TOJ - updates on the debacle, complaints, news about other ventures, whatever.

Discussion in 'Streetwear and Denim' started by impolyt_one, Jan 7, 2011.

  1. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    yeah, but we discovered we can't make garment bags, so it'll be a free Tote instead.
     
  2. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    Drew,

    Post up more interesting stories in the saga of ToJ por favor.


    There aren't tons of interesting stories from the past left to tell, really - in 2009 I worked on my own and then figured out which parts of my work I needed to delegate to other people if I was ever gonna get more things made and expand, so that is where Dan and Charly came into the picture. If I was still doing this all alone, I'd have fewer offerings.

    I do have to say that there was a time 3 years ago that if you asked me what I wanted to do with my life, or what I hoped to achieve with my time and existence on earth, I wouldn't have had the first clue. I lived some very uninspired days. I constantly clashed with debt, I didn't really have anybody around to inspire me to do anything, and I was a horrible worker and then became unable to work eventually - but through doing this project I've learned a lot of stuff, and learned more about life. In the end, you really just have to tune out all the other voices for awhile, stop trying to make out pathways that don't really exist, and just listen to yourself, do precisely and only what you want to do. Cut out the middlemen who stand in the way of your goal and pretend they don't exist, bring yourself that much closer to your goal. That all sounds really corny and cliche, but I don't really know how to put it otherwise. Anyway, I am happy with life now. Things were looking pretty ugly about 3 or 4 years ago, I had a rough patch I don't really want to talk about, but I've managed to turn everything around and I feel like a new man, a lot of the blanks got filled in along the way.

    On the other hand, there is a point where TOJ will have to close down someday. We all knew this from the beginning, and the model I've made runs well, but not 100% perfectly, and so it needs a huge reform to the point that there will be a death and a rebirth of what I do. It may not even come back as TOJ, but I will helm something that makes men's clothes the same way that I like to now, but better. There are limitations that I have in my own model that I'd like to change for better performance.
    The reason I say already that it will close someday (and I'm not talking like tomorrow, I'm talking much later) is that I want all of this to go out on a good note, as strong as possible, rather than seeing myself on the internet with a dying project that people don't like. I've got tons of skills and ideas at this point, and the knowledge goes into and carries over to every TOJ piece we make subsequently, so like I said before, I'm not even sure if there is a point where that will plateau, it's a very deep ocean. I just envision TOJ going out softly and in fine form.
     
  3. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    also, that is to say, you don't need to bumrush us with orders right this moment, but if there is something you want to order from us, you should, because it may not reappear. [​IMG]
     
  4. eternaldrake

    eternaldrake Senior member

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    while were asking questions and telling stories, how exactly did you get into pattern making and production? did you take any design courses in college or did you just sorta do a little research and try your hand at it? any resources you'd recommend to someone interested in all this?
     
  5. indesertum

    indesertum Senior member

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    what kind of things would you change about the toj model if you could?
     
  6. skitlets

    skitlets Senior member

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    also, that is to say, you don't need to bumrush us with orders right this moment, but if there is something you want to order from us, you should, because it may not reappear. [​IMG]

    I better save up for a DR then!
     
  7. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    while were asking questions and telling stories, how exactly did you get into pattern making and production? did you take any design courses in college or did you just sorta do a little research and try your hand at it? any resources you'd recommend to someone interested in all this?
    The pattern cutting and production I started with man, what I did was take a conventional jacket pattern and I basically went and bought a stack of A3 paper and tape, some swiss curves and rulers, and just started modifying the base pattern til I had something that measured up properly and looked the way I wanted it to. That's also why the TOJ0 was very aggressively cut, and why the leathers are still very aggressively cut to this day. Where other clothing makers dial in a bit of flab to accomodate a range of people, I knew that since I was dealing with MTM'ing them I could cut them as aggressively as possible. How I came to learn to do this.... I don't know. To be honest, it was one of those things where it was a pleasant challenge and I knew I had to get it done to get to the next step. Drawing up designs is just a matter of scrawling an animated version on paper at the beginning, it's a lot like making a roadmap for someone, you just go in and highlight the important points, and it doesnt have to be to scale or anything, it just needs to guide the makers as to the detailing - the pattern will produce the right sizing and proportion. I don't have any training in any of this, nor any experience before - this is my learning project. There's obviously something more to it than just waking up and doing it, but I have always been able to envision something and know what the finished product will look like before I even start, once I decide on everything that will go into it. There's been a few abandoned prototypes along the way, but I do keep hacking away at something til it's perfected. I have always had a habit of planning things in my head, and of also being a perfectionist, so I guess if others have the same traits, it's not a bad job for you, provided you know the other clothes-related stuff. There's some things you have to learn properly somehow to have a foundation, and then there's elements of inspiration and your own taste that you fold into the mix. People always ask me how I learned to do all this stuff, but to be honest, I don't really know. I also cook and my cooking has been getting better over the years, but I don't really know where I learned to cook.
    what kind of things would you change about the toj model if you could?
    The thing about TOJ is that I set out from the beginning not knowing what it was gonna become, and filled in blanks as best I could at the time; however, I'm getting kinda sick of MTM because I've become more convinced with every day that it's truly not necessary for 95% of people, in order to get a stylish fit on the clothes. Since I don't deal with the sizing on the order end of things anymore, there are even times when I look on here and see fit pics, and my taste doesn't agree with the fit, because the user has dialed in their own fit and given it to Charly. That is mainly focused around sleeve and body lengths. I have a bank of patterns that works for a lot of new stuff I can put out, so what has been laid down is versatile. The MTM thing is probably something I've abused too much and it slows down things (you wouldn't believe how much one custom thing can slow down everything) and as I've said before with customized things, it doesn't end up creating things that agree with my taste or original vision for the product, and when those factors go out the window, there goes the planning for the product to be 100%. Nothing can be offered in all shades of the rainbow with exactly the same level of quality. A food analogy would be like this - you walk into a restaurant, you buy the prix fixe, but you don't like a certain item in a dish and so you sub in something. There's a chance it might work, but obviously the dish isn't designed around the substitute item, and so the chef is probably not gonna guarantee the same taste experience that way, and might even feel weird sending it out. MTM also creates perpetual work, just hacking away at the same thing. It's like Groundhog day. It's also really hard to find time to put out new product if you're busy working on the old stuff, which is why I basically only run one set of things per year at this point. It also creates a job for Charly, just doing sizing work all day. I'm sure he's probably sick of that by now, it's been over a year that he's done the same work, with no change. I've done work like that before and went insane, so hat tip to Charly on that. It's also full-time work, but we don't work full-time. It's just a matter of taking orders and managing all the pots and pans at once, and there are dead times as well, just as in a restaurant kitchen. We kind of have solid work for 2 people that we spread out to 3 people, so I don't know if it's efficient enough unless we were to go really big, and at this point I don't know if I want to do that. If I were to shutter TOJ later down the line, I'd still come back after some rest and reorganization, and obviously the clothes would look very similar to what you see now in some sort of way because they'd still be expressions from my head, but I am having one of those time periods in my life again where I have all these really clear lucid thoughts lately and I know what other things I want to do with my life (outside of TOJ) and so I have to re-organize.
     
