Jonathan Elias is the founder of Canada’s hottest online fashion marketplace. Shop My Clothes is re imagining the world of retail by providing a unique and personal retail network. The process is simple: Create an account, search your fashion needs and start selling. One man’s trash becomes another man’s treasure as this online marketplace tightly weaves its users together through a prevalent love for Fashion. We gave Jonathan the PRODUCT Treatment and invited him to our studio to tell us about his business and share his thoughts on Canadian Fashion.
What inspired you to start your own company?
“I guess my “Aha” moment was when I came home from working in San Francisco for GAP INC. I had been working in fashion for the past Four years and had accumulated a pretty vast wardrobe (through no fault but my own). As I grew as a person, my style and taste changed and I was now left with this vast wardrobe that I no longer wanted to wear. I had to figure out what to do with all this clothing. My options were very limited between Craigslist, Ebay and Kijiji. I was disappointed over and over with these choices. Either it was too expensive, time consuming and or attracted the wrong clientele. [I thought] Why don’t we do it ourselves; create something from scratch, brand new and improve on the systems that are currently offered to us. Over the next 9 months, the design and creation of the website and brand took place.”
Describe your typical customer.
“Our user is split 70 / 30 women to men and their age ranges from 18 to 50. It’s actually quite an interesting demographic because we get such a vast user base. From the struggling student to the established adult looking to upgrade or recycle their closet users are constantly posting and buying items. We like to call it a Circular Prophecy in the sense that each person finds a sort of social utility in a product that another person doesn’t and with that, we create this secondary Marketplace for clothing. ”
What do you love the most about Canadian fashion?
“It’s amazing to see the close relationships that people have built in Canadian fashion. We truly are a small market … we’ve created a very close-knit community. There are so many people who are willing to help you grow and offer advice that it is truly something special especially for students and kids just starting out. I hope that as we pass this knowledge on to the younger generation [that] they continue to do the same. ”
Who are your favourite Canadian designers? Who are the “ones to watch”?
“There are three Canadian designers that I have followed and watched for a long time. Markus Uran of “Metsa” is a friend and an extremely talented individual. He creates pieces that are both timeless and avant garde. “Homespun” and “National Athletic Goods” are probably the brands that I connect with the most mainly for their quality, attention to detail and just plain old comfort. ”
WORDS: JONATHAN BRODERICK
PHOTOS: ALEX BROWNE