Name: Stephen Bailey
Title: Chief Marketing Officer
Organization/Business: Fluevog Shoes
What do you do and how did you get here?
I am the Chief Marketing Officer for John Fluevog Shoes. How I got here was by bike today. How this position came about was I started marketing the brand for John about 12 years ago. It was the perfect fit and it just grew. I love the brand, it suits my personality and I have been lucky enough to watch it grow substantially over the years. It has been a lot of fun.
What influences you and inspires you?
Just this morning I wrote down: “Inspiration comes from stimulation and perspiration”. I think what inspires me is the desire to learn, to discover new things, see new things, different people and places and experience other cultures. Really, it’s about keeping my senses both open and aware, and creating what comes from that.
If you had 15 minutes only, in Gastown, how would you spend it?
Sitting outside with a cup of coffee.
If you had a few hours in Gastown?
Food for sure. Window-shopping and more coffee. I feel that I have been to The Birds & The Beets, 200 days of their first 365 days that they have been open. I don’t know what I would do without that place. I almost have the same thing everyday. It’s the veggie sandwich that is hands down, the best veggie sandwich in the world. My other favourite spots are Revolver, Timbertrain, Tacofino, Meet and Chill Winston.
What do you love about the neighbourhood?
We’ve been here almost 9 years in this location and it has been great to see all the changes in Gastown. Just like when you hear elderly people talk about what’s different, I am now one of those older folk who talk about the changes! The majority has been positive and I feel that Gastown has been able to hold onto its authentic personality. There are a lot of different personalities here and that’s something I love. Gastown keeps growing. For example, we have gone from one coffee shop to nine, in the first three years that Fluevog has been here. None of them have closed. The growth of the neighbourhood, increased foot traffic, the addition of wonderful tenants; I feel that we are pretty lucky; we’re spoilt. It’s hard not to love working in this building here on Water Street. That’s a big part of it.
What’s your most memorable moment or experience in Gastown?
Jack White has been wearing the same Jack Boots that we have been making for the last 10 years. I am a big fan of Jack White. On one of his tours, he came to Vancouver and I managed to convince him to come to the store. We had just closed, which was convenient. He came to the store with his whole band. All 5 of them bought shoes and Jack bought 5 pairs; mostly boots. It was just myself and a few staff, hanging out with Jack White and Alison Mosshart in a Fluevog store. It was pretty great. Definitely the highlight of my time here so far.
What interesting thing should we know about you outside of work – hobbies, life, etc?
My wife and I have a fashion accessories business called Cursor & Thread, that takes up any of the time our two horrible children allow us to have.
What’s your philosophy for a good life?
It’s has taken me a lot of time to focus on positivity and being thankful for what I have. A big part of it is to stay open and willing to learn and as result, to grow – whether it’s being part of a company, or a neighbourhood or just as an individual. If you can be part of something that is growing, then you can receive a lot of joy and happiness. Trying to be thankful, to have awareness of what’s around you and the people around you, and focusing on the good things in life.