When Joseph was a child, his mother would dress him in 3-piece suits she made for his school portraits. Being a tailor is in his DNA. All his life, Joseph has been surrounded by hand craftsmanship. His great-grandfather and grandfather were both tailors. His grandmother was a wedding dress maker and seamstress. Although Joseph took a different route and went into finance after college, it wasn’t until a bit later that the family business caught up to him.
After leaving his financial career behind, he took on a Director of Sales and Managing Tailor position. After that he decided to go out on his own and start Oliver & Rowan Bespoke. Joseph wanted to support the craftsman of America by making all garments here and to produce a bespoke garment which is rare nowadays. The word bespoke means that each client has an individual pattern made for them from scratch and garments are then handmade from this unique pattern. This craftsmanship is how both his great-grandfather and grandfather made suits and is a dying trade.
What do you wake up thinking about?
Coffee and eggs. Almost every morning I eat 4 eggs. So, I think about how I will make them; either an omelet with a bunch of fresh veggies included, cheesy scrambled because that's my son's favorite, or fried if I'm running behind.
What's your morning ritual?
I wake up, get a workout in and come back home to enjoy breakfast with the family. Usually, breakfast consists of watching Daniel Tiger's Neighborhood with my son. I then get around for work and most days get to the shop by 9am. From the time I get up to the time I get to the shop, I do not check emails nor any social media (only have work accounts for social media). Unless I have previously scheduled an early client, 9am is when my work day starts.
How does social media play into your daily life?
I deactivated my personal Facebook over three and a half years ago, I found myself spending too much time on it. I have Instagram, Twitter and Facebook accounts for my business. I have good intentions of posting daily, but that doesn't always happen. What should only take me a few minutes ends up taking much longer due to editing and making the post just right - resulting in wasted time. Very seldom does social media bring in business. So, when it is busy (most days) at the shop with seeing clients, making patterns, cutting fabric and constructing suits, social media gets put on the back burner. There have been several times weeks have passed between posts and I am alright with that.
Are we more connected or disconnected than before?
Both actually. Here's what I mean; Because of all the social media out there, we are in the know - and some times too much - of what is going on in our family, friends and colleagues life - so in that way we are more connected to what they have going on. But, in front of our computer or phone, it's easy for us to roll our eyes, laugh, scoff or even judge that person immediately based on their post. These reactions are most likely different than we would have in a face to face conversation learning about the life event. We are unable to see firsthand the joy, hurt or sadness they are enduring. So, by being electronically connected to what's going on in their life, we end up being disconnected to the deeper, personal relationship with that person. One of the reasons I love to go to La Colombe (besides their awesome coffee) in the west loop for face to face meetings is because they want people to have stimulating conversations again and thus do not have wifi there. So, you don't see laptops and phones out everywhere. It's a nice change of pace.
What is most important to you in life?
Family above all else. Also, Oliver & Rowan Bespoke is named after my son, Oliver. The name Oliver is a longtime family name and I want to make sure the business is representing my family name and that they would be proud of what I have achieved so far and future accomplishments.
Follow Joseph: @oliverandrowan