We had a chat with Olivier Jean, founder of adventurous outdoor apparel and lifestyle label ADVIND.
1. How did the birth of your label ADVIND come along?
ADVIND is born of a desire: to tell my story as a source of inspiration for others.
My story is that of a city dweller who left Paris, his hometown, to live in the vast territories of Canada. In France, we love art, philosophy and stories.
Some write books, others paint or draw; I want to express myself through the creation and design of clothes.
It must be in my genes to do so because my grandmother was a great seamstress. As an entrepreneur I am always looking to create new businesses and the idea of creating a brand of clothing came naturally to me and made perfect sense.
2. You have left Paris and moved to Canada. Tell us more about that decision.
I really like this quote from John Muir: “The Mountains are calling and I must go”. Canada’s vast landscapes called me and I responded.
Despite growing up in an ultra-urban environment, I have always loved nature and the great outdoors. This love began in my childhood.
I always enjoyed our family holidays in the countryside or in the mountains in the French Alps where I could discover places with my bike, go fishing, work in the garden, hike in the mountains and in general spend time outdoors.
After I got married, my wife and I were both persuaded to leave the city and what the French always characterize as “métro, boulot, dodo” – that is “subway, eat, sleep” and go and live in the country. We both like adventure and getting to know new places and we decided to go to Canada where we felt there are more opportunities to live a different lifestyle. So we left Paris and after some years in Quebec we then moved to New Brunswick in the Maritimes where I bought a multi-acre estate.
New Brunswick is the only officially bilingual English-French province in Canada and is covered by 80% forest. Also, the people are very nice and welcoming.
One of the main attractions is Hopewell Rock, sculpted by the highest tides in the world. There are also wonderful beaches, nature parks and wildlife everywhere. It’s a perfect landing area for me. I am very happy and I am grateful to God who has led me to this place.
3. What is the biggest change in terms of your lifestyle after moving to Canada?
Life quality. Life is less stressful here. People are not in a hurry like in Paris.
Living in the middle of nature is really beneficial and soothing. My life has slowed down a great deal. I take more time to do things even if I find I’m still too busy.
I now live in a house surrounded by nature (and sometimes coyotes) where all my life I have lived in apartments on the 9th floor without a balcony.
Instead of walking through the streets of Paris, going to a park or sitting in a cafe, I now take walks in my forest, cutting trees for the fire in winter, harvesting honey, getting to know plants that heal and are fit for consumption and learning something new every day. I take great joy in cultivating my garden and living more independently. As soon as spring arrives I start consuming the produce from my garden.
One of the greatest challenges is distance. In Paris, as in all the big cities of the world if you miss a few things to prepare your breakfast you can find it downstairs at the grocery store. Here I do my shopping in the “big” city every other week. This is also a reason why I enjoy the food in the garden even more.
4. If you were to write a note to your customer, what would it be?
Life is an adventure. Live your own adventure, take risks and Never give up.
Follow your dreams! One must realize one’s dreams and in order to do so you have to take risks.
I created for all people who see their lives as a great adventure. ADVIND is more then a brand it is a philosophy of life. It is an invitation to adventure, discovery and surpassing oneself.
ADVIND is also a big family where everyone is welcome. We would like to meet you and get to know you. So do not hesitate to contact us when you travel to Canada. You can also interact with us via social network.