2018 and beyond
Every year, it feels like the first time. One thing that I’ve learned from talking to people that have achieved so much more than me is that the growth is never enough; you always want more. No matter how much success you achieve, there will never be a point where it will make you happy.
In 2018, I learned to change the way I approach loveclosely and just focus on creating; creating is why I started this and what made me happy. And as cheesy as it is, it’s true. Passion and a little bit of luck have sparked the opportunity to grow.
I had the chance to travel and learn things from some of the great creatives that I look up to. Early in 2018, through his creative director, we got the chance to meet Roy Woods and his team on a couple of occasions and as a result, get his genuine support. One thing I’ve learned is that even in business, you can’t buy a relationship. Nothing replaces a genuine connection.
In the summer, we flew down to LA for ComplexCon and happened to bump into Majid from Majid Jordan on our flight, which was a pretty surreal moment for a couple of Toronto kids. In December, I attended SoleDXB and had the opportunity to go to Dubai and meet an insane amount of creative people, was exposed to a world that I love but knew very little about. I met Farrukh Ershad and his team at the 5ivepillars booth, and they were nothing but kind and supportive. Farrukh played a huge part in inspiring me to start my own brand. It was eye-opening to meet Chebmoha and see how him and his brothers and sister really hold down Shabab International (shababintl), as well as the amount of love that they receive from the streetwear community. It’s something that I now aspire to achieve in Toronto.
By the end of the year, now I’m just looking forward to creating even more. At time’s its difficult to detach the art from the business, but what I’ve realized is that it’s a constant pendulum between the two. I’m starting 2019, with the hope that this will be our breakout year - but at the same time, as long as I get to accomplish creatively everything I set out for myself, I think that will be enough for me.