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Blog Posts (74)

  • Doing It Yourself With Glory Allan

    The path towards starting something new can be a daunting one and it's easy to be held back by the sheer number of different directions to go in, even without having taken that first step. But that first step - that's the most critical piece of the puzzle. For Toronto based, DIY fashion content creator Andre Chin aka Glory Allan, he has become comfortable with being uncomfortable taking that first step and it has taken him to incredible heights. With hundreds of thousands of followers tuning in for his do-it-yourself sewing and garment making tutorials, many of whom start with his pre-made garment kits, or eagerly waiting to cop his ready-to-wear namesake brand, Glory Allan has started to develop some incredible experience and we were excited to get the chance to stop by his studio space to chat with him about it all. Check out the conversation below! Hey Andre, great to link up! What have you been up to these days? Hey guys! Lots of stuff. I've been working on a bunch of new videos, including a new thrift concept that isn't my typical style but I'm excited and nervous for it. I'm also working on getting the cargo pants DIY content together. That'll be a big one. I've done parts of cargos like the pockets but the full pants video has been a lot of work to get together. Nice! We'll definitely talk about the cargos and DIY but tell us about the thrift video and that new style. It's basically me getting out to thrift stores and picking pieces I like. I haven't done much filming outside of my studio space so filming in public like that was super awkward but I think it'll turn out well. What pushed you to try this new video style? I think it's important for showing my growth and keeping things interesting for my audience. I think that's super important, especially for early YouTubers. You can't be afraid to put yourself out there. For this video I filmed on Friday, I watched the footage and it feels so cringe but I know I have to use the footage and I know I'll keep getting better. You need that mentality as a YouTuber. Maybe nobody watches it but maybe they do and you can get feedback and just keep working on it from that. You've grown quite the audience now on YouTube. What do you think the trick to that was? A few things! The first is that for my DIY videos, I've focused on a lot of non-trendy videos so that they stay relevant longer. I've also created content in a way that there's something for everyone at every skill level. So, I have basic tutorials like the bucket hats or bandanas that people can join in on when they're starting out and then I have the more complex tutorials like cargo pants. I have to think about what level my audience might be at when they're discovering me which is probably on the beginner side. So, I can't start them with cargo pants, I need to guide them through and have content for them every step of the way as they develop. From a reach stand point, I've also used TikTok well to drive people to my YouTube. The ability to go viral is so much higher on TikTok and then a lot of people will go from my TikTok videos to my longer form content on YouTube. Besides racking up views on your videos, you're also selling DIY kits and your own line of products. How does your content strategy as a creator play into selling those? The content strategy is super important. You can have the best products in the world but if you don't have a good content strategy to build the traffic and excitement, nobody will buy your products. The content is likely what people will interact with before your actual products, whether it's getting someone to buy something online or even drive someone into a store, so that first impression is everything. At the same time though, content can only get you so far. It's a funny thing you have to balance. If you spend too much time on the content but neglect the product and developing something people actually want, then you're on the opposite side of that spectrum which isn't good. Well, it seems like you've started to figure out that balance. Now that you're building quite the audience and moving a lot of sales volume, how does it feel? It's amazing, but honestly, I get hit with imposter syndrome so much because I don't have any formal sewing background or training with a camera or anything like that. How do you deal with the imposter syndrome? I try not to take it too seriously. I know it's always going to be there but I feel like everyone is a bit of an imposter. I just try to be grateful for where I am and if I have a hundred thousand people following me, I'm obviously doing something right. You're definitely doing something right! Before we let you go, do you have any advice to people just starting to develop their own creative business? Make sure you have a long term vision. Even if you're starting to see success now, with whatever you're working on, think about how it's going to make you money in ten years and if it will be able to still stand out in ten years. I know it sounds crazy and so far along but if you can think about ways you'll build more revenue streams and stay unique, that will be how you become very successful and always continue to grow. Love that! If you're looking to learn how to sew your own garments, make sure to check out Glory Allan on Instagram and Youtube and keep it locked to Pier Five for more conversations with emerging creatives!

