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The Fashion Geek Podcast

47 | It’s An Unimaginable Year: A Conversation With Jordan Stolch of Mikado Personal Styling

Reg (Tiff is online shopping) talks with Jordan Stolch of Mikado Personal Styling about the similarities and differences between their businesses, why she loves LA and what it takes to provide an optimal shopping experience in someone’s home. There was no East Coast, West Coast beef when this episode was being recorded.



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Timestamps

00:00 Introduction and Sponsor Message
00:21 Meet the Hosts: Reg and Tiff
00:50 Special Guest: Jordan Stolz from LA
01:36 Fashion Consulting vs. Styling
04:18 Impact of Fashion on Confidence
11:32 Client Success Stories
20:18 Jordan's Journey to LA
24:18 Challenges of LA's Fashion Scene
27:38 The Challenges of Client Fittings and Long Drives
29:10 Managing Client Appointments and Time
32:11 Diet and Health for Peak Performance
33:01 The Genesis of Mikado and Business Model
39:19 The Client Consultation Process
43:56 Shopping and Fitting Logistics
50:28 Impact of COVID-19 on Business
55:02 Concluding Thoughts and Reflections

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Transcript

Reginald Ferguson [00:00:01]: The fashion geeks are hosted and powered by blueberry. Tiff [00:00:04]: That's blueberry, blubrry. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:07]: Thinking of launching a podcast, Want your episodes to be deployed smoothly? Go to blueberry.com, type in the word fashion, and get a deal on us. Tiff [00:00:15]: Just put in the word fashion. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:17]: Blueberry, always host fly. Hello. I'm Red. Tiff [00:00:22]: And I'm Tiff. And we're the fashion geeks. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:24]: Trying to make New York. Tiff [00:00:25]: And the world. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:26]: Well, New York is the world. Tiff [00:00:27]: A little flyer, one outfit. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:29]: And podcast. Tiff [00:00:29]: At a time. Reginald Ferguson [00:00:33]: Yes. Back again. It's Friday here in New York City. I'm so happy to be here. This is Reg Ferguson, fashion geek number 1. My number 2, Tiffany Minotel Schreiber, my ride or die. She's out online shopping, but that's okay because I have a guest all the way from the West Coast, the Left Coast, LA in the building. Jordan [00:00:59]: What is up, Reg? I'm so happy to be here with you on this Friday. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:04]: And you are Jordan Stolch of Mocato Personal Style. Jordan [00:01:10]: That is me. No problem. That's me. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:13]: Well, Jordan, first of all, I wanna thank you for fitting us into your schedule because you've been on TV. You've been on podcast. You were just on, what, Good Morning DC? Jordan [00:01:22]: I was on yeah. This week, I did Good Morning DC and Good Morning Atlanta. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:27]: Look at that. You got the a. You got the DMV. Jordan [00:01:31]: And I'm here with you. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:32]: To NYC. Jordan [00:01:33]: Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:36]: So I feel we have a lot to talk about, particularly, Jordan, because, really, I feel that we're we're two sides of the same coin. Jordan [00:01:44]: Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:46]: So I'm a fashion consultant. You're a stylist. Jordan [00:01:49]: Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:01:50]: I'm in New York. You're in LA. So I think even though we have so much in common, I think also just from us talking previously, I think you have some really deep feelings about this that I don't even think I possess. Mhmm. But before we even delve into any of that, really, the first question I have for you is, how is everything out there in Los Angeles? Jordan [00:02:12]: Everything out here is great. I mean, the climate of this year makes things a little bit more challenging, but I feel like we just adapt and pivot and we go with what we're presented with. Reginald Ferguson [00:02:25]: But are you feeling you know, you were you were one of the epicenters like we were. Yes. So, you know, I have a tendency to really I like to get that as my first question because I really wanna know, like, hey, are you okay? Is your team okay? Are your clients okay? Jordan [00:02:39]: Yeah. I mean, everyone's okay. It's it's an unimaginable year. And you are right. We are in the epicenter just like you. But for the moment, we're alright. Let's ask that question again in a couple weeks after the election and see where we are. I'm already preparing Reginald Ferguson [00:02:58]: for that. Play. You got your backpack, Jordan? Jordan [00:03:02]: Exactly. You got your groceries stocked up. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:08]: So, you know, we connected a few weeks ago, and I was really flattered when you sought me out Jordan [00:03:15]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:15]: You know, to be on the pod. I'm like, I should be seeking you out Jordan [00:03:19]: Oh, no. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:19]: To learn more about the biz No. Because you're you're really deep in the game. And, you know, I feel literally obviously, geographically, we're so different. But I feel also, as a result of that, the approaches and the philosophies also can be different Yeah. I think just based on where you are. Jordan [00:03:37]: Yes. I would agree. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:39]: So how long has McConnell been out now? Around 3 years? Yeah. Jordan [00:03:45]: A long time frame. Years old, and it feels like 3 very long years. Reginald Ferguson [00:03:51]: Now why does why does it feel very long? Jordan [00:03:53]: I think just I'm sure as you know, just being in your business day in and day out, it's your life, it's your baby, it's your world. So although the time goes by so quickly, it also just feels like forever at the same time. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:11]: Okay. Okay. Understood. Jordan [00:04:13]: Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:15]: Now you handle both men and women? Jordan [00:04:18]: I do. Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:19]: I really just primarily handle men. I'm open to dealing with female clients. Jordan [00:04:23]: Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:24]: I'm not against it. Yeah. And now I'm not trying to put you on the spot, but I thought you were on record saying that you really like working with male clients. Is that true? Jordan [00:04:34]: I love working with male clients. Male clients are Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:04:37]: Why do you why why do you love why you love working with male clients? Jordan [00:04:42]: Because I think there's just there's something different about the work. Like, I think there's a bit more of an openness. It could be the men that come to me. I'm not I don't know if you would agree with that, but there's a bit more openness and there's a there seems to be a lot more room for me to just do my work there. So with my female female clients, while I love them, they they bring a lot of their own beliefs to it from the past or maybe things that haven't been working for them, but they have a bit more resilience to they're a bit more hesitant to let go of it. But with men, I feel like there's more of an openness. There's more space for me to do my job, if that makes sense. And it creates such exciting outcomes. Jordan [00:05:33]: And and I love that. Reginald Ferguson [00:05:35]: So essentially, you're saying that your female clients bring baggage. Jordan [00:05:38]: Well, I wouldn't wanna say that. No. Reginald Ferguson [00:05:41]: Okay. I'm Jordan [00:05:42]: sorry. Oh, Reginald Ferguson [00:05:43]: wait. This is not the dating podcast. I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. Jordan [00:05:47]: I don't wanna say baggage and, you know, I don't even mean that in a negative way, but there's just I think it's just a personality Reginald Ferguson [00:05:53]: difference. Accessory. Jordan [00:05:54]: Yeah. And I don't wanna generalize full full trust in you, and do it for me. Go to work. And I love that. I I love having that element of trust. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:12]: Right. I was just about to say it sounds like and I feel that happens with me too, but you really have the ability to be comparative and I not. Jordan [00:06:20]: Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:20]: That really your male clientele just goes help. Jordan [00:06:24]: Exactly. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:25]: Please. I'm putty. You know, shape me, mold me. Jordan [00:06:28]: Exactly. That's exactly it. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:31]: Just like dating. No. I'm Jordan [00:06:32]: sorry. I'm sorry. I mean, there's many similarities. Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:37]: You know, really, I hadn't even thought about it, but when you said with the ladies Yeah. I couldn't help myself. I'm sorry, ladies. Jordan [00:06:44]: No. We love you. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:46]: I was raised by you. Jordan [00:06:47]: So We love you. Reginald Ferguson [00:06:48]: And I learned I learned my I learned my style from you. So, you know, for real. So to me, dealing I know I know you mirror that. Jordan [00:07:06]: I do. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:07]: But I but I think for me, that's it. But I think for you, it goes a lot deeper, and it goes a lot broader. Jordan [00:07:16]: Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:18]: Would you agree and would you care to elaborate? Jordan [00:07:20]: I would, but what I would ask you first, when you said, and that's it, what do you mean by that? Because I don't know if that's it. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:29]: Well, meaning for me, I feel very clear about my objective. That if a client comes to me, I wanna help them improve their look. Jordan [00:07:38]: Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:41]: And I think after that, I feel like I've accomplished my goal. Jordan [00:07:45]: Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:45]: And I feel from looking at your website Mhmm. Reading things, seeing you in interviews Mhmm. I think to your credit, I think you take it farther. Jordan [00:07:56]: Okay. Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:07:57]: You've you've met oh, okay. Just trying to just trying to set you up. Do you wanna Jordan [00:08:02]: make me knock it off the phone? No. I appreciate that, but I was wanting to push you a little because I don't I don't think that anyone who does this type of work really just cares about the surface level, if that makes sense. So I No. Reginald Ferguson [00:08:18]: No. It does it does make sense. And I'm not trying to sound superficial in my approach by any stretch of imagination. But I still am willing to acknowledge that I think I think you and also Andrew Weitz of the Weitz effect Yeah. I think the 2 of you are more in common with the with your approach Mhmm. Than I. Jordan [00:08:44]: Okay. That's Reginald Ferguson [00:08:45]: fair. You know, I really I really feel that way. Jordan [00:08:48]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:08:48]: So I I have no problem giving props to you and, you know, to him as well. Yeah. So because you talk about and it's it's not that I don't believe it, but you really you really speak it in terms of you talk about confidence, you talk about mindset Jordan [00:09:06]: Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:09:07]: And you talk about how that is integrated with the choosing of the close. Jordan [00:09:12]: Yes. That's true. And I appreciate you for acknowledging that. What is really important to me and what is the foundation of my entire business is helping people to use clothing as a vehicle to get to a place where they can up level their performance. So as you know, when people are in the right clothing, the clothing that authentically aligns with who they are in the inside, the clothing that makes them feel like a total badass, then the way they show up in the world is completely different. And when we show up in the world in a different place, the opportunities open up to us. Us. So whether they're opportunities we create for ourselves or opportunities that are presented to us, I think our life changes when we show up that way, when we show up from a place of absolute empowerment and self confidence. Jordan [00:10:05]: And it's that that drives me to do the work that I'm doing. So I think the difference for me and for other people that are in the same field as me is that I'm a stylist. And though I do care about style, it isn't my preliminary objective. So my preliminary objective is how do I bring something out of somebody that is deeply rooted, that is in there, that is, you know, their most authentic self. How do I bring it out using clothing? And how do I, like, 10 x their life from there by creating this world where they feel like the absolute psychology of the mindset and just using the clothing as the vehicle. So clothing is wonderful, and I'm so all about style and everything to do with that. But it's what can the style do for the person? Or what can the clothing do for the person? How does it magnify their life? How does it open up abundant opportunities to them when they put that stuff on? And they feel like, oh, yeah. This is it. Jordan [00:11:17]: I'm ready to put myself out into the world. I'm ready to talk to new people and, you know, just broaden my horizon and not revert within myself where I feel self conscious or I wanna be hidden or I wanna make myself small. Reginald Ferguson [00:11:32]: So can you give me and can you give the listeners a clear cut example of that? Of course. Yeah. Yeah. Jordan [00:11:40]: I would love to. There's a client there's a client that comes to mind right away. So she's a female top, top, top financial executive at a major financial firm here in LA. She was referred by another client, and we chatted back and forth for months. And she was really apprehensive. It was nothing