Totally Biased Gift Guide: Good Read Edition

Our completely biased opinions

By Mike Reid

A lot of magazines and publications provide gift guides or lists of suggested products that include brands that advertise with that publication. I'm not talking about properly displayed content marketing, the type of thing when a magazine, publication or broadcaster indicates that it's 'Sponsored by (brand name here)', 'Advertorial', 'Ad', 'Produced for (brand name here)', etc. These things are generally accepted, it's a fine content/marketing line, but a line nonetheless. I'm talking about publications that create paid advertising and presented it as objective content or an author's genuine opinion. It's bullsh*t. So I decided to create a gift guide that includes 1) Products and brands I have a blatant biased towards, and 2) Are still kick ass products that you should buy anyways. =)

My first 'Totally Bias Gift Guide' (TBGG) involves three brands that hit three points of your wardrobe: shoes, tops and jewellery. As it's our first TBGG I've incorporated an extra layer of bias, all three brands are directly or indirectly connected with Good Read Magazine. I'm super biased! Haha!


Fuck The How

FTH

WHAT IS 'FUCK THE HOW'?

Shawnna Downing and Billie Chiasson | Photo by Jason Brown (http://bit.ly/2iMj9rj)

Shawnna Downing and Billie Chiasson | Photo by Jason Brown (http://bit.ly/2iMj9rj)

First off, it's a great name for a brand. More importantly, 'Fuck The How' is a movement that supports local and international artists to build, create and grow. 

More often than not we get caught up in ‘how’ things are going to come together. Do we have to know how in order to begin?
— Shawnna Downing

The philosophy is simple. Too often when starting something we want to accomplish we get caught up in the 'How'. How am I going to achieve this goal? How am I going to make money from this? How do I do this? Now of course, planning is important and you usually need a strategy. 'Fuck The How' is not generally talking about that kind of how, although sometimes they are. More often, they're talking about the kind of debilitating 'How' that halts your progress before you even begin. At some point, you just have to say, “Fuck The How”, and start. Some of the best things are accomplished when you're building the plane after you jump off the cliff. 

HERE'S WHY I'M TOTALLY BIASED.

1. Fuck The How is founded by Shawnna Downing, one of my dear beloved friends. 
2. My photo is on their social media as I took photos of myself wearing a shirt. And no, I didn't get the shirt for free in exchange for photos either, I paid for that bad boy. You have to support artists, not just with your words or a ‘like’ button, you gotta put your money where your mouth is. 

HERE'S WHY YOU NEED THIS SHIRT.

Words from founder Shawnna Downing | (Instagram)

Words from founder Shawnna Downing | (Instagram)

1. You know there are things right now that you're holding yourself back from doing with restrictive thoughts like “how?”. Fuck the how. Just get started. Also, for those of you who are actively hustling and figuring things out, you've been there. You've already embraced the philosophy, it's time to rep it. 
2. It's kind of dope walking around with a shirt that says Fuck The How on it. It's an instant conversation starter and it reinforces a successful mentality, encouraging others to strive for the same. 

Tiffany Sin | (Fuck The How)

Tiffany Sin | (Fuck The How)

WHERE YOU CAN FIND 'FUCK THE HOW'? 

WEBSITE: FuckTheHow.com
INSTAGRAM: Instagram.com/fuckthehow


Cat Janiga Jewellery

Oracle Ear Jacket | (CatJaniga.com)

Oracle Ear Jacket | (CatJaniga.com)

WHAT IS CAT JANIGA JEWELLERY?

Cat Janiga | Photo by Peter Chatterton (Facebook)

Cat Janiga | Photo by Peter Chatterton (Facebook)

Designed by the jewellery line's CCO and founder Cat Janiga, the Canadian studio creates gorgeous jewellery for graceful and powerful people. She describes her work as Audrey Hepburn from Breakfast at Tiffany's with an undercurrent of Noomi Rapace from the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. When you see the work, you understand perfectly. These pieces have strong geometric shapes paired with clean, fresh and flowing lines, giving her work both an architectural and sculptural feel. The two pieces that truly stand out are the Oracle Claw ring and Oracle Ear Jacket. 

HERE'S WHY I'M TOTALLY BIASED. 


1. I'm business partners with Cat Janiga and work actively as the company’s Brand Creative Director. 
2. She's also one of my best friends and designed a custom engagement ring for my fiancée that still blows my mind. 

HERE'S WHY YOU SHOULD CHECK IT OUT. 

Cat Janiga | Photo by Mike Reid (CatJaniga.com)

Cat Janiga | Photo by Mike Reid (CatJaniga.com)

1. It always makes me feel good when I support a local creator. There's something about knowing you're literally helping to build the success of a (in this case) Canadian business.  
2. The collections have been worn by notable women such as Sarah Rafferty, Jessica Mulroney, and Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau. The Prime Minister's wife is rocking talented local designers, you might want to see what's going on too.

Sophie Trudeau | (CTV.ca)

Sophie Trudeau | (CTV.ca)

WHERE YOU CAN FIND CAT JANIGA JEWELLERY?

WEBSITE: CatJaniga.com 
INSTAGRAM: Instagram.com/catjaniga


SHOES OF PREY

Ankle Boots | (Shoes of Prey)

Ankle Boots | (Shoes of Prey)

WHAT IS SHOES OF PREY?

slipper

Shoes of Prey is a global retail brand that allows women to design their own shoes online. The user experience and customization are amazing. Once you start testing the features you immediately see yourself as a brilliant shoe designer. I found myself testing the features, only to discover 10 minutes later that I've designed an amazing pair of shoes I'll never wear (what can I say, high heels just aren't my thing). The company is on the forefront of retail customization and has won multiple awards.  

WHY I'M TOTALLY BIASED?

Ginger Jarvis | Photo by Mike Reid 

Ginger Jarvis | Photo by Mike Reid 

1. The company's Art Director is a former co-worker and good friend of mine, Ginger Jarvis. 
2. If there's one thing I love on a woman it's a great pair of shoes. I don't know why, but I always compliment a woman who's holding it down with a dope pair of kicks or an elegant pair of heels.

WHY YOU NEED TO DESIGN YOUR OWN SHOES.

1. Because you get to design your own shoe! That's just bloody cool. Ever see a pair of shoes that would be perfect if they had it in your size or a pair that looks good, but would be better without a poorly placed strap? No problem, you can just make it yourself. 
2. The user experience is flawless. I've never seen a 3D generated custom design system with the detail the Shoes of Prey 3D Designer has. It's a very fulfilling and addictive system, I suggest visiting the site after payday, 'cause you might spend all day designing all the perfect shoes you've ever wanted. 

Bike in heels | (Shoes of Prey)

Bike in heels | (Shoes of Prey)

WHERE DO YOU BUILD YOUR OWN SHOES?

WEBSITE: ShoesofPrey.com 

That wraps up the first Totally Biased Gift Guide. Make sure you go to these websites and find the perfect gift for your loved one, or for you, you're a loved one too.