  • Ball Talk With Albert Nguyen of Double Dribble

    After decades of creative work for many of Canada's coolest brands and designers, it's inevitable that the urge to one day do your own thing will eventually kick in. But how do you do it right and when is the right time? For Montreal based designer and artist Albert Nguyen who has worked on clients like Raised By Wolves, Nike, SSENSE, 88Rising, The Bay and many others, that urge set in via his love for street culture and basketball and you know we had to jump in for the story! Albert is no stranger to Pier Five - check out his first interview here - and it was great to catch up with him to learn about his new brand and first full independent venture, Double Dribble. Check out the conversation below. Photo Credits: Photo + Direction: @jgandshi (@time_of_the_sun x @commedesbatards) Hair and Makeup: @axelkamali@belovedbiaziza Models: @goldeneisha@ismabrass_n54 Hey Albert - great to have you back! You've worked on so many cool projects in the past. What drove you to start your own as Double Dribble? For a long time I just really loved being the ideas guy and the designer for clients that I really respected and admired. A lot of creatives that I know will work freelance and their own thing at the same time but to be honest, having my own thing never really occurred to me or didn't make sense. I love clothing and design but I never wanted my own namesake label. Double Dribble was first conceived through a t-shirt I worked on for The Letterbet for the 2019/2020 NBA Season but never really built out after that. This year I just started thinking about doing my own thing more and I liked the vibe of that t-shirt and how it didn't take itself too seriously. For me to start something on my own, it couldn't be too serious, in a way, or I wouldn't enjoy it. So, what exactly is Double Dribble now? A clothing brand? Something more? It's definitely a clothing brand first but I do want to do more with it soon. The clothing is just an entry point but I really want Double Dribble to become this basketball led community initiative with pickup runs in Montreal - and maybe other cities afterwards - as well as fundraisers, programming for women and children through basketball and I'm also working on a book! Very cool! How do you feel the basketball scene in Montreal is right now? There's definitely room to improve! I see a much bigger basketball scene in Toronto or Vancouver. Soccer is like what basketball is in those cities here in Montreal but a lot of people out here play. Not a lot of parks have basketball hoops here so that's one barrier. Canada is becoming such a big basketball country now so I want Montreal to be a part of that. So starting with clothing, what is the design inspiration behind the products? Although I don't personally skateboard, I'm really inspired by skateboard culture and how it has become so engrained into pop culture so, naturally, that had an influence on this. I wanted this to feel like a skate brand for basketball and keep things fun and lighthearted. Most of the graphics are inspired by old sport logos from the 90's and early 2000's. I kept it rather simple for the initial launch and I plan on bringing in more graphics and different pieces down the line. I don't want to be that brand that only makes a few of their pieces and nobody can get it. I want everyone to purchase Double dribble and be excited to rock it. How often do you plan on releasing new products? So instead of regular drops or following a fashion calendar, I'm going to follow the basketball calendar. I launched when the NBA season started, I'll have a drop for All-Star Weekend in February, a drop for playoffs, the finals, etc. I think it's a fun and unique way to do things and really keeps the focus on basketball. My biggest thing for releases though is I want the brand to be accessible. I don't want to be a cool guy brand. I don't want to be that brand that only makes a few of their pieces and nobody can get it. I want everyone to purchase Double dribble and be excited to rock it. Are you still playing basketball these days? I'm not - and it kills me. I had a bad injury not too long ago that stopped me from playing which is so hard for me. Basketball was everything for me from the moment I can remember. I played so much, it was engrained in my fashion choices, it led to the people I became best friends with and it inspired so much of my work. Now I hope to at least be able to use Double Dribble to create an avenue for others to play and meet through the sport. That's too bad! You make a good point about basketball being such a strong channel to bring people together. That's so true! Absolutely! Sports in general are so great for that. Basketball especially from all industries. It connected fashion to sports through Jordan and Nike, it connected with skateboarding, it connected with music. It's also influencing how I build my team and work with people. I treat it like putting together a starting five. I think about what I'm good at and where I'm lacking and then bring in my guards, my shooters, my centers etc who can help me create something killer and operate like a well oiled machine. That's a great analogy. We're excited to see what you and your "team" accomplish soon! What would you say is the long term goal for Double Dribble? I just want it to bring more basketball into the community here and continue to build greater communities all over the world one day. That might be through clothing, charity work, books, or other stuff. I'm still early to this and figuring it out but I love basketball and would be happy to see Double Dribble share that love with more people I love. Follow Double Dribble on Instagram for updates on their new drops and some of the best basketball content and keep it locked to Pier Five for more conversations with creatives like Albert coming soon!

  • Continuing The Legacy With Nick Vo

    We are thrilled to award Nick Vo of @nicksjewellery as the recipient of the first ever Pier Five Creators Grant! Nick’s story was one that really inspired us and resonated with our story and the story of so many other young creatives that we know. In just a short time, Nick has helped elevate the wonderful jewellery shop that his parents started 20 years ago, becoming a staple in Toronto for creative communities to connect over beautiful (and often custom) jewellery. With the money from the grant, Nick hopes to bring in new machinery that will increase the capabilities of the shop and the level of service that he can provide to the shop’s clients. We spoke to Nick about his aspirations for the business, the importance of his community in what he does and the type of mark he hopes to leave on his family when it's all said and done. Continuing the family legacy. My biggest inspiration is my parents. They're the ones who raised me and it's my time to give back to them and to take care of them. They've been through a lot. They sacrificed a lot and it's now my turn to both elevate the business and also carry on the family legacy. My grandparents were jewellers. My parents are jewellers and now I'm the next generation to do it. We all eat together. I hope to create opportunities for my friends and family. I want them to eat with me and I want them to always stay hungry. I think that if I'm able to help myself and love myself, I'll be able to do the same for them. It's a two-way street and I really hope to create every opportunity for them. Collaboration is key. I think the key to success is working with others and collaborating. With jewellery and other mediums, we all intersect. I think the best way to win is to work with each other and uplift each other. It's important to support those who are around you and who are in your network and that will allow you to grow and expand your network. There needs to be more love in the world and we need to support each other more. The future of Nick's Jewellery. My long term vision for Nick's Jewellery is to make it a hotspot in Toronto. Just like when you go to New York, you go to different jewellery shops like Popular Jewellery and New Top Jewellery. I want it to be that when people come to Toronto, they make a pit stop at Nick's Jewellery. I want it to be a space where different creators and consumers - anyone from any walk of life - can come in and work together and be able to purchase jewellery. I want it to be like a studio and a jewellery shop at the same time. Thank you to everyone who supported the Pier Five Creators Grant! We could not be happier with how everything rolled out and are so happy to be able to have presented Nick with $3,000 to help take his business to the next level. Make sure to check out Nick's Jewellery on Instagram and stop by the shop if you're in Toronto!

