Table of Contents - The Impact Of Dressing For Success With Mens Stylist Anja Potkonjak
George El-Masri [00:00:00] Everyone, thank you for joining us today on the show, where I interview on Anja Potkonjak. She is a stylist that specializes in styling men specifically, and you'll find out why she chose to do that. And not only does she just style men, but she provides them with an inner confidence. That's her goal. She wants to make sure that they feel comfortable in the clothes that they're wearing so that it can impact their lives positively. And it's something that I didn't expect from her. I thought she was going to give me advice on colors that people should be wearing and certain types of clothes that are in style today. But that wasn't the case at all. Everything she was sharing was just about making somebody feel good. So there's quite a bit to learn about the impact of clothes and the way you dress your appearance in your personal and business life. It's a little bit different from the usual, but there's quite a bit to learn from it. So I hope you'll enjoy if you know anyone who's looking to invest in the Golden Horseshoe area, Hamilton, St. Catherine's, Brentford, I would appreciate if you'd let me know, Georgette. Well off or you can check on my website well off and I'll be sure to take great care of them. Thank you. Enjoy the show. Welcome to the War podcast, where the goal is to motivate, inspire and share success principles. Today I'm here with onea cognac and I had to practice that a couple of times before we got started. She is the owner of Alpha Male Styling, which is an image and fashion consulting company. And I know that you specialize in working with men. You help men dress with confidence, pick out a new wardrobe, you help them choose an outfit or outfits for specific events. And I understand that you do what you like to do is really get to know the people that you're working with so that you can tailor the clothing to their unique personality, correct? That's correct. Great. Well, welcome. Thank you very much, sir, for joining us today. Thank you for having me. Yep. So as I kind of mentioned to you a little bit earlier, we'll start off by talking about your childhood, where you grew up, what you remember from from those days.
Anja Potkonjak [00:02:09] So I was born in Banja Luka, Bosnia then I moved to Canada when I was eight years old. All of my family still lives in Banja Luka for the most part. My parents are here and my siblings are here. I like to go back as often as possible to visit and see them. I love my family very much. I only have the best memories. Um, I do come from a war torn, war torn country and there's a lot of different hardships that people had to endure. So, you know, I just feel like it makes you a different person and a tougher, stronger and a little bit more mentally aware in terms of how quickly things can really change in life. And just taking it one day at a time to look at the positives. Mm hmm.
George El-Masri [00:02:49] Do you have memories like war, memories of just whatever gunshots and things of that sort?
Anja Potkonjak [00:02:56] And I don't actually I guess it's a really good thing. My parents, I'm sure do, but I don't.
George El-Masri [00:03:02] Yeah, it's always tough. A lot of people that end up in Canada come from war torn countries, including my parents who came from Lebanon, actually. So it's very similar. And I know that, for example, like the owners of of the brokerage that I work for, they're Croatian and they have a similar sort of story. So everybody seems to leave those countries end up in Canada. And it's just so much better here, it seems. Right. Have you enjoyed being here?
Anja Potkonjak [00:03:29] Oh, I love being here. Canada is home. And any time I ever leave the country, I'm always so grateful to be coming back here. Really, I am like I mean, my family's there, like I said, and it's great to go and visit, but can I picture myself shifting my life and moving back? I don't I don't think I can. I really do love it here. You feel safe. It's, uh. Canada is a great country. I just have to say that. Yeah, for sure. It's the multiculturalism. It's the people. It's the opportunity. It's it's so many different things. You know, I'm very grateful.
George El-Masri [00:03:58] I agree with you. Hundred percent when I was about 16 or 17, my family went to Lebanon. I forget if it was for a wedding or something. One of my cousins. And then we got stuck there because a war broke out between Israel and Lebanon. Oh, yeah. So the, um, the airport was attacked in Lebanon, so there was no way out of the country. We were actually stuck there.
Anja Potkonjak [00:04:21] That must have been a little traumatized.
George El-Masri [00:04:22] It was yeah. It was a little bit traumatizing. But what I want to share with you is because there were so many loud noises and like missiles landing and just you can hear them. It's a small country. But we were actually evacuated. The Canadian government sent a ship to take us to Cyprus. Yeah. And when we landed in Cyprus, I remember we were there for like two or three days. We were staying in this, like, school gym with a bunch of cots everywhere. And people were just sharing the space to sleep. And one day we were outside and then I heard a loud noise. I remember, like, kind of freaking out like men. Did the war follow us here or something? But it was actually just the trash bin, like one of those large commercial trash containers. The bin came crashing down and it made a loud noise. And I realized, wow, this actually impacted me.