she'd ever done before. And I'm not a pushy person. So I left it to her and knew that if the time came, she would come back to me. Jordan [00:12:07]: From my other client, I knew that she was a woman who really had no interest in style. She wore, what's that brand? Under Armour to work. Imagine this is a woman that's managing, like, a multi, multi $1,000,000 portfolio. And she would wear that to meetings. And she didn't care because she knew what she brought to the table, so she felt. And then one day, I got a call from her and she said, next week, I am going to a meeting with Bill Gates, and we are going to meet the president. And I will be in a room filled with men. I'm the only woman invited to this meeting. Jordan [00:12:46]: I finally realized that the clothing that I'm wearing isn't appropriate for that situation because I wanna be on the same level as I think there was 10. All 10 of the men in the room with me. So she finally agreed to do a do a session. We did a fitting at our home because we do all of our services in our client's home, and we have racks of clothing for her to try. And she was trying things, and she was feeling good in them. But I'm sure you know from your own clients, there's that moment that happens in a client's eye when they put something on and it's like, this is it. And she put it on, and it was a it was a blazer from Ted Baker, and it wasn't, you know, it wasn't the most extravagant item I've ever put on a client, but it was the right item for her. And she put it on and she said, I feel like the first female president of the United States. Jordan [00:13:41]: And she took that and she went to her meeting, and she wrote me afterwards. And she just said, my mental place was exactly where it needed to be for that meeting. And in a situation like that, it becomes abundantly clear to me that the work is about getting the person to that place. So the style, as I said, it becomes that vehicle. It allows that woman to walk into that space and be able to perform at her fullest ability. And Understood. Yeah. And that's what drives me. Jordan [00:14:13]: I'm so hungry to create those opportunities for as many people as I can. Reginald Ferguson [00:14:19]: Since a menswear podcast, can you also give an equivalent example for a male client? Jordan [00:14:24]: Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:14:25]: Particularly since they're your favorite? Jordan [00:14:26]: Yes. Of course. So there's a male that comes to mind that I worked with. I think it was last year. And he had several disabilities that were he felt were holding him back. He had lived with his mother. He was in his forties. He was had lived with his mother because his mother was ill and she had passed away. Jordan [00:14:46]: So he was living now by himself as an adult male for the first time in his life. The disabilities had always made him feel like he couldn't socialize. And because he had his mother, he had that world for him. But now she was gone. And he really wanted to be able to go out and exist in a social capacity within the world. But he didn't feel like he had any semblance of semblance of confidence to be able to do that. And when I first met him, I felt like I wasn't sure how I would be able to give him what he needed, because he was unclear about the his direction completely. But we were able to sit down together. Jordan [00:15:29]: And we look through tons of visual Reginald Ferguson [00:15:32]: references, which is so key Jordan [00:15:32]: for me with a client who's unclear of where they're he knew what he he had a great sense of style. He knew what he knew what he He had a great sense of style. He knew what he liked, but he had no idea of how to put it together. And so it was an involved process because several of the disabilities impacted the way clothing would fit him. So it was quite an involved process. But we did his fitting. And it was a very similar experience to that woman in that he got to see himself for the first time in his life, in a way that looked like those pictures that we had shared together, in a way that made him feel like I could have that life that those other men that I'm looking to also have. And so we redid his entire wardrobe. Jordan [00:16:28]: And he actually started socializing. He felt very nervous, and he would message me about it. But he started he had this dream of being able to go to nightclubs, which it sounds like to you and I, it sounds like just go. But for him, he had always held this narrative in his mind that held him back thinking I can't. It's not something I could do. And getting dressed, it was simple clothes for him as well. I think the ones that were the the big ones for him, he loved acne, but he even loved Topman. So it was just like these things that Reginald Ferguson [00:17:04]: Oh, wow. Yeah. Jordan [00:17:04]: It was these things that brought out his personality, made him feel like when he put them on, that like, yeah, this is me. I can be this person. That person is inside of me, and now I have a way to bring it out. And he was able to go out. He I've spoken to him this year. He's dating. So there are things that Reginald Ferguson [00:17:26]: Yeah. Jordan [00:17:26]: You know, there are things that for a lot of us, we take it for granted because Reginald Ferguson [00:17:31]: Sure. Jordan [00:17:31]: We don't have that narrative to that extent that tells us that we're held back or that we're we can't go do those things or that people will look at us a certain way. But to be able to give something to someone like that, that, yeah, it's about the clothing, but it's about so much more. It's about breaking down that narrative, that saying I can't, And getting somebody to a place that reframes that, and helps them feel like, actually, maybe I can. And let me just try it one time, or 2 times, or 3 times until, oh, next year, I'm dating already. You know? So it's those opportunities that they drive me every single day. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:10]: Well, I think you hit it on the head for me specifically, that all this in terms of fashion, in terms of style, I take for granted. Jordan [00:18:20]: Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:20]: Because I was literally reared in that type of atmosphere through my family. My mom and my late grandparents. So I think that's why if, if someone asked me specifically, I think I can be as articulate about it as you. But it's not something I immediately think of. Jordan [00:18:41]: Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:18:42]: I think I view it a little bit more transactional, to be candid. Mhmm. Not that I don't wish my clients on their way for better lives Right. And better experiences and better esteem, but I take it for granted because I possess those things. Jordan [00:19:00]: Right. Yeah. I think so. And, actually, it's interesting you're saying that because sometimes I reflect on why I feel the way that I do. And I think it's something I haven't been able to take for granted because it's also something personally that I've held myself. I think as especially as a younger woman, it was a story that was always there, a comparative story. And so I think understanding what those feelings feel like myself, I am really able to understand them in my clients. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:36]: So let's let's talk about that. Yeah. So you said, hey. The reason why I can identify with my clients is because of having those feelings yourself. Jordan [00:19:46]: Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:19:47]: So what led you what was your defining moment, do you think, or maybe it wasn't just one moment, maybe it was a series, that led you to break out of your shell? And when you did that, what did you transition to, not only as a person, but career wise? Jordan [00:20:10]: Yeah. Well, I don't know if I ever have broken out of my shell. I think I'm still getting there. But to make that transition career wise, it came about 10 years ago, and I was living in Canada. And I And Reginald Ferguson [00:20:28]: you're from the 6. Right? Jordan [00:20:29]: I am. Yes. I'm from Toronto. Just outside of Toronto. And I realized that there was this piece of me that was so connected to other people, but I didn't know how to service them. And I wanted to be able to, and I knew that wasn't happening in my current state. The where I want the current state of my existence, the way I was in Canada. Clear Reginald Ferguson [00:21:01]: to me at that point in Jordan [00:21:01]: my life. But I always knew that I was clear to me at that point in my life. But I always knew that I was drawn to wanting to help people in some way. And this naturally evolved. But it's always been something that's been within me, if that answers your question. It's always been something that's there that is, been a tendency to just want to be able to empathize with people, and to connect with them. And then to be able to create a safe space for them. And that was always there. Jordan [00:21:34]: And now in my business, it's just brought that to the forefront. Reginald Ferguson [00:21:39]: So did you find that literally moving to LA, that was fertile ground for you, not just from a business perspective, but for what you're saying in terms of things going on inside of you and your your willingness to branch out. Like, for example, you didn't come to us. We would gladly take it. But but you went over there. Yeah. Take that take that LA. But the point is people come they go to New York or they go to LA from different points in the world to realize their dream. Jordan [00:22:14]: They do. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:16]: So you you are also one of those people that LA really it gave you the foundation that you needed to spread your wings, so to speak. Am I correct? Jordan [00:22:26]: You're spot on, and it really did. There's something about the city, and I think it is partially from coming from a from a place with a completely different climate. So there was and I I knew you were gonna laugh at that, but I'm dead serious about that. No. Reginald Ferguson [00:22:43]: No. No. I I I trust what you're saying. Jordan [00:22:46]: There was something about this laugh. There was something about coming to a place where where winter didn't have snow that created this, I don't know, just this place in my mind that could create, you know, that could imagine something that was unimaginable before. And I think there's a lot of misconceptions about LA or maybe they're not I guess, misconception is the wrong word. But there's a lot of experiences about LA that give it a bad name, I think. But for me, LA has just been this place that I was able to build something in. And just as you said it, it's a place like New York, where you're you can build those dreams that you have. And I think that would have been in me wherever I lived, I think I would have been able to build wherever I existed in the world. But something about being in this place was just such a driver for me. Jordan [00:23:45]: And I'm I never wanna leave. This is my home now. I'm so lucky to be here. Reginald Ferguson [00:23:50]: And how long have you been in LA now? Jordan [00:23:52]: I'm going on 10 years. Reginald Ferguson [00:23:54]: Okay. Oh, you're you're official. Jordan [00:23:56]: You're official. Yeah. Yeah. I think so. You You Reginald Ferguson [00:23:59]: must have went crazy when the Lakers Jordan [00:24:01]: won. Oh, gosh. It was right outside of my apartment, and it was crazy here. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:08]: Oh, very cool. Jordan [00:24:09]: Yeah. Very Reginald Ferguson [00:24:09]: cool. Okay, Lakers. Jordan [00:24:11]: You're right. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:12]: I mean, what are you what are you gonna do? What are you gonna do? So, you know, you mentioned something earlier. So here's a key difference in our businesses. My clients come with me for the shopping. You go to the client. Jordan [00:24:29]: I do. Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:31]: And I've been to LA. I'll just leave it at that. Jordan [00:24:35]: Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:35]: Been to LA. I've done a little biz in LA. It's very spread out. Jordan [00:24:39]: It is. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:40]: I think calling it a city is a misnomer. Mhmm. Sorry, LA. It's just from a New York City standpoint, I'm just I'm like, there's a bunch of little spots connected by freeway intro infrastructure. Jordan [00:24:53]: You respond on. Reginald Ferguson [00:24:55]: So so my question is, how, with the place being so spread out and, you know, I know you handle LA, which also means you handle Santa Monica, you know, blah blah blah blah blah. It's a it's a big footprint. How do you figure out blocking the appropriate time with this stereotypical freeway traffic taking merchandise to clients? Jordan [00:25:29]: Yeah. It is it is I was as you were asking me that I was thinking. Reginald Ferguson [00:25:35]: I left touched a nerve. Jordan [00:25:37]: It is no small feat, and I think a lot of people have this you know, I'm the same is for you. A lot of people have this misconception, like, it is very glamorous, and I would say it is so far from, the just the driving alone or the the commuting as you're talking about, that part is so challenging. But it's part of our process. And for majority of the clients that come to us, that's what they're looking for because they are so busy. And for a lot of them, they shopping is not enjoyable for them, not in the conventional sense. So to be able to have somebody that does it all for them and brings it directly to their home is a game changer. And in terms of the traffic, we just have to plan accordingly. You know, some clients we have that it could take, on a certain day, 3 hours to get there, and it's taken 5 hours to get back to the office afterwards. Jordan [00:26:37]: But that's part of it. And it just you know, that day needs to be blocked out accordingly. But what I'm aware of is that the business model that we have here for the clients that we service, it works. And it is what they are hiring us for. And so whatever we need to do to accommodate that is what we do. And there is, you know, there's nothing off the table when it comes to that. Whatever a client needs is what we provide them with. Reginald Ferguson [00:27:06]: Holy