Challenge Yourself

We live in strange times. There has been a constant barrage of anger, frustration, and devastating losses on a scale we've never witnessed before. Sometimes it feels like we stepped into another world that's on the cusp of the apocalypse. What do you do when the world is literally falling apart around you? It's something we're all struggling with right now. I think back in this moment to how I used to check my social media when I woke up in the mornings just to see what's trending, catch up with people and now... I get anxiety every time I log into anything in fear of the negativity that seems to be constant. I always try to see the light at the end of the tunnel and offer motivation to anyone I can. I feel like that's my true purpose in life. But, honestly, I'm just as drained as a lot of you are. But still... we all have to move on and I think now more than ever we have to live our lives to its fullest. 

My challenge to you is to take at least 30 minutes to yourself and write down these questions and answer them as brutally honest as you can:

  1. What makes you truly happy?
  2. What are the Top 5 Things you accomplished in your life?
  3. What are the Top 5 Things you want to do before you die?
  4. Who means the most to you in this world?

And after you answer each questions:

  1. Do what makes you happy. 
  2. Never forget how far you've come and what you've accomplished in life. Remember how tough it was to do. Try to remember every detail. Then remind yourself you can do anything you put your mind to. Keep this as a constant reminder.
  3. Keep 2. in mind and go forth. Chasing after what you want the most in life. Move quickly as if there is no tomorrow because honestly it's not guaranteed.
  4. Contact that person that means the most to you in this world. Do it immediately. Tell them how much they mean to you. How much they affected your life. It doesn't matter if it's someone you lost touch with our someone you're having a war of words with... let love and honesty take over here. If you can, go see that person. When you see them, give them the biggest hug you've ever given anyone in your life. 

I hope you can take on this challenge and take full control of your universe. In any case I'll be doing the same and rooting for your success.

Wardrobe:  N 2-B Barricade CTN jacket is from Alpha Industries

 

Alpha Industries

Photography by Madi Mae

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Don't Hold Back

In a time where the world literally feels like it's ending, it's more important now than ever to remember to surround yourselves with the people you love. Challenge yourself today to find time to thank every person who inspired you, showed you love, or looked out for your best interest even if at the time you didn't think so. Live today as if it's your last and don't hold back. You never know what tomorrow holds. 

 Hoodie, jacket, and jeans are from Kollar ClothingShoes are Frank Wright

What You Get: Stylish streetwear that's blowing up right now. Check out their catalog here.

 

Kollar Clothing

Photography by Madi Mae

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No journey is easy

"Everyone is handed adversity in life. No one's journey is easy. It's how they handle it that makes people unique." 💯

Season change. People change. Time flies. Etc. Etc. I've had one of the toughest years of my entire life so far in 2017. Most people wouldn't know this because I've chosen to focus more on being outwardly positive and keep things moving forward. That doesn't mean there haven't been challenges that have tested by own beliefs and self-worth. I've had so many enlightening conversations, especially lately that always keep things in perspective for me. I woke up this morning, feeling like I should share some words with you if you have ever faced tough times:

  1. You are Special - At times you may feel scared, sad, unworthy, envious, downright angry about the obstacles life has presented you. But never forget how great of a person you are and you are in full control of your own destiny. Know that you are special. 
  2. It's okay to be wrong - It's okay to be wrong. It's okay to accept fault. You shouldn't feel embarrassed to admit a mistake. Life is full of mistakes. You're going to make plenty more. It's how you respond that shows your true strength. 
  3. Know your character - You don't have to pretend to be something you're not. This life is your own. If you want to be kind and generous, then show it in action. If you don't. Same. Just be true to yourself. We often make this mistake of trying to be someone we're not because we want to match the opinions or perspectives of others. We shouldn't though. The truth is no one will ever put as much thought into what you're up to with your life than you will. 
  4. Show compassion (especially to the people who don't deserve it) - I'm not going to lie. This is the hardest thing for me. I can be a very vengeful person and if you challenge my well being or the people I care about... there will be hell to pay. But, I've learned that the best thing you can do is let go and show compassion for people even if they don't deserve it. We're all hurting in some way at different stages in our lives. Nothing makes that abundantly clear than to come in contact with someone who goes out of their way to hurt you. That's why compassion is the right response. It may not seem like it at the time but showing kindness is both liberating and a true test of character.

That's about it for now. Just wanted to share. If you have tips of your own, leave some in the comments section. I'd love to hear from you. 

My shoes are from the UK shoe brand, Frank Wright. Which if you visit their site...

What You Get: Badass Mens Shoes. Check out their catalog here.