Anja Potkonjak [00:05:09] It traumatizes you a little bit. Yeah. Any sounds, any anything that's different. Right. And so when you live here for so long and you go back and you experience that kind of like watching over your shoulder every three seconds.
George El-Masri [00:05:21] Exactly. Exactly. It's interesting, but I've never, ever had to worry about any of the things my parents had to worry about when they were kids. They could have literally been killed at any given moment on multiple occasions. So, yeah, I'm just really lucky to be here.
Anja Potkonjak [00:05:34] Life is unbelievable. Yeah. Where you end up. Yeah. Who would have thought. Right.
George El-Masri [00:05:39] And I actually have been to Serbia, as I mentioned to you, I went there for a friend's wedding and we were, I was in Belgrade. I know that's not the correct way to pronounce it, but I was there for just one night and then we went to Krakow. That's which is a small town. And it's so nice there. It's such a beautiful place.
Anja Potkonjak [00:05:56] And how did you find the people?
George El-Masri [00:05:58] The people are very tall. They are even the women are a lot taller than me, just on average, it seemed. It's so different to see that and a lot of meat, I think like that. Yeah. At the time I was vegetarian. So it was yeah, it was very difficult to find something to eat in. Well, you know what? The salad without meat was like an exception to the menu. All the salads came with meat and you had to specifically ask for no meat. It was it was very defensive.
Anja Potkonjak [00:06:30] Therefore, it's a very foreign word, vegan in Serbia. I mean, however, I think they're getting a little bit more progressive with it now in terms of incorporating it into their meals. But I don't know when you went, but I'm assuming it
George El-Masri [00:06:41] was two or three or three years ago.
Anja Potkonjak [00:06:43] Yeah. So I think they're getting up with the times, but
George El-Masri [00:06:47] it was also a small town. That's true. Nobody knew how to speak English. They're surprisingly there was actually one lady that knew a little bit of French and that was the way I communicated with her because I speak French. She didn't understand any English whatsoever, which is just interesting for me to think that there's still places in the world that where they don't understand any English well,
Anja Potkonjak [00:07:06] especially if it's a small town, small city, I would assume population like I have no idea. Two thousand people like it's and they're very condition in that space. And, you know, they're happy like that.
George El-Masri [00:07:20] Yeah. It must have been weird for them to see someone like me in the country. I don't think so. Well, maybe in that little town possibly. But everyone is very friendly. The family that we went, the wife or the the bride's family was so welcoming everybody. It was such a cool family atmosphere and everybody's so close.
Anja Potkonjak [00:07:38] They like to eat and drink.
George El-Masri [00:07:40] Yeah. Yeah. To eat and drink. That's true. They really like to drink. Oh my God. They did this cool thing with beer where you would kind of like cheers, do three kisses and then chug the beer is weird. But anyways, let's, let's get into a bit of both of what you do. You're the reason. So typically I would have more like business owners like you, but real estate investors, a lot things like that. And I thought that a stylist would be really nice to have because maybe people don't understand the value of a stylist and what kind of impact it can have on a person's career, on their personal life, maybe even just like in dating and things of that sort. I think that's what most people relate it to. But if you want to kind of explain or maybe even share some stories of people that you've worked with that have really changed their their professional appearance and maybe their confidence and things like that.
Anja Potkonjak [00:08:33] So I have a very wide range of clients. They stem anywhere from twenty one to sixty five. So I have a lot of students who come to me and they say, hey, you know why we're going to be finishing school soon. We really want to revamp our wardrobe. What can you do to help now? Keep in mind the students, their budgets aren't that big, right? So I'm not working with a lot, but I am there to help anybody I possibly can to kind of kick start their, I guess, the foundation of what they need to build in their wardrobe. So and I say foundation because I think of building your wardrobe kind of as building a house. So you build it. There's a first step, second, third, and you keep going until it's all complete. And so with wardrobe, it's for all my clients, not just students, but I try to say you have what you have so far. Let's go through it. Let's see if we can keep anything that you've had from the past and incorporate it, whether we tailor the outfits, whether we buy new ones. But let's see if we can build them all together. And then that way you can create multiple different outfits with what you already have that's existing. So that's that really happens, to be honest with you. It's usually like a complete revamp because they've had their clothes for so long and men don't shop as often as women do. They just don't. Um, you know, women are in the mall every day, every other day. We're just walking around trying to find new things. But for men, because it's like a once a year type of thing, big shopping, they really don't want to do it. So there's a lot of clothes that gets donated also to, which is great. Um, but it's taking the foundation and saying, you know, let's get your five pairs of jeans, let's get your shoes, let's get your shirts. That can at least help you get kick started, get used to wearing something that's a little bit more different than what you're normally used to. And then in a couple of months from now, we'll go again and again, depending on the different seasons that are coming up. And so they notice a change right away. I mean, the number one thing for me, and I'm such a stickler, honest bit. Yeah. You know, and I don't think the people I. Sorry, let me rephrase that. I think that a lot of men have an issue finding pieces of clothing to fit them properly. For the most part, they have to get them tailored. It's not an easy task. But once they do find a store that, let's say, carries a perfect pair of pants for them, they're going to keep going back to that store. They know where to go moving forward after everything's brought together. And that changes the way, you know, there's one thing that men always do. And I find it really funny because every single one of my clients does this. They stand in the mirror and they put their hands in their pockets. And they have they all have. They all have their personal stances the way they do it. Yeah, but you see the transition when they when they take off the clothes that they came in with and put on clothes that I got for them. And it's just night and day and they're just happy. And you can see the confidence in the client. Standing there, you're just like, what just happened to that person that went into the change room? You came out like a complete person, right? Which is which is what I love about what I do. I want to change the way that men feel about themselves and know that there's so many different options out there with the help of myself or even if they do it on their own research wise. There's so many different options out there to find your own individual style and to just run with it, really. And there's just so much room to play with. I don't think a lot of men realize that.