  8. impolyt_one

    impolyt_one Senior member

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    Also somewhere I forgot the biggest thing, lol. Basically what gets me is that I set this up from the beginning without factoring in a wholesale plan, and so we can't do that the way we are now. Basically, from the beginning, I cranked up the quality level of the materials and manufacture very high, and priced very low, to get a good position. Well, that's still what I do, but it does leave out the option to wholesale- if I did this conventionally I'd have to price the jackets at like $2000+, factoring in a boutiques normal markup. So yeah, expansion has been slow because of it's own doing. I'm not sure I'll change this aspect either, but it is the reason you can't try on Toj locally. [​IMG]
     
  9. wj4

    wj4 Senior member

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    Looks like I logged off too soon since my last post to read the ToJ Saga book. Due to not having anything interesting to read, I wrote a crap load of violations on my employees tonight. I will spend the last hour of the shift browsing on here and catch up.
     
  10. wj4

    wj4 Senior member

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    I didn't want to be a downer and mention this, but I sometimes think what would you guys do with the last production piece.

    I can somewhat relate to you on the life thing, Drew. 2 years ago I was heart set on staying in Los Angeles until I die. Now, I don't even know if I really want to be in this country anymore.

    PS are there official pics of the tote?
     
  11. eternaldrake

    eternaldrake Senior member

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    very interesting read drew, I really appreciate that you took the time to write it out.

    I do have to say that there was a time 3 years ago that if you asked me what I wanted to do with my life, or what I hoped to achieve with my time and existence on earth, I wouldn't have had the first clue. I lived some very uninspired days.
    yea like wj4 I can say I sympathize with this sort of thought. im in college for comp. engineering now but idk if i honestly can see myself doing that for a career or even a few years, or if i can even be motivated to stay with this major because it doesnt really interest me much at all. working in the design/production of menswear is something i find interesting thats been on my minds backburner but at the same time im not sure if its something i could really pursue or its just another idle thought. so yeah idk


    enough about me and my problems, can we expect any teasers for bags or new leather styles soon? need a little motivational bump to keep money stocked for more toj [​IMG]
     
  12. willy cheesesteak

    willy cheesesteak Senior member

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  13. C-Note

    C-Note Senior member

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    very interesting read drew, I really appreciate that you took the time to write it out.


    yea like wj4 I can say I sympathize with this sort of thought. im in college for comp. engineering now but idk if i honestly can see myself doing that for a career or even a few years, or if i can even be motivated to stay with this major because it doesnt really interest me much at all. working in the design/production of menswear is something i find interesting thats been on my minds backburner but at the same time im not sure if its something i could really pursue or its just another idle thought. so yeah idk


    enough about me and my problems, can we expect any teasers for bags or new leather styles soon? need a little motivational bump to keep money stocked for more toj [​IMG]


    Dang man I'm majoring in the same thing and starting to feel the same way. I'm not leaning toward what you are but I don't even think I'd want to do this much longer. But sorry for going off topic. Great thread. [​IMG] lol
     
  14. Timbaland

    Timbaland Senior member

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    eternaldrake and c-note, hope you guys are getting good grades in that major (3.0+) or at least have internships for experience before you graduate. I got a little under (2.7 something) and I had a hell of a time finding a job. Took me like 3.5 years to get a full time job. I was working contract jobs that paid crap and I didn't even get 40 hours a week in that time.
     
  15. poly800rock

    poly800rock Senior member

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    Just network and grades don't mean shit
     

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