smokes, Jordan. You should have seen my face when you said 3 hours 5 hours. Oh. From a New York City perspective, I should have just laid on my sofa instead of sitting on my sofa for the recording. What? Jordan [00:27:21]: I'm reg. I'll tell like, then when they say that traffic here is no joke, it is no joke. So we have, you know, we have clients that are far, some in San Diego or, you know, in in and around that area. So if if you hit it at the wrong time of day coming back, like, we'll try to schedule a fitting for a client that far away that starts usually at 10. But we have some fittings that go 5 hours. So if we're coming back from a fitting, let's say we're leaving there at 2 or 3, it could. It's hours to get back. It's like crawling the entire way. Jordan [00:28:02]: And you know what it feels like to be with a client for an extended period of time. You need to be on. So the energy that is consumed in a 5 hour fitting and then a 3 to 5 hour drive home, it's like the next day is like a a hangover. It's like coming off of something. You know? It's your the toll, the tax it takes on your body. But, the mindset I just try to stay in is that what I am giving to that person in that time that I am with them is it's life changing. And they are getting to see themselves in that 5 hour fitting in a completely different way than they've ever seen themselves before. So to give that value to somebody else, it's absolutely worthwhile even with the 5 hour drive. Reginald Ferguson [00:28:52]: Right. And I mean and kudos to you because, yeah. I just take the train. Right. It's the MTA. Like, I'm not doing a commuter train. No. It's not happening. Reginald Ferguson [00:29:06]: So you have to answer this for me. So how many clients then how do you block out your time for the week? So are you operating 7 days a week based on clients' availability, 5 days a week? And then more and then the follow-up is, so how do you block out your time? Is it is it one client a day and that's it? And I know a lot of it's contingent on this geography. But can you break that down for me, listeners? Jordan [00:29:33]: Yeah. So it is 7 hour 7 days a week, and the time is blocked out typically by fitting. So if there's a day like today, I don't have any fittings, then this is a flexible day. And today, I'm just working on the computer, but usually it would be a shopping day. Fitting days are blocked out just for one client on that day. Because as as I said, the physical tax and the mental tax are tool that it takes Yeah. Is to it's generally too difficult to something like that, where I'm only gonna be with them in a small capacity, and it doesn't take that much of my bandwidth, then I could see multiple clients on one day. But if we're doing, like, an initial fitting, that first fitting where we might be bringing $70,000 worth of merchandise to a client, that's taking everything from me, and I'll block up the entire day for that client. Jordan [00:30:34]: Otherwise, if I'm leaving it for a shopping day, then it could be multiple clients being shopped on one day. Reginald Ferguson [00:30:41]: Okay. So I wanna deep dive into all of this. Yeah. Because to me, having a client for a day, that's it. Meaning, one client a day. Yeah. And it could be a few hours because the one thing we do share is is the physical exertion Jordan [00:30:56]: Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:30:57]: Which is taxing. Jordan [00:30:58]: It's so taxing. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:00]: Right. But you're getting into your ride. Like, I couldn't imagine. I mean, to me, I'm getting on the train. I could Jordan [00:31:06]: Well, I'm still just sitting there. It doesn't go very fast. The traffic is there. I'm just crawling down the freeway. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:13]: I just feel I wouldn't be you know, I am a driver, though I'm a New Yorker. I'm a licensed driver. So I just I couldn't imagine getting into a car for hours Jordan [00:31:23]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:31:23]: Knowing that I have to be focused on the highway and focused on the streets. So to me, I'm exhausted. I get on the train. It's it it couldn't be any more different. Jordan [00:31:36]: Yeah. It that part of it is really hard. And if I'm driving within a one of my other stylists, I will always tell them that we can't talk on the drive home because there's almost Really? Yeah. Not in a not in a negative way. They know that. But there I just it takes everything out of me to the point that I all I just can't formulate many words to speak afterwards. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:02]: Right. Jordan [00:32:02]: So we drive in silence. Yeah. Yes. Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:07]: Do you know what I Pretty much. Do you find because of this that you conduct your diet in a certain way? Jordan [00:32:19]: Yeah. I do. I am very strict on my diet. And I'm so aware of the impact that it has on my energy that I'm trying to be as mindful about health, nutrition, physical activity, and all of those things as I can because my clients are relying on me to be in peak state. So I wanna be able to deliver that to them. I am vegan. I try to be active every day, and I try to be as healthy as I possibly can be. Reginald Ferguson [00:32:56]: So I wanna go back into you go to the client. Mhmm. So first of all, when you created Mikado 3 years ago, was it even ever a question about, oh, well, maybe you will have the client come to us, and we'll take them around. Or did you immediately know that, hey. The way I'm going to be to them. So how did that how did that what was the genesis of that? Jordan [00:33:32]: Yeah. I love that question. It's been so clear to me since day 1. So that's always always been the nonnegotiable. Actually, even when I moved to LA, I to not to get off track, but I did my BA in Toronto. And the way I was able to move to the US was on a student visa. So there was a 1 year visa or 1 year program at FIDM that granted me a 1 year work visa after that. And the entry entry project, I think it was to get into the school was to come up with a business plan. Jordan [00:34:10]: And my business plan, though it was very different is essentially McConnell now. And even at that point, 10 years ago, I knew that I wanted to be able to create a concierge service that would handle shopping for people. It didn't look the way it does now, but Right. It was the foundation was there. So fast forward to when I started my company, I was just clear on that the type of clients I was gonna work with were going to be people that either didn't have the time to do their own shopping, didn't have the interest in doing it or didn't have the wherewithal. So being in a shopping in a conventional sense, was too overwhelming for them being in the store where they were possibly limited on options. You know, it's a little bit different here in LA than than there in that I might go to a mall, and there's only 5 things that will work there for a client. And I need to go to another one, and it's so far away. Jordan [00:35:12]: And I'm not gonna Reginald Ferguson [00:35:13]: check I'm Jordan [00:35:14]: not gonna check a client around on