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Local entrepreneurs create unique brand for Highway 11 corridor

'That corridor encompasses a way of life' 
2022 07 04 hwy 11 owners
Kristina Walkling (left) and her business partner Nicole Beattie (right) modeling their own clothing line apparel Photo submitted.

A pair of North Bay entrepreneurs have joined forces to create a brand of clothing that literally symbolizes the Highway 11 North corridor.  

Kristina Walkling, who owns and operates Ivan's Restaurant in North Bay, and Nicole Beattie, who is an executive at the YMCA in North Bay, got the idea while brainstorming and relaxing at a cottage back in 2020. 

"We thought about how lucky we are to live in beautiful Northern Ontario and as we started talking about what a great place this is, we recognized that it really needs to be celebrated," said Beattie. 

"As working professionals and moms we thought this could be a really great time to start thinking about developing a brand that would celebrate everything north of Muskoka because we really feel that further north things do change.

"When you hit that bend that curves around Gravenhurst where there's a big rock bed and you can roll your windows down and the traffic falls off your back, it really does feel different as you head up north," continued Beattie. 

That's why the name Eleven North made so much sense to Kristina and Nicole.    

"When we were collaborating and thinking what we wanted the brand to be called, the vision we had for the brand, we thought Eleven North, everyone has to travel up Highway 11 north to get up to their destination. and that's how we landed on the name Eleven North," said Walkling.  

"We want to celebrate not only the North Bay community but the corridor that takes you north."

After spending a year with the creative team and creating the brand trademark, the two created an online store and had a pop-up location on Lakeshore Drive.  

Walkling says a lot of conversation took place on what they wanted to build their brand around. 

"We decided to focus on apparel and pieces that Nicole and I would use in our everyday life so it was not about having a wide variety of selection but the stuff you are always wanting to grab when you are going out to the dock or to the fire or that oversized blanket that you are going to want to wrap the kids in," said Walkling. 

In 2022, things have continued to expand for Eleven North as they sponsored a spring hockey team, expanded to offer Eleven North Kids, and created a new Lakeside Collection of clothing.  

On top of that, they also partnered with the Green Store where their clothing can be purchased, and the same at 89 Main in Sundridge.  

Beattie and Walkling are both thrilled at the support and growth they have seen within the past few months including a huge Father's Day weekend.  

"We are excited with the momemtum we are building and we are humbled by the community support and outreach," said Beattie. 

"We want to live the brand with our family and friends. as excited as we are, we want to grow the brand in a mindful way." 

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Chris Dawson

About the Author: Chris Dawson

Chris Dawson has been with since 2004. He has provided up-to-the-minute sports coverage and has become a key member of the BayToday news team.
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