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  • Small Business Fund Winners | Pier Five

    Congrats To Our Winners! Pier Five x Mastercard Small Business Fund This fall, we partnered with Mastercard to support Canadian women small business owners who are having an impact on their communities and industries. With over 1100 applications submitted, we had the difficult task of selecting five winners to receive $10,000 each to help take their businesses to the next level. We are thrilled to award the Pier Five x Mastercard Small Business Fund to the following five business owners and can't wait to see how they continue to grow with the fund. In addition to the $10,000 and access to subject matter experts from Mastercard, recipients will also be flown out to Toronto in 2023 for a Priceless Experience - a unique opportunity to connect and network with the other fund recipients hosted over a weekend with events sponsored by Mastercard. Click on the business owners below to learn more. Thank you to everyone that applied for the Pier Five x Mastercard Small Business Fund. Those selected as a finalist will be contacted to set up an interview. If you were not selected, we appreciate your support and participation and hope you follow along for more opportunities like this in 2023. Mastercard, Priceless, and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. ©2021 Mastercard. All rights reserved.

  • Small Business Fund | Pier Five

    Pier Five x Mastercard Small Business Fund Happy Small Business Month! Having an impact with creatives, entrepreneurs and small business owners is something that we are extremely passionate about at Pier Five. In partnership with Mastercard, to celebrate small business month, we are thrilled to launch the Pier Five Small Business Fund to fund five women-owned small businesses in Canada with $10,000 CAD each to help take things to the next level. Women small business owners who meet the required qualifications can apply for a chance to receive one of five funds of $10,000 CAD and a Priceless Experience - a unique opportunity to connect and network with the other fund recipients hosted in Toronto with events sponsored by Mastercard. Application Details ​ Timeline: ​ Applications open: October 11, 2022 Applications close: October 31, 2022 at 11:59pm EST. 10 finalists selected by November 14, 2022 Pier Five internal interviews with the finalists: November 16, 2022 - November 30, 2022 Winner Announcement: December 8, 2022 ​ Note: We appreciate all who take the time to submit an application. Due to the volume of applicants, we unfortunately will not be able to contact all applicants about a final decision unless selected as a finalist. Application Criteria ​ Only businesses that meet the following criteria will be eligible to apply for the Pier Five Small Business Fund. Must identify as a cis woman or transgender woman. Must be a Canadian citizen, a Permanent resident of Canada, or Hold Current and Valid Authorization under the Canadian Immigration and Refugee Protection Act Must have a registered business in Canada. Company Size: 1-50 employees Less than $1 Million CAD in yearly revenue The business must have at least 1 year of current activity in the Canadian market. Appications Closed Thank you to everyone that applied for the Pier Five x Mastercard Small Business Fund. Those selected as a finalist will be contacted to set up an interview. If you were not selected, we appreciate your support and participation and hope you follow along for more opportunities like this in 2023. Mastercard, Priceless, and the circles design are registered trademarks of Mastercard International Incorporated. ©2021 Mastercard. All rights reserved.

  • Home | Pier Five

    Doing It Yourself With Glory Allan Latest Guests Catch up with our latest conversations. Nov 15 Ball Talk With Albert Nguyen of Double Dribble Aug 30 Continuing The Legacy With Nick Vo May 10 Writing History With Sam Le Roy of Hartcopy May 2 Alpha/Beta: The Next Chapter With Raised by Wolves Apr 20 On The Map With Free Agent Wearhouse Apr 4 Showing Up With Liz Beecroft Mar 20 Earning Your Place With Titi Finlay Mar 7 Outworking The Competition With Eric Chong of R&D Feb 25 Staying Curious With Patrick Stangbye Feb 10 Putting In The Hours With Dan Climan Jan 26 Getting To Know Hotpot Variety Dec 17, 2021 Dancing Through The Yarn With Trish Andersen Explore All Guests

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