Monday, December 14, 2015

Small Business Man (5) - Knowledge Transfer


The subject of knowledge transfer came up when I was chatting with a good friend of mine, Umair (or Mr. Sandhu, as I like to call him). We used to work together as COOP students back in the day, and we've remained good friends since. I had the pleasure of making him a suit earlier in the summer.

About a month ago, he and his wife invited my wife and I over for some fine home-cooked Pakistani cuisine. Halfway through dinner, his father stopped by to say hello. Umair's father is a local Ottawa businessman and happens to own Salang Kabob House, a restaurant on Carling. They serve Afghani style food, and to this day it's one of my go-to places when I want a good meal. (If you happen to go, make sure you order naan - it's my favourite.)

Anyway, Umair's father has owned various small businesses in Ottawa, but Salang Kabob House is a relatively new venture in his portfolio. I found out that while his father enjoys running his small businesses, the restaurant is his favourite, and consequentially his passion.

"Kind of like you and YourSuit," Umair said to me.

Having worked in the finance and assurance field, I learned that a key formula for building and growing a restaurant business heavily relies on spreading out salary expenses over multiple locations, though I'm sure this can also be applied to various other industries. Opening a restaurant requires a lot of investment, but one of the biggest components is staff; specifically, a manager. Or, should I say, Mr. Manager.



Arrested Development, for the win.

If you have one restaurant, you need staff. If you have two (or more) restaurants, you'll need more staff. But, you may be able to employ one manager to oversee multiple locations. One manager salary, but multiple revenue generating locations, equating to reduced cost and (hypothetically) increased profits. Sounds pretty straight forward.

But in comes the challenge of knowledge transfer. It doesn't matter if it's something administrative like supply chain management, or operational like following recipes. Knowledge transfer is not easy, because knowledge is not always written down in a manual. Knowledge is often related to experience; a lot of what you experience is on the fly, based on your gut instinct and not taught from a book. Therefore, it's not what's inside a manual that's important, but what ISN'T in the manual. From what Umair's told me, his father's long-term goal is to grow the restaurant and potentially open a new location. But a new location requires training, and as much as we'd like to think new hires can follow instructions, it's often not the case. The challenge is even bigger when dealing with a unique product.

"It's like when you try and follow one of your mother's recipes," said Umair. "You can follow it all you want, but it won't taste as good. Not for a while, at least."

Replicating is no easy task.

This statement is very true. Rarely does something work on the first try, or even after several tries. By the time you get it right, customers may have already gone elsewhere. I've ran into a couple business owners who have encountered this problem. Either that, or they are having trouble scaling their operation.

Umair and I talked about Salang a bit more before he asked me about YourSuit; specifically, how I envision expanding it. I've been very fortunate so far and haven't allowed myself to think too far ahead. It's hard to think how I'd scale this operation, especially since I touch (literally) every single sale.

"It's like being the cook," said Umair. "How are you going to write down your recipe so you don't have to cook all the time?"

This is why he's a good guy to be around; he always makes me think. I'll get back to you on that, Umair.

Our wedding day, with the Sandhu's by our side.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

the Diplomat

I had been meaning to post earlier as I figured November may be a quiet month, but to my surprise, things actually picked up a bit.

Eric Tamayo, a diplomat stationed here in Ottawa, reached out to YourSuit during November, inquiring about a tuxedo. He said he needed it for the first week of December; I thought he may have been a groom who forgot to make wedding suit arrnagements (a common occurrence, unfortunately). But, I later discovered that he'd been asked to attend a diplomatic Black and White Ball and was only informed of it hours before he emailed me, hence the rush.

Normally, I don't take on such rush orders because the margin for error becomes supremely thin, and the major issue is not in the suit itself, but in the logistics (which is left up to the gods of parcel service). I'm always up for landing a client, but not at the expense of failing to deliver on a promise, and rush orders run that risk. I looked over the timeline and decided that we could do it.

Eric's a busy man, so the only time we were able to meet was one early morning in mid-November.