 

Frank Wright

Photography by Madi Mae

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Pacific Issue

"Bootstrapped and scrappy." That's how the Pacific Issue team first defined themselves (still do, actually) when they created a company that's focused on creating the perfectly fitted and perfectly designed shirts. Their shirts are stylish but that "perfectly fitted" mantra is what sold me. The Pacific Issue team is really obsessed about getting the perfect fit for their customers and want to make the customer experience a good one.

Listen, I work with brands all the time and I feel that's one of the things that's been lacking in recent years. Too many brands focus on making money/saving costs vs. providing a great product/customer service. I never understood that. Simply create a great product. Deliver on great customer service = happy customers, thus great word of mouth... duh.

But I digress... the shirt I got fit perfectly and I was feeling those chill vibes. Check them out below and while you're at it, be sure to visit Pacific Issue here.

What You Get: 30% off your first custom shirt when you use code: CJJ0683. 

 

www.pacificissue.com

Photography by Madi Mae

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Nunca Te Rindas

I try my best to offer advice based on the knowledge that is been passed down to me by highly successful people and first-hand experiences. I do this to make sure I'm not bullshitting anyone and I can offer realistic expectations on what you need to overcome the many challenges life presents to you in your career and in life. This year so far has been one of the most challenging years I've experienced in my entire life. I was presented a whole new set of obstacles that I never faced before and put in situations that made it nearly impossible to move past. Even with the arsenal of tools that I have at my disposal I was still worn weary and taken back by some situations. 

I'm also at a stage in my life where I'm becoming increasingly more comfortable with talking about my personal life as you can see here, here, and here. But, currently I'm still navigating uncharted waters that I'm not quite ready to share with the world. I also don't think any amount of passive aggressive posts or cryptic messages change the reality of one's situation. I would rather focus on embracing positivity and love. If there is one thing each of us are in control of it's our mind, body, and spirit. 

I'm writing this post for those of you who are going through tough, confusing, and ultimately challenging times. Understand that you are not alone. At times, each and every one us feel scared. Sad. Angry. Frustrated. Lonely. Each one of us at one stage in our lives have asked ourselves, "Am I good enough?", "Can I do this?", "Am I loved?", etc. 

I say this to you... "Nunca Te Rindas". Never Give Up.

No matter how many disappointments you face. No matter the failures that get you down and make you second guess yourself. No matter the cold toxicity of other people's insecurities and lack of self-awareness that gets thrown at you. No matter how overwhelming that sinking feeling of despair you have. Never give up. Keep moving forward. Stay positive (which may seem impossible at times). Always remember that life is supposed to be hard at times, that's why the "sweet is never as sweet without the sour". 

In tough times, repeat this to yourself "nunca te rindas". Provide a random act of kindness to someone you care about or even a complete stranger. Accept love and positivity. Send it back out to the rest of the world. Love yourself. Respect yourself. Be kind to yourself.

Always remember...

Nunca Te Rindas.

What You Get: I customized my shirt with Apolis. Check out their catalog here.

 

www.apolis.com

Photography by Madi Mae

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Saving Lives and Water with MAHI

As seen in high-level publications like GQ and Vogue, MAHI Leather is taking things to another level with style while giving back to the world. Aside from the beautiful leathered goods they have, their mission is intriguing. MAHI Leather takes its name from the Mahi River. The coordinates, posted on their badge, "22° N, 72° E", represent the mouth of the river, where it joins the Arabian Sea in Gujarat, India. According to MAHI, this is a sacred river and in a country where 103 million people lack safe water it's also timely. So, this is one of the reasons why I love MAHI so much. From each sale of their product, they donate $1.50 to FRANK Water Projects (registered Charity No. 1121273), a UK based charity which has helped over 300,000 people gain access to clean water since 2005. If you're interested in supporting Frank Water, visit here.

The leather bag I received was customized with my initials so... YES, I've been roaming around like a baller, pointing at my initials everywhere I go. Just kidding (no, I'm not). My bag is perfect for travel and for a digital nomad like myself. If you like to travel and do it with style, I recommend doing it with MAHI. Below you'll see some awesome photos I took in Playa Del Rey, California with Madi Mae behind the lens. She's got skillz.

What You Get: The power of giving. $1.50 from every bag sold donated to FRANK Water. Safe Water. Saves Lives. We call this a "win win" Check out their catalog here.

 

www.mahileather.com

 

 

Photography by Madi Mae

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Clean Cut. Clean Face.

I don't endorse skin care products unless I use them myself and see great results. So, when I linked up with Chimere by Clear Essence brand I took my sweet ass time to see its impact. I was impressed with the results. My skin was fresh, smooth, and I haven't experienced any razor bumps since I started using the products. Firstly, I used the bath gel, shaving/after-shave treatments. There's a cool breeze and awesome scent to all of the Chimere products that made my skin feel invigorated. 

