Muttonhead was originally created for your thesis collection at Ryerson, what made you decide to continue with it after graduating?
I had a lot of positive feedback on it and I was up for the challenge to make it work. It was also something I always wanted to do — own my own business. Although, at the time I wasn’t aware of how challenging it would actually be.
I’m not sure in this industry there is a “typical” day, but can you describe the main aspects of your job now?
There are a lot of things involved in the job, many often that no one would see on the outside. From all of the apparel design, to sourcing and fabric selection, sample making, costing, dealing with suppliers, exhibiting at trade shows, photo shoots, showing the collection to buyers, and making it all get produced in the end for our retailers — and everything in between. There are a lot of hidden jobs, but the good thing is every single day is different and there are always new things that have to get done and new things to learn in order to expand your business.
Do you think your education at Ryerson was important to reaching your goals?
Definitely, Ryerson really helped with the production side of it, also on some of the business side. I took a lot of business/ bookkeeping classes, so that helped out a lot as well.
Your sales have expanded worldwide, yet you’ve stayed true to being a Canadian brand, even manufacturing locally. Why is being Canadian significant to you?
Manufacturing locally is a huge part of our brand and has been since the beginning.We work with a wide range of factories here in Canada, most of them located in Toronto. Some are very small places and you work very closely with the people who are sewing your product. This is very important in the design and construction process as it allows us to keep a close eye on everything and make sure the quality is consistent. We also believe in supporting small businesses just like ours and creating jobs here in Canada.
If you could name one experience, lesson or piece of advice that was vital in leading you to where you are today what would it be?
Learn as much as you possibly can. Nothing will prepare you for the real world as an entrepreneur. You will have to make mistakes and learn from them, which is not always a bad thing. Take advantage of your time at Ryerson and learn as much as you can. Marketing and business or accounting classes help a lot too!