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A Rendez-Vous Chez Lajoie

Good Taste Made From Montreal

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My First Introduction To The Wizzards Of Luxury Accessories!

We all have have this false idea that fashion designers from Montreal don’t have what it takes to produce great luxury accessories. Walking up St. Laurent boulevard, on the last day of Mural Festival, Be Noire brought my attention to Lajoie’s booth. I was immediately impressed by the variety of their leather accessories, not to mention the quality. I’m no leather connaisseur, but when you have their products in hand, you can feel the luxury.

Read Also: Atelier New Regime And Their World Domination 

I walked away empty handed, but nonetheless the brand peaked my interest. Through aggressive and sophisticated research (facebook stalking), I found out that Lajoie is a tag team of Jordan Lajoie, Founder and Pascal Courtois, VP of Business Development. Also, given that they’re only a year and a half old, they have a pretty impressive resumé of clients and collabs like Marcus Troy and Timberland for Sharp Magazine

Last week, I met-up with the duo at their Mile-End atelier, to learn more about the budding Montreal brand.

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Sault Ste. Marie…Australia…Montreal…how did it all start?

Before I went to Australia, I was a financial advisor. I sold that business and moved to Australia for 2 years. I used to work 70-80 hour work weeks and then I went down to 35-37 hours/week. I felt like I had so much free time on my hands. So naturally, to kill the boredom, I started painting and sculpting, doing a bunch of stuff on the side. I wanted to sink my hands into something so I started with leather and the art form seemed like it had so many different avenues. I started selling my own products to friends and family. I wasn’t pushing the business that much, since I knew I had to come back once my Visa expired.

Why Montreal?

My Visa ran out so I came back just in time for Christmas with my family but I wasn’t ready to stop travelling. With my last name being “Lajoie” and having French roots, I did a lot of research about Montreal and Quebec. Given the artistic community and cost of living, I knew this was the right place. I got started right away. I had all my tools with me and started planning.

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Has language been a barrier?

I started learning french when I got here. It hasn’t been a big barrier. I’m able to navigate. 80% of the time, I end up speaking with people in the states or Toronto. Overall, learning languages is fun. I’m around a lot of people who speak french, so I’m picking it up.

You cited your high school teacher as being your creative catalyst. Does he know the impact he had on you?

Mr. Decerbo. I haven’t talked to him much since high school. I ran into him a couple of times. The reason I mentioned him is because, if I brought an idea to him, it didn’t matter the subject matter (sex/drugs), there were no barriers. He just wanted to understand what I was trying to say. He encouraged me to use things that were bold to really drive the painting’s meaning home. I don’t think he knows the impact [

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Has your family been supportive of your creative projects and Lajoie?

My family is supportive. Like most parents, they would want me to be more secure but they’re supportive. Starting Lajoie, they have been very supportive from the get-go.

Are there any other creative in your family?

My brother. A lot of his stuff is really cool but I think he is still looking for the thing that carries him farther.

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Where does your inspiration come from?

I start from scratch. I block out everything I’ve seen before and think, ‘What would the best version of this project be like?” As far as aesthetics, we use really high-quality leather. We want the aesthetic to last as long as the product. I keep the design bold, classy and modern. All my products can be pulled out of a suit or jeans. I like to keep it simple… don’t go overboard.

What sets you apart from other local leather luxury accessories brands?

We’re not just trying to create a company that makes wallets, bags and leather stuff. We’re trying to create unique pieces of art. No one else is hand-stitching their products. I also haven’t seen anyone in Montreal using leather from the same supplier. Our quality is on another level. We’re trying to make something that is beautiful… We want it to tell a story with each piece.

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Cc: Mel

What’s your favorite piece?

It changes all the time. Maybe, the Summerville wallet. It’s beautiful. It’s so refined, it’s stupid. The whole body is one continuous piece of leather. I drew it out, cut it up and stitched. When I held it in my hand, I thought it was the best thing I have ever done. It makes the first one look like a 4-year old did it. It’s just so beautiful. People will interpret it in a different way. The shapes look like mountains and its perfectly symmetrical.

Tell me about your custom job with 2fik.

Pascal met 2fik at a private event. He let us know he was working on a new project and asked if we can make a Hijab. The whole thing was fun and one of the most fulfilling custom pieces I’ve ever done. Being able to collaborate with passionate and ambitious artists is what it’s all about. To get this shape, it was very challenging but we were able to do it. The hijab took 14 hours to do. Think of the way it fits… The opening needs to be perfect… there were so many variables and things I have never come close to doing before. I hoped to God that it fit. The first shot, it was done well and no tweaking was needed.

Any other high profile clients in the works?

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Well, we can’t say just yet but, he’s a Canadian hip hop artist. We were asked to do a duffle bag for his music video. That was something that came out of the festival. One thing led to another and we were talking to the right people. I’ve never done a duffle bag before. The bag is completely hand stitched and light weight which is a premier when it comes to luxury accessories. It has stoppers that fit the aesthetic, YKK zipper and the shoulder strap will be done today.