One of the most interesting tidbits about Chimere is their brand message -- the products cater to men of color because there aren't too many skin care products that currently do that. This is also a family business which you know how much I appreciate homegrown businesses. Chimere also prides itself in providing skin care tips for men. Here's a few tips they shared with me that I wanted to pass along to you: 

  • Always use a men's face scrub before shaving to help with a deep skin clean and prepare your skin to handle a closer shave.
  • Always use fresh blades and change them regularly.
  • Shave while showering because it makes your hair stubs plumper and easier to shave. The moisture also keeps the irritation to a minimum.
  • Don't use shaving products with alcohol because that can contribute to ingrown hairs and razor burn. 
  • Use a men's after shave.

Key Ingredients: Shave Gel - Triclosan; The shaving gel minimizes the appearance of razor bumps, controls mild acne, and evens out the skin's blotchiness. After Shave Treatment - Camellia Sinsensis Leaf Extract, Lactic Acid & Citric Acid; Brightens the darkened shaved area and evens out your skin tone while calming the irritated shaven area.

What You Get: FREE US Ground Shipping when you use code: CJOHN

Get it here.

www.chimere.com

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Euro Flair with Franco Florenzi Bracelets

I love wristbands and bracelets. I'm not too big on jewelry but, in the past few months I've really opened up to accessorizing. I stumbled onto Franco Florenzi via Instagram and was quickly blown away by their overall style. I love the sophisticated yet imaginative style they have with their products. They've been featured in GQ, Esquire, and more. So, I knew I had to connect with them. I ended up choosing the MONZA OLIVO and LAZIO CARLO bracelets. I wanted to test out the various styles and looks they had. I ended up loving them both equally like a father who can't choose which child he loves the most (it's always the younger one btw). The bracelets add a little bit of flair to my overall wardrobe which I really dig. The detail to the craftsmanship and packaging really stood out to me. This is a brand that has a great sense of knowing what they're about. Makes sense, the concept was manifested on a beach in the South West of England. Sounds sexy doesn't it? 

What You Get: Use CJJOHNSON for a 10% discount. Buy now at Franco Florenzi

Baurdi, The Man's Wallet

I was on the hunt for a brand new wallet. I wanted something that had a classic vibe and represented my style. So, when I spoke with Brett, the founder of Baurdi, I was interested to learn more about the story behind his brand and how his goods were so special. One of the interesting things about Baurdi wallets is the emphasis Brett and his team talk about how a bad wallet represents "immaturity and a lack of worldly experience." I never thought of wallets that way and but it makes sense. The way you look and represent yourself from the smallest detail of what your wallet looks like does matter. So, say hello to Baurdi -- a New York City made company, representing the sleek ruggedness of the world of man.  

"Every man has a story, and our wallets will help you tell yours."  - Brett, Founder of Baurdi.

What You Get: 10% off products when you use my special discount code: CJ10. Get your badass wallet here.

Designing A Handmade Watch With Tree Hut

It's one thing to wear a watch, it's another to design it yourself, and have it handmade by a team of specialists. Enter Tree Hut -- the San Francisco company consists of a 20-person team, dedicated to hand-making one-of-a-kind designs out of real wood. With Tree Hut I was able to design my own watch, choosing from a variety of options: Strap & Case Options, Dial Options, Dial Design Options, Second Hand Options, and the best part... a Personal Engraving. By the end of the experience, I felt pretty damn satisfied with myself. After all, I just designed my first friggin' watch!

The shipping was pretty quick, so it didn't take too long for me to receive my watch. When I first checked out my watch it was easy to see it was made with premium quality. I do know the Tree Hut team puts a lot of emphasis into how they craft the watches with a lot of attention to detail and it really showed. You can read more about their story and how they go about crafting their watches here.

If you want to design your own watch after reading this, just visit this link.

What You Get: 15% off all Tree Hut products (only good for 7/28-8/30/17) using exclusive discount code: J&J-17.

Get it here.

Ledbury, an American Classic

It was another sizzling summer day in the heart of the arts district in downtown Los Angeles. On this day, I visited a few local coffee shops and went all in on a morning filled with brainstorming sessions and meetings. I did it all with style, sporing a Ledbury shirt

One of the best things I like about Ledbury is where they're located... Virginia. Which happens to be a place I used to call home. I like the classic and slim fits to their shirts. Comfortable and classy are two words that come to mind. What's especially unique about Ledbury is that they revived one of America’s oldest bespoke shirt makers in Richmond, Virginia. Today, they carry on a century-old bespoke tailoring tradition in their workshop, where craftsmen make their shirts by hand. I love it when brands support carry on traditions and support their roots. 