A busy diplomat in the morning - note the two cellphones!

What caught me by surprise was Eric's attention to detail. For a man who was in a rush to get a tuxedo, he was very calm and had thought a lot about what he wanted prior to our consultation. I rarely get clients who want classic tuxedos, but Eric had planned on going full out, complete with tuxedo studs and satin pant stripes. He also asked that the front dress shirt placket be hidden, a request that I rarely, rarely get.

The classic satin stripe, a.k.a. the military pant line.

We conversed for a while about suits, work and life; being a diplomat, he's well-traveled and was even stationed in Tokyo, Japan for a time. I wanted to ask him so many questions about Tokyo (I've always wanted to visit), but our time was limited. After about an hour, we finished up and shook hands. He left to catch a flight and would return to Ottawa a few days later.

I met up with him this past weekend for his fitting. His wife came along with him to give the final verdict. Fortunately, for both Eric and myself, the wife approved.

The Black and White Ball was held last night in Ottawa. I was not in attendance (obviously!) but I was able to snap this picture of Eric during the weekend fitting. It's not everyday I get to see a client fully dressed in a tux, complete with tuxedo studs and all, so it was very refreshing to see such class on a man.

Locked and loaded for the Black and White Ball.

Cheers, Eric. May we meet again soon.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Small Business Man (4) - Remain Calm

One thing I've really had to work on in the last little while is to remain calm. Or, as Michael Scott puts it, "chillax".


It would be great if businesses ran smoothly without error. It'd be like the application matching the theory, to a tee. But when was the last time you had something go as smoothly as planned? Most of us aren't that fortunate.

For YourSuit, running smoothly would mean that the made to measure suit fits the client on the first try. It's precisely why I don't rush measuring, and also why I ask clients to bring along a suit they already own as reference. Together, we do our best to construct the ideal fit in the client's mind, but you'll never truly know how everything works until the final product is ready.

Despite my efforts to 'chillax', I still get nervous every time a client comes to try out their new custom suit. I'm anxious the moment I hand it to them. There's a rush the moment the items are transferred; clients get all excited about seeing the fully constructed suit, running their hands over the material and feeling the inside lining. We chat about the colour, the lining and share a few laughs. Sometimes, the client's better half has accompanied them to the fitting and gives his/her two cents. "See! I told you pink lining would be cool!" they often say. But throughout this entire time, all I'm thinking is God I hope you like the fit. Please, please tell me you haven't gained or lost any weight.

The client steps into the change room and starts suiting up. I'm left alone, waiting outside, listening intently to their every move; the click of the the door closing, the swift brush of fabric as it's hung on a hook, a belt unbuckling, the light tapping of the client's feet against the floor. (Am I creepy or what?)

On the outside, I'm all smiles. But on
the  inside, I probably look like this.

All I can think about is what's happening on the other side of that door. I know I'll see the client again in a few seconds, but from the moment they disappear from my sight to the moment I see them again feels uncomfortably long. To help my anxiety, I've started playing 90's Hits (via Songza) in the background during client fittings to break this intense silence. It helps, a little.

Nothing like a little Ace of Base to chill you out...

Finally, after a verse and chorus, the client steps out. I shake off my anxiety and together we have a look at the finished product. I've never asked, but a part of me believes that the client is probably just as nervous as I am. The client steps in front of a mirror, admires the appeal of a fresh suit and might even twirl a few times to see how they look from all angles. I pull up a chair so they can feel how the suit fits when seated. After this test drive, they deliver the final verdict.

If the fit is perfect, then it's Christmas. I've witnessed many clients slip on that perfectly fitted suit; their eyes open up and a grin warms up their face, even if they try to hold it in. They check themselves out a few more times, might snap a few photos, and then change out. This is precisely what happened at EncoreFX a few weeks back:


If an alteration is needed, then we make it happen. I used to feel extremely disappointed when an alteration was required; it was as if I let the client down. I'd look over all the measurements again, trying to pinpoint why something didn't quite work the way it was supposed to. On top of that, I'd start thinking about other suits I currently have on the go; do the same problems exist? My mind would start snowballing, creating stress.

