Behind the scene,

Received this letter from my mum this morning. It’s full of magazines/paper cut-outs with products, ideas & projects, that could in one way or another fit with the story we’re currently writing with Jojo Project… It also includes a letter starting like this “Mon chéri, Voilà quelques articles ou photo’s que j’ai lues ces dernières semaine…” It’s amazing & profoundly motivating to see people around you digging for ideas and wanting to help you out. Now, excuse me if this post is short…but I’ll take my phone and call her to thank her ;) Cheers.

Received this letter from my mum this morning. It’s full of magazines/paper cut-outs with products, ideas & projects, that could in one way or another fit with the story we’re currently writing with Jojo Project… It also includes a letter starting like this “Mon chéri, Voilà quelques articles ou photo’s que j’ai lues ces dernières semaine…” It’s amazing & profoundly motivating to see people around you digging for ideas and wanting to help you out. Now, excuse me if this post is short…but I’ll take my phone and call her to thank her ;) Cheers.

Hallo there! I’m feeling generous today, so here’s a little DJ Mix I did 2 weeks ago…Not quite sure if I already wrote a post about the 3rd thing I love most (after Jojo Project & my gf ;) ), electronic music. Oh and since I’m here, If you pass by Brussels, be sure to go to Libertine Supersport parties, it’s every saturday @ KNAL. If you’re lucky, I’ll be behind the decks (under my aka LEFROG) while you ‘ll be shaking your hips! In the meantime, do yourself a favour, and download this mix…chill and groovy modern house music, the perfect soundtrack for a busy day working. Enjoy!

Direct Download HERE

Chris.

Mmh. The good oldfashion paper Todo list. Quite funny though, we’re in 2011, there are hundreds of great ipad/iphone/i(whateva) Apps that are imagined and developped to help people in their everydau task-managment. But still, doesn’t seem to work for me… Physically writing things down still helps me structure my thoughts & ideas…now, i just need to find a great way not to lose these lists ;) 

Mmh. The good oldfashion paper Todo list. Quite funny though, we’re in 2011, there are hundreds of great ipad/iphone/i(whateva) Apps that are imagined and developped to help people in their everydau task-managment. But still, doesn’t seem to work for me… Physically writing things down still helps me structure my thoughts & ideas…now, i just need to find a great way not to lose these lists ;) 

Jojo’s temporary office, is actually the flat I moved in with my gf 2 weeks ago (Chris). A great place to live, eat & sleep, but I find it kind of important to mark a difference btw where you live and where you work. Love the feeling of acually getting home after work. I’m visiting a new working space tomorrow, will tell you more about that great & special place very soon! Puss.

Jojo’s temporary office, is actually the flat I moved in with my gf 2 weeks ago (Chris). A great place to live, eat & sleep, but I find it kind of important to mark a difference btw where you live and where you work. Love the feeling of acually getting home after work. I’m visiting a new working space tomorrow, will tell you more about that great & special place very soon! Puss.

For all creative folks out there, check out this great initiative form belgian beer brand Duvel. The idea: inviting graphic artists from around the world to customize beer goblets with their work. Our dear friend and Jojo’s (nearly) official street artist Denis Meyer was asked to design one of the glasses. This year’s competition is open to artists from Belgium, The Netherlands, England and France. The wining-prize will be part of the official Duvel Collection and sold in their shop. Interested? Then enter through http://www.duvelcollection.com/ Aaargh. Sometimes I wish I could draw… ;)

Check-out full article from coolhunting here.


What I love about the whole “reading on your ipad” thing, is that it actually enables me to read in bed, next to my girlfriend, while she’s sleeping (no light needed). Well, enough of the private stuff. Just wanted to share this last book I read: OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT SHOULD I DO ?” curious title for sure. This free e-book (pay with a tweet) written by “Thunder”, a creative team from the well-known “Jung von Matt” ad agency, was made to help you “make the move into the digital era of awsomness” as they call it. So does it really help? Im not quite sure, but it certainly pinpoints an important and serious issue: Traditional media (print, tv spots…) is getting less and less attention from the crowd as social/digital media is growing. In this, youngsters bring an understanding with them, that older ones don’t… A great & easy-to-read book, for all of you interested in advertising and digital world in general. Get it here. Rate: 8/10

What I love about the whole “reading on your ipad” thing, is that it actually enables me to read in bed, next to my girlfriend, while she’s sleeping (no light needed). Well, enough of the private stuff. Just wanted to share this last book I read: OH MY GOD WHAT HAPPENED AND WHAT SHOULD I DO ?” curious title for sure. This free e-book (pay with a tweet) written by “Thunder”, a creative team from the well-known “Jung von Matt” ad agency, was made to help you “make the move into the digital era of awsomness” as they call it. So does it really help? Im not quite sure, but it certainly pinpoints an important and serious issue: Traditional media (print, tv spots…) is getting less and less attention from the crowd as social/digital media is growing. In this, youngsters bring an understanding with them, that older ones don’t… A great & easy-to-read book, for all of you interested in advertising and digital world in general. Get it here. Rate: 8/10

Check-out this interview of Blake Mycoskie, Founder of Toms and godfather of the one for one movement that is growing bigger & bigger everyday. “You buy a pair, we give a pair to a child in need”: His simple idea was clearly one of our greatest inspiration to launch Jojo Project! 

Long life to Jojo Project!

Quitting my job 2 years ago to start an unreasonable project with a friend was certainly the best decision of my life. 

For me, that person is Jojo.