Are there any vegan alternatives?

That’s a fair question. We were asked that a few times at the Mural festival. The answer is, there is no alternative yet. Real leather is the strongest form that we have so far. But, in the future, there is no reason not to explore it. It’s on the table but we haven’t got to that yet.

Do you see the brand moving into other apparel?

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If it has to do with leather, it’s on the table. We are a leather luxury accessories company and we want to do this better than anyone else. If we start to dabble in other areas, we want to do everything great and not just good.

Everything is sold out online, congratulations!

The Mural festival was crazy and we are working on a new capsule for July 16th with new colors ways.

Luxury accessories, lajoie, accessories wallets

Do you anticipate a storefront in the near future?

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Eventually. That’s always on the table but at this point, it’s only a dream. We are only a 1.5 years old. We don’t want to grow faster than we can handle. We want to make sure that everything is hand-stitched. This is not something we want to compromise.

10 years from now, where do you see the brand?

I want the people and the following. I want people who appreciate the quality and art we are providing. We just want to be our own company. We’re aiming for curated boutiques who carry original pieces. Places where people will look for quality and details before checking the price tag.

Click here to see Lajoie’s full collection of luxury accessories and follow them on Instagram and Facebook.

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What are your favorite pieces? Do you think luxury accessories is really a statement for a elegance and taste?

Let us know in the comment section!

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Fashion & Lifestyle

Sports Experts Might Be Your Go To For Your Last Minute Valentine’s Day Gifts

A Different Kind Of Valentine’s Day

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Sports Experts’ Valentine’s Day Guide Is Your Life Saver This Year

Whether you believe in it or not, Valentine’s Day is your occasion to show appreciation for your significant other. Perhaps, when you’ve went through tons of flowers and chocolate; looking at Sports Experts as a potential place for a nice gift is not that farfetched.

Read More: Tomas Tatar Teams Up With A Local Restaurant To Launch His Own Tartare And You Have To Try It

To make it easy for you to navigate through their wide selection. They’ve put together a guide that brings together some of ideas for him and her.

To make it even easier for our readers, we’ve handpicked our favorite items that should make it to whatever you have planned on February 14th.

#1 Fitbit Versa

sports experts, fitbit versa, valentine's day gifts

Cc: Sports Experts

Price : 199,99$

If I’m with you, I want you be happy, fulfilled and most of all H-E-A-L-T-H-Y . That’s exactly what you get with the Fitbit versa, a slick design and all the functionalities to take your fitness to the next level. It doesn’t hurt that the watch is currently on discount either.

#2 Skates

sports experts

cC: Sports Experts

Price Range: 41,99$- 159,99$

There’s something about outdoor activities during the winter time. You won’t miss by getting yourself his/hers pairs of skates. There are plenty skate rinks sprinkled around the city just waiting for you.

 

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#3  Adidas Matching Outfits

sports experts, montreal boutique

Cc: Sports Experts

Price Range: 54,99$- 104,99$

It’s a ”To Each His Own” moment but if that’s what you’re into or if you just want to spice things up your way to your date, this might be a good surprise.

#4  A Gopro

gopro, sports experts, valentine's day gifts

Cc: Sports Experts

Price: 529,99 $

First off, it was a shocker to me that Sports Experts actually has Gopros but if you want to capture moments with your significant other and let him or her explore their creativity, this is the one!

#5 A Yoga Matte

yoga matte, sports experts

Cc: Sports Experts

Price: 69,99$

Let’s try something different for 2021, how about trading your usual dinner at home with candles for a nice and serene yoga session. You have to switch things up sometimes ladies and gents.

For more ideas and suggestions, go check their guide on the Sports Experts website.

 

 

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Fashion & Lifestyle

The End Of An Era And A New Start: Dress To Kill Magazine Goes Digital

A New World Order

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I hate to break it down to you so abruptly but the world is changing, the world as we knew it, the way we consume, the way we think and even that good old Dress To Kill magazine is going through it.

Read More: Learn About The Black History In Montreal With This New City Tour

As a young and inexperienced blogger back in 2016, I felt deep in my earth that paper was a dying medium and that the internet was about to carry the torch.

a hundreds of blog posts later, multiple attempts at building an online presence and literally trying to digitize the aesthetics & creativity I saw in magazines growing up.

I must admit 2 things: 1. what it takes to make fashion or information enjoyable is very hard to put together and 2 building an audience on or offline is a GREAT feat.

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I grew to admire and respect my peers in traditional media because they made the most out of nothing at a time where Facebook and all those outlets were not a thing.

In case you didn’t know, Dress To Kill magazine is not your average magazine by any shape or form.

Promoting Canadian art and fashion from province to province was something seemingly unthinkable but they got it done.

From iconic covers with Lenny Kravitz and more iconic nights at le Mount Stephen to bring the whole industry under the same roof, DTK got it done.

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Don’t take what I’m saying as a farewell note because today actually mark a rebirth for the publication.

