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Montréal, QC
Canada

Luxury hand stitched leather accessories.  Influenced by haut couture.  Inspired by streetwear.  Crafted in Montreal, Quebec Canada.

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Modern Ettiquette

Jordan Lajoie

It blows my mind how in formal and professional environments, you find grown men and women who still act like children.  I was at a seminar the other day, where we all had to pay money for nonetheless, and while someone was at the front presenting what we all came to hear, all you could hear is the whispering tongues of two men at the back of the room.

It brought me back to when I was working in an office environment every day - very professional - full suit dress code, secretaries, the whole 9 yards.   It grew into a huge pet peeve of mine whenever somebody let their phone go off in a meeting, checked an email, or even started speaking to the person beside them.  Not even most children lose their attention so easily and even kids know better than to act so rudely in a setting like this.

In any setting where you have put your time aside to go somewhere and listen to somebody else who is trying to help you, the least you can do is mentally be present.  Pay attention, ask good questions that help the group learn, and behave.  I promise you that whatever question you have can be best answered by the speaker at the right time, the email will not kill you if you don't answer right away, you will not lose the respect of your peers, and you will undoubtably get the value that you were hoping for, tenfold.

Everyone is Trying to Screw Us!

Jordan Lajoie

I don't know whether this is actually a geographical culture thing or not, but doesn't it seem like North American business people feel the desire, for some reason, to leave every situation feeling a clear sense of "win"? Sometimes it feels like people only feel like they're getting a good deal if they can slightly screw you over a bit? Why such the animal instinct when it comes to negotiating deals?

I find it ironic because in one breath people will preach positivity and good karma, then flex their muscles with the next.  

Where does culture exist that each party can walk away with their own W.  More importantly, you should walk away feeling good about what the other party gained.

Unfortunately, this isn't how it works in the real world.  When I come across somebody who has clearly had their trust betrayed a few times my first gut reaction is that I feel bad for them.  It's like a rescued animal who seems cuddly, but underneath is a bit vicious and overprotective because it's now part of their DNA and they think that nobody is on their side.

But come on now!  Get yourself up and have some faith.  Not everyone is trying to rip you off and you have to approach new people sans judgement.  Otherwise, you're going to miss even more opportunities because you're too busy keeping your walls up.

 

I Want to be Successful Right Now

Jordan Lajoie

... and so does everyone!

We live in a time where the instant gratification and satisfaction of getting likes, followers, views, and shares is becoming an addiction.  Regular people will take a picture off Instagram and save it for later if they don't have more than a few likes within the first five minutes.  "Do it for the gram" is a real phrase! It's hard to disagree that this generation has transitioned to a world where we are so entrenched into this digital social environment, that it's nearly impossible to go more than a few hours without it.

This atmosphere mixed with the messages of modern hip hop (get money!) have made it "cool" to be an entrepreneur.  Logically, what happens next is that a lot of the highest level entrepreneurs in the world have become social media rockstars, and those who are online  consuming everything will naturally want to be like them.

Now here's the paradox:  building a business takes years to do, if not a lifetime or even more.  But the social media consumers don't care - everyone has now grown accustomed to instant results and pats on the back immediately.  Running a business, and especially starting one is completely the opposite of this.  Results have to be worked for.  I don't mean 15mins to edit your pictures.  I mean grinding it out and struggling.  It's consistency, responsibility, discipline, and living life outside of your comfort zone all the time.  

So think about this for a while.  Remember the divide between the device you're reading this on and reality.  You are your own person and your life is way more important than anyone else's you're following online.  The punch line is that when you realize that and blaze your own trail people will naturally be drawn to follow you anyways!  And the cycle continues!

"The Rules of Fashion"

Jordan Lajoie

I haven't done this in a while, but used to do it all the time , and I'm blaming it on the full moon.  Last night I peacefully woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't get back to sleep for the life of me.  As I laid in bed and thought about every detail of my past, present, and future in unnecessary detail I realized that people in this industry are kidding themselves. 

"There are no rules in fashion!"  That's what everyone including myself has been told up until now.  I'm going to tell you while I still have my naivety that there are so many rules!  And when it comes to the whole SS/ FW seasons that must be finished and ready to present by X so they can be shipped by Y and sold as of Z, there isn't even that much wiggle room. 

