We had the good fortune of connecting with James Dean T and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi James Dean, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I wanted to bring back the customer service you used to receive from the milk man when milk was delivered. I wanted a trusted-quality driven brand that was approachable. I landed on many names before “Milk Run” but when it rolled off my tongue it sounded perfect. My main idea was to bring in quality blank items only, after about 15 days of operating our clients were demanding the name and logo be placed on tee, hoodies etc.. so we did that and we were constantly selling out of items. From there I had to pinpoint a consistent theme that would capture our audience and more..
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I really like to take inspiration from iconic moments in life, could’ve been the first time I seen a movie or some sort of pop history. For example – I took George jungs inmate number from the movie “Blow” and used a luxury style font to print on a tee, the irony in the luxurious font of an inmate locked up for years spoke to me. I truly am not bothered by others thoughts to dictate how my brand is created so I feel that’s the biggest thing that sets me apart, i try to keep a finger on the pulse of “viral culture” and that information leads to our collections. Most proud of the shop alone, we have been operation for just over 2 years now and everyday I feel so blessed to have this opportunity to be able to build a community. i worked 12 years in the retail / fashion industry, I sent ideas to brands and they literally stole them from me with 0 recognition. I invested in a company called “fresh airs” from LA and was scammed by the owner for my money, I was outraged…BUT, I figured out a business plan and grinded it out to to able to be here.
Opening the store and seeing where it grew to today has humbled me beyond words, I’ve learnt that the slow burn is better that redlining and burning out & its ok to try and fail. Don’t be afraid to fail.
Our story is just beginning, but ill tell you a fun fact – starting the brand .. i used MICROSOFT PAINT to make our graphics, it was so armature haha BUT it got us here. If you believe in it, work on it and focus.. you can make dreams come true. ( i now a days adobe programs to desing lol )
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
So in Calgary AB Canada were known for our steakhouses, the stampede and Cesars. I’m a big cook out type guy, so majority of the meals we will be eating are going to be cooked by myself, you name it ill grill it. But i have a few secrete spots wed have to go check, starting off with modern steak – they have a tomahawk steak there that looks like it came from the flintstones. There’s multiple BBQ only spots here too, we would be doing a smoked wing night there. Another good spot is called “blowers & grafton” its an east coast street food inspired spot, very delicious. Also would have to throw a poutine spot in there for a night, it’s honestly a must in Canada.
next we would be hitting all the breakfast spots here – daily. There are so many breakfast spots here it’s a no brainer. oeb, reds, diner deluxe, its nonstop.
Our city is located very close to a town called Banff, its a small mountain town that houses some rich history and delicious eats so a day would be spent there, taking in the scenes and eating at local mom and pop spots.
if its the times of year stampede is around id take them there, its basically a giant rodeo and fair with all the junk food games etc. Our city is on a giant river and on the hot days we often float down it for a couple hours to cool off. And we would be riding electric scooters bar hopping. We have a ton of new designer style bars that are very Instagram photo opp places , they have some cool décor and vibes.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
There is so many people I’d list here, ill keep it simple and just Thank all my family, customers and followers of the brand. You all really make this the most enjoyable moments in life. My staff is one of the best teams I’ve ever worked with, and I gotta shout them out cause without them it would be near to impossible.
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