Custom Painted Jacket from Original Genes Toronto

If you love sustainable fashion and you haven't heard of Original Genes before, you are going to love this! OG Toronto was founded by Stefanie, a McMaster University graduate, who started the company as a solution to escape her mundane 9-5 job.

Stef up-cycles vintage denim jackets by painting on them. She does a lot of custom projects where you can literally get her to paint whatever you desire - from the CN tower to Britney Spears. Stef is an extremely talented and creative individual and she has even recently started bringing on additional artists to join her team as well. 

When Stef reached out to me this year and wanted to do something fun together, I was all over it! She had some gorgeous pink jackets that I instantly fell in love. Stef custom designed my pink jacket with this adorable (and very on-brand) quote in a bold and girly font. 

I took so many photos in this jacket since I received it and I love it so much! How cute are those heart details as well?

I collaborated with Stef to showcase her amazing business and asked her some questions below in a mini Q&A interview. Read her answers below to learn more about OG, her own personal style, and her advice on owning your own business.

M: What led you to start Original Genes?

S: Original Genes started as a result of needing a creative break from my 9-5 job. After graduating university, I landed my dream job in the fashion industry. Unfortunately it was not as glamorous as I had imagined. I missed being creative and decided to start painting. One day I painted one of my denim jackets and turns out it was a hit with my friends! My mom went out and bought me 25 jackets the next day and told me this will be my business (lol - go mom!)

Behind the Scenes - Stefanie painting my custom pink jacket!

M: Did you ever do art classes? How did you learn to paint?

S: I took art classes all throughout high school. Not just fine art but music/photography etc. It was always in me and I loved to be creative. I haven't taken any classes since I started Original Genes, however the practice of painting many many jackets has gone a long way and I learn new skills every day!

M: Have you always had an interest in fashion/clothing? How would you describe your personal style?

S: I have! I always wanted to be a buyer like Rachel in Friends which is what I set out to do (and also the job I had landed out of school). I would describe my personal style as "streetwear/chic" if that is a category. You will always catch me in sneakers (painted or not painted) paired with dresses, collared shirts and blazers. I especially like the hoodie under the blazer look.

Stefanie, Founder of Original Genes Toronto

M: What opportunities has OG created for you? 

S: Tons! I can't even list them all. To get a popup in Hudson's Bay was amazing. My feature in BlogTO has been my favourite so far though. Since I am born and raised in Toronto, and my skyline jacket is my #1 style, this was really important to me.

M: What is your favourite/most memorable design you've created so far?

S: Such a tough question! I think my favourite is my gangster Mickey mouse or my first stippling painting which is a technique where you use small dots to create and shade your image.

M: What advice would you offer to someone who wants to start their own business? 

S: Take risks and don't compare yourself to others. It is easy to get yourself into a hole where you think others are doing "better" than you, or are going to be famous before you are. This is a waste of time! Use others for inspiration but you have no idea what their sales are, how much money they have spent etc. Worry about yourself and your own profits.

HUGE shoutout to Stef for this amazing pink jacket - thank you so much! It was such a pleasure learning more about her business. 

If you want to get your very own painted jacket, you can visit the OG website here or inquire for a custom design.

Thanks for reading today!

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