and current struggles of indigenous communities in this country through close relationships with community members.

Our lives together have taken us to live all over the province of Ontario through Military Service, and have toured many other provinces by way of training sessions and vacation.  We have lived in Kawartha Lakes, Durham Region, Simcoe County and Hastings County and currently are operating out of Northumberland County here in Ontario.  We have experienced so many great little places and we have awesome memories of our time together that pop up when we see the names of these towns.  My main goal is to supply that warm sentimental feeling to my customers.

I can definitely appreciate the city lights, and have worked years of my life downtown Toronto, but nothing compares to the love I have for my small town rural roots.  I wanted to allow those who appreciate the slow pace, country vibe of any-town Canada to share their appreciation as well. 

My paternal grandparents grew up in Haliburton County Ontario in the 1920s and 30s.  Back when it was mostly logging and wilderness.  After fighting in World War 2 my Grandfather moved south to work at General Motors in Oshawa Ontario and settled in the North Durham Region area.

My maternal grandfather was sent to Canada from England in the 1920s at the age of 12 as an orphan through the British Home Child program founded by Dr. Bernardo to work as an unpaid labourer on a farm just north of the town of Uxbridge, Ontario.  Once there he met my grandmother at school and was lucky enough to be willed the farm when his adopted parents passed away. 

Both my Grandfathers were lucky to have the life-long adoration and support of two strong and loving women being my Grandmothers.

My father and most of my family are retired General-Motors auto workers.  My mother retired as a vocational rehab specialist.

About the Brand Name

The brand name "Small Town Rag" was created as sort of a play on words that is comprised of the three following definitions for Rag.

1.  In ice hockey to "Rag the Puck" is to keep possession (of the puck) by skillful stick-handling in avoidance of opponents, to purposely waste time.

2.  A piece, or pieces of old cloth, especially those torn from a larger piece such as a t-shirt, which are typically used for cleaning things, thus, giving the garment a second life.

When your shirt's time has come to retire, many will end up hanging in old garages and farm shops to be used to wipe off hard working hands and help with completing daily chores around the homestead.

3. Rag is a derogatory, old English slang term for a newspaper, typically one in a small town regarded as being of low quality. 

These small places are where you slow down a little.  The summer evenings may smell like hay or wildflowers or campfires, while the winters smell like wood stoves, hockey equipment and snowmobile exhaust.  If you're a local, a visitor or on a temporary work visa to the city, you can share in the appreciation and show your support for your favorite place you hold dear and that little corner of the globe that provided you with some of your most memorable times.
 
Most of these tiny towns are over-looked and under-valued, but they are such an essential part of our Canadian culture.  These towns provide food from farming, natural resources from mining, leisure and nature escapes as well as close knit communities that raise strong, hard-working and capable additions to our country's workforce.  Their back-yard and hometown ice-rinks produce some of the best hockey players in the world.  Their lakes, provincial parks and cottage communities provide amazing nature and relaxation experiences with some of the best fresh water swimming and fishing in the world.  We feel so very lucky to live in a country like this.

I am working hard to add new towns and products everyday and hope to continually grow bigger and bigger over time. 

When you buy from me, please know that I operate this website with honesty, fairness and integrity because I know that the majority of my customers share those same values along with me.

When a customer places an order with me here at Small Town Rag, I take that as a handshake and where I grew up, handshakes are taken very seriously. This is why I chose to use the highest quality garments and print technology available to me and also why I include premium express post shipping in my prices to ensure my customers all receive their orders as fast as possible.

About our Garments and Design

Though all of my products are currently printed direct to garment (DTG and not heat transfers!!), in Canada by Canadians and shipped from a Canadian Distributor, the actual fabric is produced by American Companies Gildan and Bella and Canvas due to feeling they were the best quality available at what I can afford to pay per unit.  There are definitely ways I could lower my prices, but this would come with very long delivery times from China and a very low quality of garment. 

Currently I profit $9.00 per T-Shirt and $7.80 per Hoodie after paying my cost per garment, plus advertising costs, priority shipping, and fees associated with maintaining a large website that offers so many different product designs shipped quickly to anywhere in Canada. The fact that I offer items for towns with very small populations and potentially zero sales increases my costs and thus, increases the price of my items overall, since I pay a premium to have my orders printed on demand and avoid the need to hold inventory.

I am the equivalent to a small mom and pop store.  I am not a large foreign corporation with Bieber money.  It pays some bills, keeps treats in my Chihuahuas' bellies and allows me to buy way too many Girl-Guide cookies off my Niece :)

Every shirt design is edited and adjusted for each place and region, done personally by me, Robbie, here at Small Town Rag.  Currently I am at 5978 different shirts that I have created and growing every day.  My goal is to provide great quality products that are printed in, and shipped from Canada as much as possible.  Even though this significantly increases the cost I pay per unit, supporting domestic workers, supplying a quality product, and avoiding overseas suppliers are high on my list of personal values.  

I hope you really enjoy my products and that they bring many smiles to many faces while flooding you with warm memories.  This is the whole intention I set when I started creating this website.

Take care and thank you for visiting.  Every order means a lot to me and mine.

Here's to more of those sunset skies and bonfire nights.
 
Kindest Regards,

Robbie @ Small Town Rag