that mission to the next mall that might take me an hour to drive to. So I was always clear that I would be able to help people best if I could bring them the things that were pulled specifically for them, that they weren't going to be in a mall setting where they were distracted by all these other things that weren't aligned for them, whether it's sizes that aren't for them, brands that aren't in their budget, clothes that don't suit their aesthetic. And I would pull them only the things that met their criteria, and then bring it to them in the most comfortable environment possible for them to shop in. And that would be their home. And there wouldn't be a sales associate there. There would just be them and their stylist or multiple stylists. And they would be able to try clothes on at a pace that worked for them. They would feel comfortable. Jordan [00:36:07]: They wouldn't feel like they're being judged by anyone there. It will be the safest environment that they could possibly try clothes on in. And then they would just keep what they liked and everything else would disappear. And they would never have to think about how to do anything with it. After that, somebody would show them how to style it. They would teach them how to put the outfits together. They would tailor whatever they needed tailored for them. And then they they would just be in their closet. Jordan [00:36:35]: They wouldn't have to think about it. And I just I've always known that that's the way I wanted to work with people. I just I wanted to take as much of the work off of their plate as possible and produce amazing results for them without them having to wonder how it was produced. Reginald Ferguson [00:36:52]: Wow. So this really has a lot to do with the byproduct would you have the same business model? Jordan [00:37:11]: I would. And yeah. I would. Reginald Ferguson [00:37:14]: Okay. Jordan [00:37:14]: I know that the shopping aspect on my end would be much more challenging without the car. So I would probably rely on a lot of online shopping and deliveries. But I I do work with clients in New York, not in the same capacity as here. And I work at the same way because the client demographic doesn't change. So I attract the same types of clients here as I do in San Francisco and as I do in New York. And they are always just really busy people is, you know, what they all have in common. So being able to provide this for them takes one thing off their plate that day that they don't have to worry about. I would also give kudos to the people like yourself, who take a client to the mall with them, because that feels gives me anxiety, to be honest. Jordan [00:38:12]: That that makes me feel like there is so much pressure to perform in that moment. Because I'm thinking, what if that store doesn't have something that I need for that client? What I rely on is being able to okay. This store didn't have it. Let me go check that one. That Nordstrom didn't have it. I know 10 other ones that I can go to to look for. But bringing a client to one spot and hoping that they have everything there, that gives me anxiety. So I think for me, a lot of it is delivering for my clients, but it's also the way that I know that I work better. Jordan [00:38:49]: I work better with more options. So having them not there watching me do the process makes me feel better. So I think a lot of it must be me myself. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:00]: Yeah. Yeah. No. I I I think I think, candidly, it's a combination. It's it's satisfying your needs in order for you to work effectively and satisfying the client's needs and desires in order to feel comfortable. Jordan [00:39:13]: Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:14]: So, you know, so it's a great it's a great combination. Jordan [00:39:17]: It is. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:19]: So can you talk me through and talk the listener through how it all starts? So meaning, for example, Meaning, because, particularly, I wanna understand how you do all this shopping ahead of time. And then and then and then deliver it to the client. Because I don't do that. Right? Yeah. So, again, we're different because you're like, hey. I couldn't do that. I'm like, I love I love the pressure. I can handle Yeah. Jordan [00:39:52]: I would not I would have no clients. They would leave. I would do such a bad job. They would leave. Reginald Ferguson [00:39:59]: And then but then your thing, I'm like, wait a second. That sounds like a lot of upfront money on your side. So if you could literally talk me through how this works. Jordan [00:40:11]: I would love to. Reginald Ferguson [00:40:12]: I'm I'm client reg to referral. I come to you. Amazing. Take it away, Jewel. Jordan [00:40:16]: Yeah. For sure. So I come to you in your home. We're gonna find a time that works with works best with your schedule, and I'm gonna come to your home. We are gonna talk so intimately that when I leave, you are most likely gonna tell me that you feel like you just did a therapy session, and I am gonna know everything I could possibly need to know about you to shop on your behalf. And that is not just what is your favorite color. That is when do you feel the best? When do you feel the most vulnerable? What makes you what do you put on and and ultimately feel like a badass, and what do you put on and feel like you wanna be invisible, and kinda everything in between. Walk me through your wardrobe history and everything that you've gone through in the past that has led you to this point. Jordan [00:41:03]: I'm also gonna wanna understand what do you wear to work, what do you wear when you're meeting your best client, what do you wear on the weekend. You know, give me every aspect of your life and tell me what what role clothing plays in it. We're also gonna look through what you currently own. Because even if it's not representative of the direction that you wanna go in, it lets me see what choices you've been making. So it lets me see what you've been drawn to, and it helps me determine what I'm gonna be able to pick for you. Or how do I up level where you are, but make it so that it's still stuff you're gonna wear? Because I don't what my goal is is not to bring you stuff that I just told you is fashionable or it's it works for you right now, or it's trendy at the moment. I wanna bring you stuff that you are actually going to wear, and you are gonna feel good wearing. So I need to see what you have been wearing so that it can make choices that still align with who you are. Jordan [00:42:01]: From there, you're going to determine your budget. And that is entirely up to you. It has nothing to do with what your budget is has nothing to do with my service pricing. So your budget is what it is, and you are gonna provide 50% of that upfront. That 50% is gonna go towards your shopping. But whatever your budget is let's say your budget is $10,000. I'm gonna bring you 7 to 9 times your budget. So in your fitting, you'll see anywhere between What? $790,000 worth of clothing. Jordan [00:42:37]: Because Okay. Reginald Ferguson [00:42:38]: Woah. Woah. Woah. Pump the brakes. Pump the brakes. First, my first question is, how long is that consultation? Jordan [00:42:44]: The consultation is about 2 hour an hour and a half to 2 hours. Reginald Ferguson [00:42:50]: Holy cow. Okay. So you answered that. How are you doing this 9 times the budget amount? Because that's coming out of your pocket. Jordan [00:43:01]: It is. Reginald Ferguson [00:43:02]: Please explain this in detail because I could never do this. Jordan [00:43:07]: Yeah. It's a combination of developing really great business credit, having access to a lot of credit, which I think, you know, as stylists, even when I was starting out, I didn't realize the role that that played in it. So that's a huge part. Another part is forming relationships where I'm able to pull clothing, and have that out for an extended period of time. And that's another one that that takes years and experience to formulate those relationships and be able to bring, you know, take out that clothing without paying for huge a huge expensive front. And that's yeah. That's a really challenging part of it. But, yeah, that's how it works. Jordan [00:43:56]: So from there, after my consultation with you, the work on your end is done. So my goal when meeting when I met with you is that I should be able to shop really effectively on your behalf without having to have your input in anything now. From there, I'm gonna spend at least 2 weeks shopping for you. So it's a it's a process, and it's gonna be a combination of online and in person shopping or in store shopping. So I want access to the stuff that's not in the stores. And I don't know what it looks like in New York. But here, depending on what part of LA I'm in, the buying is gonna be completely different. And the buying might not be what my client needs. Jordan [00:44:43]: So if I'm buying something in Orange County, it looks a lot different than if I'm buying it in Beverly Hills. So I wanna find who has the stuff that matches what my client needs. And a lot of times I can only get it online. So I'm going to be, I need enough time to place those orders and have it come in. And then I'm going to supplement that with a lot of in store shopping. And then while I'm doing that, I wanna see how your racks are coming together. Because when I also do is I don't just bring racks of clothing to the client because they still aren't that well versed in style yet. So they're just gonna see 2 or 3 racks of tons of clothes and have no idea what to do with it. Jordan [00:45:24]: So while that stuff is coming in, I'm putting outfits together and seeing how can I mix and match everything I'm buying for you so that you're getting pieces that are really versatile? So that those racks are coming together with the outfits. And then after the 2 weeks, everything's getting packed up, and it's coming to you in a fitting. Usually the fitting will have 1 to 2 stylists, or sorry, 2 to 3 stylists. And it usually 2, because that's, like, the most comfortable number of people. And that's getting set up in your home. Set up usually takes about 45 minutes to get that into a client's home. And then you have, like, your own personalized boutique set up in your home. There's Right. Jordan [00:46:08]: Racks of clothing, shoes are everywhere if, you know, if it's somebody who wanted shoes. We try to present it in the most visually appealing way possible that doesn't feel like we've taken over someone's home. But it should feel like when you step into it, like, oh my gosh. I'm in a little store, and it's in my home. And now you can try on everything you like. But the beautiful part is that I'm not a sales associate, and I am not affiliated with anyone. Anyone. So there's never gonna be a pressure for you to feel like you need to buy something because, you know, I'm the girl at Nordstrom making a commission off of what you're buying. Jordan [00:46:48]: It's not the case at all. So why the 7 to 9 number has become the magic number for me because it's the space that I found that people need to have options to choose. So if if your budget was 10,000, and I brought you $10,000 worth of clothes, that would be saying that I'm gonna be spot on on every choice I made for you. And you're gonna like a 100 percent of the items I'm gonna bring for you. And that's just not reality. Not the way that I've worked. But when I bring this 7 to 9 number, that's the space that always works that the person will either end up at their budget or oftentimes go over it. But they'll end up with a the perfect assortment of clothing that aligns with what they need. Jordan [00:47:33]: From there, we're gonna pack everything up. We're gonna leave. And you are just gonna keep the clothing that worked for you. We're gonna return everything else. And that's usually the more grueling process of just, you know, the receipts, the paperwork, the sending it back. Oh my. Yeah. Just the logistics of that part, the keeping track of what is for what client. Jordan [00:47:57]: So, yeah, I think if I would have known going into it how much work was involved, I might have started a different business. But it works. And that's it's the reason that I keep it the way it is. It works. That being said, we do have a virtual component to our business. So we do offer virtual services at a lower price point with a much less involved business model. But for the bread and butter clients that we have, this is the service model that works. Reginald Ferguson [00:48:29]: I gotta tell you, just listening, I got exhausted. Jordan [00:48:33]: Me too. Yeah. Me too. It's like the day the shopping day is, like, 30,000 steps a day. Like, by the end of the day, your body, like, it just doesn't work anymore. That's why I said I'm trying to stay in, like, peak physical shape just so I could continue to shop. Reginald Ferguson [00:48:54]: Oh my gosh. It's yeah. I mean, this couldn't be this this is a 180 degrees different from what I do. Jordan [00:49:02]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:49:03]: So wow. Yeah. I mean, that's why I'm in New York, and that's why you're in LA. Yes. Jordan [00:49:08]: Yeah. Exactly. Reginald Ferguson [00:49:09]: Because holy shmoly. I mean, that's it's impressive. And, also, you just mentioned something about all the returns. In a way, you actually hinted at it. It's like you're a stylist on a shoot Yeah. But the shoot is the client's home. Jordan [00:49:25]: Exactly. It's ex and I came from that background, so that could also have a lot to do with the, you know, with the process. But it's exactly like being on a shoot. Like, the returns are endless. Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:49:39]: Yeah. Oh my gosh. How do you keep track of all that? I mean, I've been at shoots. That's why that's why I do not and I never will call myself a stylist because I am not. Yeah. I'm a fashion consultant. Yeah. Could be more different, and it's all Jordan [00:49:55]: respect. I don't want to call myself a stylist either, but, yeah, that that part that aspect of it, the returns in the organization, like, you need to be very type a, or you better have somebody working for you who is because, otherwise, you're losing money. You're, you know, you're losing you can't keep track of things. You're losing your receipts. Like Reginald Ferguson [00:50:20]: god. Jordan [00:50:20]: Yeah. That part's not fun. Reginald Ferguson [00:50:22]: Right. How big how big is your team, and has it contracted, since COVID? Jordan [00:50:28]: It has most certainly contracted since COVID. And right now, our team is down to 5. So I let I had to let go of people in March because overnight, we our clients didn't even close anymore. Reginald Ferguson [00:50:44]: Right. Jordan [00:50:45]: We deal predominantly with people in the corporate sector, and majority are in law, in finance, in places that they were needing to go to the office, and they were needing to be dressed up, and they were needing to look a certain way. And overnight, they didn't need that anymore. And if they needed, you know, if they needed a one off thing, they would handle that themselves. So that really gave birth to the virtual side of our business, which is, is really succeeding now after months of implementing it. And that is a blessing in and of itself, because it has taken a little bit of the physical toll off of me personally. Sure. But yeah. Yeah. Jordan [00:51:32]: I think I'm sure there must be similarities for you as well, but COVID has played a huge role in in our business model and having to pivot and having to rethink the way that we're doing everything. Reginald Ferguson [00:51:47]: Sure. Yeah. Certainly. I mean, I'm just in a holding pattern myself. Yeah. I I bring that up every every podcast Yeah. To be honest. You so with COVID are you able to go into stores? Like you mentioned the mall and I'm like we don't have any malls really. Jordan [00:52:02]: Right. Sorry. I forgot about that. No. Reginald Ferguson [00:52:04]: No. It's okay. No. No. No. I couldn't help myself. I'm like, mall? What is that? Yeah. No. Reginald Ferguson [00:52:10]: I mean, but, technically, we do. Jordan [00:52:11]: Right. Reginald Ferguson [00:52:12]: Time Warner Center is a mall. Yeah. Let's keep it real. Jordan [00:52:15]: Yes. Reginald Ferguson [00:52:15]: But Yeah. We have a we have a few. We're not Jordan [00:52:19]: Right. Yeah. When COVID first started for months, everything was shut down. So we were reliant on a 100% online online shopping. Now the malls are open again. So that's a blessing. I will say where it becomes the biggest challenge is the returns. So we were having to do our returns by mail by shipping everything back, and that was really difficult. Jordan [00:52:45]: That from the cash flow standpoint was really hard because whereas we could do a fitting and knock out, you know, $50,000 worth of returns in 2 days and get that money back, That was great. But sending it back, keeping track of every single tracking number of return that's going back. That was a nightmare. So for stores to be open again is really a blessing. And to be able to go and shop at a store, in a physical store again, you know, I remember I was in Saks the 1st day I opened after everything, and just to be back there again and to be able to look at things and touch them. And, you know, if it's brands you're familiar with, online is okay. But if I'm looking at brands that I'm not as familiar with, or a collection that I'm not as familiar with, a new season, oftentimes, I I need to see it at first, and then I can go to online and buy from there. Reginald Ferguson [00:53:42]: Sure. Sure. Yeah. It's funny you mentioned about the returns. I mean, Jordan, you're part of the problem. You're buying all this stuff. Jordan [00:53:51]: I know. Reginald Ferguson [00:53:52]: And then Jordan [00:53:53]: I know. Reginald Ferguson [00:53:53]: And then you're returning. I mean, that's why online business is, like, how is this gonna be sustainable? Because people buy 3 sizes. Jordan [00:54:02]: Yeah. I know. Reginald Ferguson [00:54:03]: They pick 1 if they're lucky. Yep. And they return the other 2 because it's not an issue to return. Jordan [00:54:08]: Yeah. Well, I am part of the problem, but I will say I'm actually part of the solution as well because, you know, a client would never go to a mall or a store and be able to come up with 10 to $15,000 worth of purchases for themselves. I mean, unless they were going to, like, Balenciaga or something. But if they were going to Nordstrom or Bloomingdale's, a client most people, they know what they like, but they need guidance to get there. So Right. To be able to help somebody buy $15,000 worth of clothing in one day is not something they're gonna do on their own. So while I'm hurting, creating a problem in some way, I'm, I like to think that I'm also fostering economic growth in other ways. Reginald Ferguson [00:54:57]: Well played. Well played. Jordan [00:55:00]: Yeah. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:03]: Jordan, I didn't even scratch the surface of what I wanted to talk about with you. Jordan [00:55:07]: Oh my goodness. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:08]: And yeah. I know. I know. All day. Oh, that's so kind. And you would be exhausted if you did that. Trust me. Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:14]: So I exhausted if you did that. Trust me. Jordan [00:55:17]: Mhmm. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:17]: So I think we're gonna we're gonna have to have you come back. Jordan [00:55:21]: I would love absolutely love that. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:24]: You know, when you, you know, when you're not doing all your TV stuff. Jordan [00:55:28]: I would absolutely love to come back. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:33]: So I'm gonna I like to leave guests with a question sometimes I'm gonna do with you because you kept on saying badass. Jordan [00:55:40]: Yes. I'm Reginald Ferguson [00:55:40]: like, we're a family show. Jordan [00:55:42]: What do you mean? Oh my gosh. I'm sorry. Reginald Ferguson [00:55:43]: No. No. I'm I'm totally busting on you. But so clearly, there's that's a key word and Yeah. And you know what that means for you. So what I wanna what I wanna ask you is, what does it mean to be fly? Jordan [00:55:58]: Oh, what does it mean to be fly? I think to be fly is almost similar to be about us. And what that means Reginald Ferguson [00:56:06]: to me Jordan [00:56:07]: is that we keep showing up. We keep trying in the face of trouble, in the face of things that don't work for us. And every time we do, we win a little bit more. And it's those people that you see that, that they're persistent and they don't give up. That those are the ones that you're drawn to, and those are the ones that I feel like, that's a fly guy or that's a fly girl. That's a total badass. Like, she just keeps giving it in the face of adversity and doesn't give up. Reginald Ferguson [00:56:40]: Well said. Jordan Stolch, founder of Makoto Personal Styling, out in LA. It's been a real pleasure. Jordan [00:56:49]: It's such a pleasure. Oh my gosh. I'm so thrilled to talk to you. Reginald Ferguson [00:56:53]: Particularly since we had technical difficulties the last time. We've come a mighty long way. Jordan [00:56:59]: We have. Reginald Ferguson [00:57:01]: Alright, Jordan. Be safe out there. Jordan [00:57:03]: Thank you so much, Reg. Reginald Ferguson [00:57:05]: It's my pleasure. Always be fly.
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