Though I hate admitting it, my wife is consistently the voice of reason. It's easy to feel down and out if you're expecting perfection every single time. She reminds me that going custom is a very specific and detailed process; alterations should be expected, and getting things right on the first try should be the anomaly. Getting the suit tweaked is not a failure; it's more that the suit was 99% there and just needs a little help for the last 1%. And stressing out over that last 1% is not worth it.

I'm still working on this mentality. It's tough to get anything 100% right on the first try, so it's important to remain calm and 'chillax' when things don't go quite your way. You are your own worst enemy sometimes, and I can definitely attest to that. In the end, things will get done and problems will be resolved.

The (Ace of Base) beat will go on.

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Affordable Ways to Care for Your Suit


Most people don't like doing laundry, and the option of using a dry cleaner puts a dent in your bank account. When it comes to caring for suits and shirts, it can be even more annoying. But, there are some relatively easy - and affordable - solutions out there for the budget conscious individual.

1. USE SUIT HANGERS

Suit hangers (a.k.a. U-shaped/curved hangers) are really good for hanging suits, jackets and blazers and they do not cost a fortune. Thicker, and with rounded sides, they help retain the shoulder shape of the jacket. Because they are curved, they also take up more space; while this may be a nuisance for those who have a cluttered closet, the extra space is meant to give the suit more air to breathe and fall back into its original shape. 


2. AVOID DRY CLEANING IF YOU CAN

This isn't just to protect your wallet. Dry cleaning can be a very tough, rigorous process and it uses lots of chemicals which damage your cloth fibres over time. It weakens the fabric and breaks it down. The tumbling that is done at most dry cleaners is so aggressive that machines actually have a button catcher to collect all the buttons that may fall off during the process. The buttons caught are collected and then resewn onto a customer's garment, leaving customer clueless of what happened. Reducing or avoiding the dry cleaners saves you on dry cleaning bills and increases the longevity of your suit.

Avoid if possible.

3. DON'T STUFF YOUR POCKETS

Lots of suits come with the pockets sewn shut, mostly because the pockets are there for aesthetics. I've always disliked this because pockets are really useful, so what's the point in having one if it's sewn shut? It's completely fine to use suit pockets as long as they aren't stuffed or outstretched; doing so can affect the way the suit looks and over time it can cause permanent creases or splits. Clean out your wallet so that it doesn't get too bulky; you could even try a slimmer wallet to restrict the clutter.

Does your wallet look like this?
 
4. DON'T SIT FOR LONG PERIODS WHILE WEARING YOUR JACKET

Sitting in a suit jacket doesn't cause any damage, but if you sit for long periods of time it can cause creases that are harder to get out, which could lead to higher dry cleaning bills. A mild crease from wearing a suit jacket will usually resolve itself if hung up; gravity pulls the fabric downwards and the creases diminish. But, if you sit in an office chair with your jacket on for the entire day, the creases will be a lot harder to get out, especially in the back. So, if you can, take your jacket off while you're sitting; try hanging it up in a closet or on the back of a chair.


5. GET A FABRIC STEAMER

By far the most significant cost saver. A household fabric steamer can save you a lot of money, and the upfront cost could be as low as $50-$60, depending on what you buy. A decent steamer doesn't take up much space in a home and will be able to get out wrinkles within a few minutes. I purchased an upright steamer from a retailer for about $60 including tax and it does the trick for most jackets and pants. Considering that a trip to the dry cleaners could cost me the same amount, a household fabric steamer really saves money in the long run.


One thing I will note about my $60 fabric steamer: it doesn't do a good job on shirts. Perhaps if I splurged on a better steamer (FYI I've heard that the J-2000 is amazing, costing about $300 CDN) I wouldn't have this problem. But even at $300, you'd probably make back the savings within a year or two (depending on how often you use the dry cleaners).