It has been such an experience. It opened my eyes/brain. 

After our decision to launch Jojo Project it took us exactly 9 months to get everything ready and the first 1.500 shoes in our garage. After what it has been a bumpy and amazing road till our recent decision to stop being an eco-friendly shoe brand. 

We encountered a rapid success first. Got big problems on the production side then. Moved production to Asia to keep Jojo alive finally. Had terrible legal issues along the road. Grow internationally with retailers in 8 countries this summer. Sold more than 1.000 pairs online since we started. Got invited in great conferences and gave as many talks to students as we could to inspire. And we finally sold most of the 5.000 pairs we ordered for this summer 2011. 

More importantly, we planted almost 2.000 trees and gave access to drinkable water to more than 2.000 people in Africa. For us, those numbers are big. For sure it’s nothing on a global scale but it’s big for 2 young & naive kids from Brussels. 

All this has been possible thanks to all the people that helped us. We could never thanks them enough for all their help, time & support.  

Specials thanks to our Brothers & sisters, girlfriends, photographs, web developer, illustrators, sales, friends, barman, creatives, business partners, customers, students, interns, etc. 

And of course, to everyone who talked about Jojo, in a good or a bad way. Because we know that Jojo Project is not perfect. There are many points to be improved. As we always said, we are trying to improve it everyday but for sure we will never be perfect. However, we have to admit that there were strong contradictions in our project (linked with the production of the shoes) that certainly helped us to take the decision to stop the shoes. 

Anyway, from the deepest of myself I would like to thank you all. You made this adventure possible. 

As we love to be transparent and that many people asked us the question: if you want to know if we are rich now, the answer is No and Yes

"No" - we still haven’t paid us a salary in the past 2 years. However, we just passed the break-even point a couple of weeks ago. Which is great news as it gives us room to invest in the "new" Jojo. 

"Yes" - Very rich. We met so many great people that helped us, broaden or horizon, gave us courage, opened our eyes, relied on us,… Since I started Jojo Project I clearly shifted from a destination Happiness to a journey Happiness philosophy. Meaning that while I was working in Finance I was getting happy by projecting myself in the future and what I would achieve. But since I started Jojo I am now enjoying every bit of life that makes my "journey" so unpredictable and so unique. I sometimes feels lonely and sometimes full of energy but I always feel happy as I am doing what I love most: Building meaningful things and trying hard to make it work. It’s not easy everyday but it’s worth every painful moments. And difficulties are certainly not over… It has been a bumpy road with big successes but also with failures. And as we always say, we learn much more from our mistakes. I confirm. And I learnt a lot with Jojo.

Deciding to stop the shoes hasn’t been a easy decision. Many people believe we are crazy but we are doing what we believe is the best for Jojo Project & its future. It’s true that we dedicated so much time to build and grow Jojo based on 1 product (shoe) and that stopping it means that Jojo is loosing part of itself. But we believe we build something bigger than that. Something meaningful, with values & a bit of craziness. And to be honest, we have been much more passionated about the ecological projects that we support and having our own brand than designing new shoes every 6 months. It’s a shame for a shoe brand, we know. It’s one of my first mistake, I miswrote my job description.  

But no complains. 

If I could, I would re-do it again. 

To conclude, from every set back there is an opportunity. We couldn’t give up. We had to see what we achieved, what we built. Having fans, followers & a community means that people trusted us & relied on us to deliver what we promised. So, for them and for ourselves we finally managed to get an AMAZING Plan B for Jojo. And I have to admit that I am very excited with the NEW version of Jojo. It’s closer to what we are passionate about and it’s a new challenge. Count on us to do everything to make it a success. 

Thank you, 

Stay tuned - Sign up HERE

Mat 

Live from Digital Media First/Brussels, some food for thought!  (Taken with instagram)

Live from Digital Media First/Brussels, some food for thought! (Taken with instagram)

This is it. Our website and online shop is officially closed. It was a tough decision to stop the shoes, but we believe it’s for the good sake. With Jojo, we believe we created something more than just a shoe brand. Many of you guys love the story, the business model of giving back & supporting great projects. We are now working our ass off for what is coming next…If i’d be you, I’d stay tuned ;) Also, be sure to come back later, my friend & partner Mat wrote a great detailed post that sums up these last 2 amazing years. Meanwhile, be sure to subscribe here to stay in the know!

This is it. Our website and online shop is officially closed. It was a tough decision to stop the shoes, but we believe it’s for the good sake. With Jojo, we believe we created something more than just a shoe brand. Many of you guys love the story, the business model of giving back & supporting great projects. We are now working our ass off for what is coming next…If i’d be you, I’d stay tuned ;) Also, be sure to come back later, my friend & partner Mat wrote a great detailed post that sums up these last 2 amazing years. Meanwhile, be sure to subscribe here to stay in the know!

As cool as baseball! (Taken with instagram)

As cool as baseball! (Taken with instagram)

Let s do some boxes. 54 pairs to ship today. (Taken with instagram)

Let s do some boxes. 54 pairs to ship today. (Taken with instagram)

Time to take my girl and my Jojo’s on a sunny downtown ride.  (Taken with instagram)

Time to take my girl and my Jojo’s on a sunny downtown ride. (Taken with instagram)

How nice is this..back where we shooted Jojo’s first video, for a meeting about Jojo’s future!  (Taken with instagram)

How nice is this..back where we shooted Jojo’s first video, for a meeting about Jojo’s future! (Taken with instagram)

Great morning track = Great day