Trying to avoid this is easy to do if you don't mind not being in stores.  But buyers and shops have budgets that they allocated to their "buying season" and when the money is gone, they have to wait.  This starts to get out of control because if you release a new collection a month or so after all of your target stores have finished buying, you run the risk of them not wanting to carry you again next time because your new collection will have already been on sale for 6 or 7 months and therefore lost it's lustre.  

So what are you supposed to do if you're a new brand, or even an existing one that refuses to adhere to this strict schedule? Create something defining.  Something that will put a nail into the coffin. Fashion weeks might be an event and everybody is in hype-mode, but after 5hrs the next hot brand is going to show their stuff, and your 6 months have become yesterdays blog post.  If you can properly execute your release in the middle of July, not only does this have the rebellious "play by your own rules" factor, but you will have the entire stage to yourself.

Fashion designers may have their own deadlines to follow and play by, but artists don't.  Bring your ideas to life in the right way, and the sales will follow.  Not the other way around.

 

What Are The Different Types of Leather Grades

Jordan Lajoie

image c/o saddelbackleather.com

18 Seconds About the Leather in Your Life

I get asked a lot about what the difference between different types of leather is, and I find that I see this in the real world all the time.  What does it mean when the product says "Genuine Leather" for example?  Or how strong is suede really?    Let's take a look...

Full Grain - The most expensive, strongest, long lasting, durable, and best that money can buy.  This is because it uses all of the strong fibres and grains from the skin.  The others will imitate.

Top Grain - This is where the top layer has been shaved off and re-surfaced to act as if nothing has happened.  Companies do this to get rid of the blemishes of the skin, but it comes at the cost of losing the strongest layer of the leather.

Genuine  - Once the top layers have been cut off for the better grades of leather, the remaining layer can be resurfaced and again made to look like a proper leather.  The fibres at this layer are a lot looser and therefore weak.  Suede is also often made from this layer.
 

Bonded - You can probably tell what to expect as we get this far down the list.  Bonded leather is basically glueing together all of the dust and scraps that have been leftover.  If you are looking for any respectable longevity out of a product, please avoid this at all costs.

02.28.17

Jordan Lajoie

My dad reminded me this morning that it was exactly four years ago I left finance behind and moved to Australia. This was the first thing I saw when I got out of the train at Flinders Station. How could you not immediately feel at home and welcome in this place. The piercingly strong sun being cut by this super old chapel. Across the street is a futuristicly open plaza full of people. Palm trees contrasted by skyscrapers. Backpackers mixed in with office workers. Artists with professionals. The city brought me back to my roots and reminded me who I am. Every Tuesday and Friday we're dropping new product now, and today's had to be the Southbank. My old hood in Melbourne where all of this started

Everybody Wants to be a Rapper

Jordan Lajoie

Why is everybody posing for pictures and wearing so much jewelry that they can't afford?  Sometimes I go out and I feel like everyone is name-dropping more than Game and talking about how much unreleased heat they have in the vault.  I get that it's part of the culture and has it's place, and maybe it's just me getting older, but I feel like it's everywhere now.

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Frank Ocean Released his New Album "Endless" Last Night

Jordan Lajoie

minasaywhat.com

 

I have to admit, I was a bit resistant when Channel Orange came out.  I was still in a big hip hop phase and wasn't very interested in other genres.  In my circle, there wasn't a lot of buzz about it anyways.

A while after, I was at home with a friend and she played Sweet Life belting out the chorus.  I told her to let the album play through and could not stop listening to it after that.  To some extent, I would even say that album inspired me to leave Canada and travel for the couple of years that I did.  It's an album that can still give me goosebumps and has certainly meant a lot to me.  The unconventional bass lines and melodies that take time to understand were so radical to me.  It sounded like the whole album was done in one take, but then mastered to perfection.

Now, after what at times seemed like years of waiting, we have a full body of work from Frank.  The new album, which was rumoured to be titled "Boys Don't Cry", has just been unvieled as a 45 minute long movie called "Endless".

People, this is a true artist who has always done his own thing and stayed true to his vision even when misunderstood or under the gun.

Put your headphones on this weekend and spend some time digesting this.

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