Cheers!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Small Business Man (3) - A Marco Memoir

One of my favourite by-products about working independently is the opportunity to meet and connect with individuals that I would not have otherwise met. This past September I attended Lucas Haneman's wedding; he's an old high-school friend of mine and he commissioned YourSuit to make suits for his groomsmen. Included in his party was Marc-Olivier Vezina-Bedard, or Marco, for short. Here's a picture of the group at the wedding:

L to R: Mubarak, Nevill, Marco, Tyler and Lucas.

Like Lucas, Marco is a fellow musician, though he resides in Montreal as opposed to Ottawa. He travels occasionally to Ottawa for gigs, many of which are performed with Lucas. At the wedding ceremony, Marco played some tasteful interlude music while papers were being signed. I took a small clip of it here:


Afterward, Marco and I chatted; musicians tend to have the craziest stories so I always look forward to hearing about their background. Making a living off of music is no easy task, but both Lucas and Marco are doing it, which I find incredibly impressive and admirable. I asked Marco about how he supports himself through gigs and what types of styles he's able to play. Not surprisingly, his musicianship spans across all sorts of genres, and because of this he currently has a library of over 2,000 songs - memorized in his head - which he can recall and play at a moment's notice.

I asked Marco if he uses a Fake Book. For those who don't know what a Fake Book is, it's essentially a large book that provides a musician the arrangement and chords for songs; if a hired musician shows up at a gig and doesn't know a particular tune, he can open up a Fake Book and find the song and sight-read the chord progressions as the band is playing it. The book looks like a giant dictionary, though nowadays many just use a tablet.


Marco took a drag from his cigarette and shook his head.

"I don't," he said, exhaling. "I don't like it."

"Why not?" I asked him.

"If I play out of a Fake Book, I'm not really playing," he replied. "I'm reading. I'm being cautious. Any time a musician plays, he's taking a risk. He's keeping time or flirting with time. He's supporting or being supported. If he screws up, it could either be the best thing or worst thing that happened to him."

I nodded. He went on.

"If I play out of a Fake Book, I might as well just press play on a record player. There is no risk in that. No creativity either," he said. "I play because I want to play. I want the risk because it could turn into something beautiful."

We talked a little while longer before heading to the reception. I've been thinking about what he said about the Fake Book ever since. About risk, reward and the opportunity to create something beautiful. Not relying on a Fake Book is a lot like being a small business owner; you choose not to go with the conventional and risk being a screw up. You are not guided and you flirt with your own rules. But, you may just create something beautiful.

Cheers to those who live and play outside the Fake Book. May your risks be rewarded and your creations be beautiful.


Monday, September 28, 2015

September's Over?


Yikes - it's been over a month since I last posted. My schedule going into September was packed, but I did not realize how crazy it was going to be. Along with getting married myself over the Long Weekend and hosting some relatives who flew in for the wedding, I was also working with three other wedding parties on their September/October weddings; my wife almost killed me for accepting the work.

It all started on the last weekend of August; my brother had organized a Bachelor Party Weekend on my behalf, filled with too many drinks and too little recovery time. Thankfully, my friends were nice and did not make it their goal to obliterate my liver over the two nights, so I was I was able to meet with Shawn and his groomsmen on Sunday morning to get everyone fitted for their charcoal wool suits. These guys had designed their own pink-accented shirts which I don't see everyday; it was great to see the final product.

Pink bow ties, squares, and shirt accents (though it's hard to see in this pic).

The groomsmen, all suited up for their fitting.

After Shawn's group was finalized, I learned that one of his groomsmen, Yishi, was also getting married at the end of October. Yishi asked if he could also get some suits for his groomsmen, so we decided to have his party come over that same day and get measured up. The wedding is set to take place in the Caribbean in late October, so the guys went with white wool suits to combat the heat. It was a crazy morning, to say the least.

