December 2019 - January 2020 Best Cities for Work in B.C.

With a mission to inform, empower, celebrate and advocate for British Columbia's current and aspiring business leaders, BCBusiness go behind the headlines and bring readers face to face with the key issues and people driving business in B.C.

Issue link: http://digital.canadawide.com/i/1184822

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Page 25 of 71

EDUCATION FOR A BETTER WORLD boothuc.ca MAKE A LIVING CA 16.04 3326 Booth UC Awareness Campaign Element: BC Business Magazine - Make a Life Worth Living 1/3rd Page Ad: 4.75 x 4.9375" RW AK This pdf was created with the pdf/x-1a setting for final print production. print quality © Grizzard 2016 reusing them, and someone else gets to enjoy them for a while. And they last a long time. I try to make them so they wear well, so you don't wear them 10 times and want to throw them away. Your shoes are designed in Vancouver, but why aren't they made in B.C., too? I wish they could be made here. It has to do with the infrastructure. Shoemak- ing areas in the world need components around them; so many components go into footwear. You need insole manu- facturers, shank manufacturers, sole manufacturers—which is not a factory. A factory gathers all these parts up from all over and assembles them. And the lasts that shoes are made on, you need a manu- facturer close by. So you need an indus- try around it, and there isn't that industry here in Canada, particularly on the West Coast. There never was. Where is retail headed? What's the future of brick-and-mortar stores like yours? I don't see brick-and-mortar disappear- ing, but I think if I was a landlord and had a mall store somewhere, it wouldn't be a good picture for me. Because the kind of things they're selling are all things that are obtainable online. So stores, then, need to become a social place where like- minded people get together. What's next for you? I've been through some health issues, and that changed my perspective. I think as you get older, you maybe become a mentor. You become a watcher. I'm not powering out on every little nuance of the business every day, but I'm still there in the background. My son Adrian is gen- erally running the business, but he has a team around him. I'm still doing the shoes. I can ask leading questions, I can look at bigger pictures, and I can look at the morality and the things I'd like to achieve and the legacies I'd like to leave. That's partly why I did the book, because it's a legacy. In one sense, people look at me and go, Oh, John, you're so successful. And I go, Well, not really. It's just my life. It's what I did. So maybe I wrote the book so I can look back and remind myself, Oh, actually, John, you did OK. You're still here. ■ 26 BCBUSINESS DECEMBER/JANUARY 2020

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