Indeed, while the world was going all over the place, they went on a well thought out rebrand.

As you might have guessed, the biggest take away from this is the stoppage of the paper version of the magazine.

The focus is now digital but as I told you earlier, DTK doesn’t go halfway.

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Their new platform will include an online boutique which once again is going to focus on shedding light on Canadian creators for men and women.

dress to kill magazine

Cc: DTK MEN

 

Do you think more magazines are going to make a full transition to digital?

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We Ask A Personal Development Coach How To Overcome The Ins and Outs Of The Crisis

It’s all about your point of view

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marc dumaine, personal development coach, covid-19

Everything You Need to Know Through The Lens Of A Personal Development Coach

I’m always amazed at how people like to stigmatize the role or relevance of a personal development coach. They’re quick to label it a scam, a fad, something based on nothing but little they did know, they’re coaches around the world who impacts millions and millions of people in a life changing way. I was looking for the equivalent of a Tony Robbins in Quebec, my research undoubtedly came back to the same name: Marc Dumaine.

Read More: Here’s What I’ve Learned About Myself Since The Coronavirus Crisis Started

Mr Dumaine is more than a personal development coach, he’s a man with a story.

Not your average story either. From overcoming alcohol and drug abuse to obtaining a MBA to running campaigns for some of the biggest corporations in this province. Here’s a man of many battles.

Honorable mention too, these days Marc is focused on creating an international platform to impact as many people he possibly can.

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marc dumaine, personal development coach

The bottom line is this. This personal development coach is not unfamiliar with trials and tribulations, changes and transitions.

That’s why to me, in a time like this where everything is doing a 180 degree, I had to pick his brain and ask him how can you and I get over.

In this Q&A, we indeed ask Marc Dumaine about several things such as how to bounce back from the crisis, his keys to success and much more.

QUESTIONS FOR MARC DUMAINE

 

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#1 How did you figure yourself out as a future entrepreneur and what was the key factor that made you take that route?

I was always an artist at heart and found that I didn’t it in any mole.  After completing my MBA, I realized that my biggest assets were my differences.  I decided at that moment to stop following what people expected from me and launched my own business.  To me being an entrepreneur is an art form in itself. I have never regretted that choice since I launched Asana Coaching 10 years ago.

#2 How can someone go from being self-employed to an entrepreneur making money without physically being there?

The internet is booming with opportunities right now ! Even with the COVID-19, there is a redefinition of the way people consume products and services ! It is a TIME for being creative and look into endless opportunities ! Get out of our comfort zone and start being inspired by people who are already doing it ! Then, build yourself a right game plan with an amazing branding, and you are all set for the best adventure of your life. 

marc dumaine
#3 What are the pros and cons of being a consultant?

The pros are definitely the freedom it gives you in terms of choosing your schedule, the services you want to offer, the different partnerships you can build and finally, having a real impact in your client’s lives !

The biggest con I think is the loneliness that comes from working on your own and often alone ! You also have the insecurity of never having a stable income.  This life is not made for everybody ! 

#4 What would be the achievement you’re most proud of and why?

The biggest achievement for me is to have never given up ! In my 10 years as an entrepreneur, I could have gone bankrupt a few times, I could have been discouraged for so many reasons… but my faith in what I was doing kept me going ! It is a hard industry where you are competing against so many people and you have to realize that you have never made it ! You have to renew yourself every day, offer the top of the top and always evolve as a human being and expert ! I am very proud to still be there today, stronger than ever.

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#5 What entrepreneurs should learn from the Coronavirus crisis?

I think we have to realize that we can’t just keep running all the time ! The anxiety, the stress and the adrenaline are very dangerous ! We talk a lot of profitability, performance but we tend to forget to talk about happiness and well-being ! I hope this time brings more humanity into entrepreneurs’ lives ! 

#6 Where do you see yourself in 5 years from now?

Without wanting to sound over the top, I truly believe that I will have built my brand into an international platform that will include wellness retreats worldwide, TV shows, a one-man show, a few books and real estate projects ! No pressure ! LOL Seriously, I am a kid at heart and developing my business is the best adventure that life has given me ! Watch out world, I am coming. 🙂

#7 What would be the main thing entrepreneurs around the world should learn from you?

That I almost died three times from drugs and alcohol ! That I was the mos unhappy and insecure person for the two thirds of my life ! That i was bullied and rejected for being different ! And in the end, I am the living proof that anything is possible when you don’t give up on yourself and your life ! 

#8 What would be your 3 keys to success ?

1- You are 100% responsible for your choices, attitude, perceptions and mindset

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2- There are no mistakes, only feedback !

3- Only accept what’s 10/10 for you ! That is a sign that you are treating yourself life the most important person on your life.

If you’re interested in seeing him in action, he’s doing a Facebook live tonight at 7:30 pm and if you’re looking for some light in these dark times, that’s the place to be.

To know more about Marc Dumaine and his journey as a personal developement coach follow him here

Website 

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