About an hour later, my wife and I ran over to Lucas Haneman's place to get his groomsmen fitted, admittedly a bit tired. But, Lucas and Megan (Lucas's fiancĂ©) were great hosts and the fittings went smoothly. Their wedding actually took place yesterday, and we were honoured to have been invited. I'll have more pictures later, but for the time being I found this this photo of Lucas and his brother Tyler:

Tyler on the left, Lucas on the right.

After I was able to finalize Shawn's, Yishi's and Lucas's wedding suits, we (finally) had time to finish up our own wedding suits. Suiting up my own groomsmen was a logistical Rubik's Cube in itself since three of the four guys don't live in Ottawa, and to make things more interesting, one of them decided to lose about 100 lbs (!) from the date I measured him to the date of my wedding. Leave it up to your best friends to throw you the ultimate curve ball, right? Nonetheless, it was amazing to see his transformation. I don't have many photos at my disposal presently, but Joey Rudd is currently finalizing some photos so I'll be sure to post some soon.

Our wedding (September 5, 2015)

Our wedding came and went; most people say your wedding day goes by too fast, but I actually thought the pace was just fine. Maybe it was the fact that it was held at La Grange put me at such ease. I cannot recommend that venue enough.

After the wedding, we took my wife's parents, who were visiting Canada for the first time, to a few places around Ottawa as well as Niagra Falls. On the way to Niagra we stopped by Toronto and I was able to drop off a few suits to an old friend of mine, Brigs, who now teaches at a private school. The timing could not have worked out any better.

Brigs, in a very sharp teal suit.

Once we returned from Niagra, I met up with a client who was, coincidentally enough, looking for a suit to be made in time for Lucas's wedding.

Doug Forbes, who coincidentally enough, was also
in attendance at Lucas's wedding.

Somewhere in between all the suits, fabrics, threads etc. I managed to squeeze a honeymoon in Mexico. And that was my September. I guess it was a bit crazy.

Monday, August 24, 2015

Husky Strategy




At the request of a reader who read The Short Game, I've compiled a list of tips for the Husky Gentleman. Admittedly, I had to look up what 'husky' meant; embarrassing, I know. What can I say? Urban Dictionary has been a godsend.


Anyways, hope these tips will help out a few gentlemen out there. Please note that these strategies are not just for the husky gentleman, but could also be used for the tall or large-framed man.

Focus on the fit. A lot.



Regardless of the colour, style or fabric, the fit of a suit will always be the most important factor. For the husky gentleman, it's often natural to pick out a suit that is bigger than your frame, mostly because it's better than going with a suit that's too tight. And, it gives you breathing room in case you put on a few extra pounds later. Nonetheless, try to find a suit that drapes naturally over your body; there shouldn't be any significant creases, bulging or air pockets. Always try to find a suit that has clean lines around your shoulders (i.e. virtually no air pockets) and chest (the suit lapels should drape downwards without disturbance).

Stick to solid coloured suits.


Patterned and textured suits can look really nice on a man, but may be overwhelming, especially if you are on the husky side. For example, a window pane suit (pictured below) looks fashionable and trendy, but the square pattern aims to make the wearer appear wider and bigger. This effect is likely the opposite of what a husky gentleman would want.


Therefore, it would be safer to go with a solid suit. But do not confused 'safe' with 'boring'; there is nothing boring about a safe suit, especially if it complements the wearer's body frame. If you'd like to add some pattern, wear a patterned tie and/or pocket square to add a little extra texture.

Go with a wider lapel and tie.



The general rule of thumb is to have the tie width be the same as the suit jacket lapel. That way, the ensemble looks balanced and proportionate.

For those who have broad shoulders, going with wider suit jacket lapels and ties can add additional balance to your look. A standard lapel/tie will usually be around 2.5~3.0 inches; therefore, you could try going with a 3.5~4.0 inch lapel/tie combination instead to cover more real estate across your chest and make your look even more proportionate.


For example, Dwayne Johnson (pictured above left) has really broad shoulders and often goes with extra-wide peak lapels and ties, which goes well with his frame.

Cater to your face.


What?

