I met this gentlemen a few months back and immediately I was hooked. Matt Smith-Johnson is a dear. He's the type of guy who doesn't sit down for any reason and loves projects and solving issues that most people would ignore.
We finally sat down for a beer and conversation revolving around everything from his watch straps ( that he salvages himself ) to silk pocket squares, his t-shirt company and even weddings ( don't ask how we got on that topic!)
Matt is extremely enthusiastic about what he does and what he creates!
First we talked about his watch strap collection:
Taking old leathers and refurbishing them to become one of a kind items for people to enjoy is something that MSJ loves to do. If you don't know he's a huge collector of leathers and loves to try new things, especially when it comes to hammers, paint and scouring for new materials.
When MSJ was a kid his grandparents used to take him around their house to show him the wonderment and joy that comes from a ticking clock and from there his love for craftsmanship and the sound of the hourly chimes caused watches to forever be in his life.
Each strap is found, loved and created by Matt during his down time. He's even a contributing editor to one of the most famous and creative watch forums in the world; A Blog to Watch.
Back in 2008, Matt decided to try his hand at fashion and with that came Blind Five. His ethos was to give that plain tee a knew outlook and with that came heart ache, stress and a whole knew outlook on men's fashion. Although there was only one run of the shirts, Matt came to the conclusion that creating an outerwear company of all Canadian goods and materials was more of a dream than a reality and finished happy and a few dollars short!
The minute I heard about Teenage Grandpa I started laughing, the title alone makes you giggle and without knowledge of the actual products themselves you would think it's a joke. No joke amigo's it's the real thing. If you didn't know MSJ has a love for rock and roll, heavy metal, dapperness and skateboarding and decided to tie all those things together by creating a pocket square collection that was cheeky, dainty and vulgar. Bloody shanks, police pigs and even pizza's were the main motif for Teenage Grandpa!
He gave me one. And I'm so thankful he did, I feel super rebellious wearing it and I'm excited to share it with you! I mean look at these drawing!
Matt Smith Johnson, you are great man, a friend and someone whom I look up to! Congratulations on your successes and downfalls, you've learned to create and not hold back; with that I can whole heartedly say cheers my friend, you have earned the key to the world of creativity, imagination and down-right weirdness!
x - the Collector.