What You Get: The Linen Bohler, available for $109. Get it here.

Showcase Your Hot Bod

It's Saturday morning. A bit overcast but the weather is fair. In this moment, I’m rushing from my local post office, still processing one of the roughest weeks of my life. I quickly get ready for photoshoot with photographer, Sydney Jackson. It's a bit of a change of pace for me because I'm going to be taking some shirtless shots. This isn't typically a big deal for me when Ambar Januel (long-time creative partner) is behind the lens shooting me. But this time I would be shooting with someone new. Now, believe it or not I can get incredibly self-conscious when it comes to people taking photos of me. I can be fearless about most things but this is still something I'm still getting used to. So, with my dad bod and all I went out like a trooper to shoot with Syd. We came up with some slick shots to showcase the Varanno fashion brand. They have some badass mens jewelry pieces. After the shoot, I was sporting these pieces everywhere and everyone was in love with them. 

I must admit I felt a bit more liberated and much more comfortable being in front of the camera. Don't waste your time being self-conscious. Love yourself. Showcase that hot bod of yours. 

Varanno was founded in 2016 and located in Vancouver, Canada. Their jewelry/clothing is crafted exclusively with high quality materials made to last. Varanno is the fusion of West-Coast society, and Eastern culture. They are a movement with the hopes that their message echoes through the art of our designs. Use my special code: JJ15 for a special discount with any purchase you make at their store. 

What You Get: Use JJ15 for a discount on your purchases at Varanno

Los Angeles. Home Of The Wild Ones.

P&CO is one of my favorite brands -- a U.K. lifestyle brand for the rebellious wild ones of the world.

Their message:

HOME OF THE WILD ONES.

P&CO IS A REBELLIOUS LIFESTYLE BRAND CREATED TO PROVIDE CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES TO THE THRILL SEEKERS, THE RISK TAKERS & THE WILD ONES. 

THROUGH OUR ORIGINAL DESIGNS INSPIRED BY FLASH TATTOOS WE CREATE CLOTHING AND ACCESSORIES THAT ARE NOW BECOMING MORE KNOWN AND RECOGNISED AROUND THE WORLD. 

WILD ONES NEVER DIE. 

I love it. Long-time collaborators, this shoot was in downtown Culver City in one of my favorite areas to shoot. Behind the camera is THE MAN, Gilbert Pereda

Be on the lookout for P&CO as they finally make their way to Los Angeles later this month. See details below and the ruggedly stylish photos from Mr. Pereda. 

pandco-los angeles

Nordstrom X Nike Cortez Market

It was suck a privilege to get an invite to check out the Nordstrom x Nike Cortez Market event, in Los Angeles. Nike was celebrating the launch of the "Nike" by Olivia Kim Premium Cortez iD shoe. It was an awesome time. It was especially fun to take Fiona Rogue with me. She rarely gets to go to events with me so this was a cool experience. Of course she stole the show! Everyone wanted to photograph and film her. What about dad though? Dad never gets any love. LOL. In all, it was another beautiful day in sunny So Cal and a fun family outing. 

 

The Los Angeles Dapper Man

I had so much fun bringing in the 6 yr anniversary of @pocketsquareclothing. Congratulations to CEO/founder, @andrewchg and team for making their dreams come true and bringing those dapper vibes to Los Angeles. Frequent creative collaborator, Allen Daniel (the guy that looks like hipster Jesus) was also in the mix. It was a fun night filled with dapper gentlemen and GQ Insiders in downtown Los Angeles.

Unfamiliar and Unknown

"A dream is your creative vision for your life in the future. You must break out of your current comfort zone and become comfortable with the unfamiliar and the unknown."

 

Fueled Up shirt courtesy of the fine folks at www.slackjawapparel.com

 

 

 

Photography by Ambar Januel

Venice vibes with life / after / denim

It's another beautiful day at Venice beach and the J+J squad hits the famous boardwalk for a photoshoot for one of my clients, life/after/denim. LAD is an awesome menswear line that my agency did influencer marketing and photography for. This shoot was a little bit of a change of pace because instead of me being behind the camera, I was in front of it!

This particular shoot is a great example of how I was able to showcase my voice as an influencer and a marketer at the same time. I even had fellow influencer (and my Project Manager at the time) Liam Brown hop in front of the camera as well. Liam and I both have a strong men's fashion following and with the combination of this, our creative content, and influencer marketing, brand awareness was spectacular for LAD. My J+J co-founder, Ambar Januel oversaw the shoot and frequent collaborator, Gilbert Pereda shot this campaign. It was great synergy. It's also a perfect example of how you can maximize your strengths to create something special. 

If you would like to see more examples of my agency's work with life/after/denim go here.

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