While not crucial, picking out a particular shirt collar to go with the shape of your face can make a difference when putting your look together. For those with round faces, a forward point collar is the most complementary since the collar is longer and downward pointing, making the wearer appear thinner. Conversely, those with angular shaped faces could choose to wear semi or full spread collars.


Wear straight cut pants.


L to R: Slim, Fitted, Straight, Loose

Finally, going with straight cut pants is recommended for the husky gentleman. Slim fit or extreme tapering may be very uncomfortable for larger individuals (especially in the thigh area) and the appearance may not be flattering. If the wearer really tapers his pants (i.e. small ankle openings), it will make him look extremely top heavy, especially if his mid-section and chest are broad. The imbalance will be reminiscent of the guys who skip leg day at the gym.

"There is no such thing as leg day," said this champion.

At the end, it really comes down to fit. You can play with all the colours, fabrics and styles all you want, but the fit will really determine whether you look put together or not. If you do generally wear suits that are too big, try going down a size; the end result is cleaner lines, less bulging and a better look. I'm not saying that you should go out and wear the smallest suit you can fit into, but it might be worth trying on a jacket that's just a touch closer to your skin. It never hurts to try out a fitted jacket.

It also never hurts to exercise your legs.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Small Business Man (2) - Backup


When I was studying for my CA (now CPA) exams, there was always a case question where a company didn't have a back up plan. The case facts would simply state "XYZ Corp. doesn't back up their data" or "Mr. Smith said he doesn't need a disaster recovery plan because a disaster has never happened before." My study-buddies and I loved these types of cases because the answer was always "Get a backup plan." That's it, that's all. Full marks for everyone.

It's so trivial to have a backup. I remember thinking those cases were such nonsense; why was I paying money to write exams that taught me to recommend having a backup? Isn't that common sense?

Yes, having a backup plan is common sense, but having now had some experience both in the CPA profession and running YourSuit, I can honestly say that having a backup plan - and implementing one - is not as easy as it sounds, and it often gets lost on the to-do list. There are enough challenges out there in running a business day-to-day, let alone going the extra distance to prepare for a disaster.


For YourSuit, delivery is key. If a client needs a suit ASAP, coordination between us and our suppliers and shippers needs to be orchestrated quickly and accurately. Sounds cliché, but it's exactly like a bike chain; should one chain break or fail, the pedaling stops. It doesn't matter how good our other chains are; the fact that one of them failed has stopped the entire process, and if it takes too long to fix, the process ultimately comes to a halt and the deadline is missed.

It's easy to "hope" that the chains won't break, but let's face it: shit happens. I've learned early on (thanks CPA exams) that preventing a disaster (or at least preparing for one) is much better than detecting disaster. If you've detected a disaster, it's already happened; the climb is all uphill from there.

I've learned to be more proactive in building backups. Got a good shipper? Great, find another two that are equally as good or better. Found a great supplier? Excellent, keep looking for more. More backups lead to more insurance, which means that recovery should be significantly easier should a break in the chain occur. And at the end, the delivery will  be made.

Off to see about a few more backups...

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

How to Beat the Heat


From "Charity Drive" - Arrested Development, S1 E5

If you've been living in Ottawa (or the greater southern Ontario region) this summer, you'll know that we've just recently endured one of the hottest, stickiest two-week stints in quite some time. The humidity has been near 100% and temperatures were reaching the high thirties, sometimes even forties (Celsius). This past weekend's cooler temperatures were a welcoming relief, but it's entirely possible that another heat wave will present itself.

For most, suits definitely wouldn't be the first choice when combating extreme heat, but in many cases it's unavoidable. (i.e. work, weddings, etc.) But is there anything you can do to beat the heat? Definitely, and here are some options:

Don't ride a bike while wearing a suit in a heat wave.


--- OK, that was just for the Arrested Development fans out there. If you haven't watched Arrested Development, do yourself a favor and binge-watch the entire series.

Wear a lighter-coloured suit.



If you have the option of wearing a lighter colour, do it. Dark suits, such as navies, charcoals and blacks absorb a lot more light under the sun and heat up much more than a light coloured suit.

Can you get by with just a vest?



This may not work in all circumstances, but consider scraping the jacket for a day and just go with a vest. Going without a jacket may be too informal for some occasions, but subbing in a vest instead will keep your look more formal and cool (both temperature and style wise).

Stay away from synthetic fabrics.


Synthetic fabrics, such as polyester, nylon or some other sort of poly blend, are produced entirely from chemicals and do not breathe as well as natural fabrics such as cotton and wool. While synthetics have great advantages (such as durability, affordability and structure), natural fabrics are much better in dealing with extreme heat. Contrary to popular belief, a wool suit will actually be much cooler in the summer than a synthetic because there is better ventilation (wool will also be warmer in the winter). In addition, natural fabrics tend to be lighter in weight than a synthetic, so the wearer will actually feel lighter when wearing a natural fabric.

The lining in suits also varies from synthetic to natural fabrics; if you go with a natural fabric lining, chances are the suit will be more breathable.

And finally, the best way to beat the heat is...


To wear cutoffs like Tobias.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Colour Guide

I found this very comprehensive colour guide (see below) which shows what types of shoes go well with certain suits. It's a great reference for those who wish to have a little guidance. Hope this helps you the next time you're contemplating what to wear!


Friday, July 17, 2015

Small Business Man (1) - Just Try


Michael Scott, the ultimate Small Business Man.

I mentioned previously that this blog may include topics around business. While general posts have been built around custom tailored suits and budget-friendly style tips, I have finally had time to reflect on the first half of 2015 and I thought I'd share a few tidbits.

YourSuit came from my desire to start a business, fused with my interest in menswear (kind of sounds like Michael Scott's Shoe-La-La, eh?). 


It was formally created at the beginning of 2015; prior to that, I operated under my own name. Looking back at the last six months, I really wish I had created YourSuit earlier; the response has surpassed my expectations, and it makes me wonder where I'd be had I started sooner. But, hindsight is always 20/20 I guess.

Fear of failure was the biggest reason for procrastinating the start of YourSuit. When you want to start something (or create something new), you're taking a risk, and that may ultimately lead to the risk of failure. A second concern I had was the reaction of others; I wondered whether my peers would think I was crazy, in over my head, or just plain obnoxious.

The exact opposite has been true. My colleagues, friends and complete strangers have been extremely supportive, and many have either become loyal clients or brought me referrals. From YourSuit, I've met some really interesting - and inspiring - gentlemen; aspiring athletes, fathers, industry professionals, grooms-to-be and their respective entourages, etc. I was able to snap a couple photos with some of the gents, shown below. 

Dakota Sinclair - stopping pucks (and hearts) since 1995.

Jim Baba, Baseball Canada - looking like a grand-slam.

Tuan Le, OHCD LLP - giving Beckham a run for his money.

Rob Peixoto, Halogen - who has gone through an incredible
transformation (he used to be 300lbs).

Knowing what I know now, I should have started YourSuit years ago. But the act of trying tends to freak a lot of people out, whether it's a new food or something else. Not too long ago I was having dinner with a friend of mine and he mentioned how he's always wanted to start a kale farm; had he told me this a year ago I may have thought he was a bit nuts, but now my first reaction is, "OK, what's step one?"

There will always be a reason (or a person) to tell you not to do something, and the reasons will be valid. In business, it's usually that someone else is already doing it, or that competition is too fierce. But for those who give it a try, the lessons learned from trying, in my opinion, far outweigh the common sense used in abandoning the idea. You miss 100% of the shots you don't take, said the Great One, and I could not agree more.

Or was that Micheal Scott who said it...?

Anyway, the first half of 2015 has been great and the second half is shaping up to be quite interesting. A few weddings and corporate events are on the way; I'll try my best to keep this blog updated.

Have a great weekend, and enjoy that summer air while it lasts.