George El-Masri [00:11:42] Yeah. Are you mostly working with twenty one year olds or are you just giving an example? And also what's the goal of these twenty one year olds? Why are they approaching?
Anja Potkonjak [00:11:51] You know, it's as I mentioned, it was twenty one to sixty five. So like I mean like the youngest, I think the youngest client I've ever had was 14 years old. His mom called me and she's like, can you style him? And I was like, absolutely, he was ecstatic. So that was fun for me. But again, different age ranges and how that client, well, he came in and he was saying, you know, I'm going to be finishing university soon. I want to transition my wardrobe. I want to just a little bit more business casual. And so we did. We went shopping. We got him a whole bunch of new wear. And till this day, like, I still get messages and he's so excited about the stuff that we got. And another thing I do for my clients, do I? I'm always there for my clients. I'm like, if you guys ever have any problems in terms of, you know, appearing or trying to figure out what to buy next, if I'm not around, it's just shoot me a text message. I'll respond right away. It because sometimes it gets a little bit overwhelming if you're in a store and you're like, oh, I don't know. But I know I have the pair of pants and I want to match it with that sweater. I don't know if I should buy. What do I do? All of them will text me and I'm there for them.
George El-Masri [00:12:52] Yeah. What are some of the reasons that men approach you for your your services, your services?
Anja Potkonjak [00:12:58] You're providing transitions in life. So again, student, you're going from school into the workplace. Um, a lot of entrepreneurs who sorry. A lot of people who are in the corporate world, who are now entrepreneurs who don't want to necessarily wear suits anymore and in the corporate environments changing in general, it's becoming a little bit more on the casual side as well. But they don't want to be in suits anymore. They want to sort of transition as well to business casual business, formal, but not so suited up and tie all the time. And, um, you know, again, life changes. Maybe they're going through a relationship, break up a divorce, career change. They lost a lot of weight. They want to get some new gear on. And really, there's just so many of them like it, just so many different variables based upon all the clients I've had in the past eleven years.
George El-Masri [00:13:47] Why do you why is it that you choose to work with men?
Anja Potkonjak [00:13:50] So growing up, my dad he my dad was, uh, as I like to call a fashionista, you know, he would go to Italy and he would just buy, like, the craziest things. He'd be like the only guy back home wearing, like, things that are just out of this world. But they always look so good on him. I and I love that. I love the confidence. And and I grew up and not seeing my father being so confident the things that he was wearing. And I was like and I think that that is an attractive quality to have, you know, whether it's from like a friendship perspective, whether it's from a dating perspective. Confidence is a beautiful thing. You know, I think more and more people, they start to see a difference in themselves when they start to wear things that make them feel good. And so that is what I want to do. And because, again, I grew up with my dad being like that. And, you know, my guy friends when I was in universities was when I started this company, they would say, you know, I'm going on a date, can you help me find an outfit? And I said, absolutely. And then I started noticing that, like, I'm looking more at my own skills and I'm looking even at women's clothes because I'm trying to figure out how I can help my guy friends dress better, do better, you know. So I don't know. I just kind of fell into my life and I'm so grateful for it.
George El-Masri [00:14:53] Yeah, that's great. And it seems like you're very passionate about it. Can you tell me what kind of impact some of your or what kind of success story some of your clients have had through working with you and just changing their wardrobe?
Anja Potkonjak [00:15:05] Ultimately, it's just the confidence. It's a it's a change of confidence. It's, um, you know, I had one client. I got him into a couple of different suits because he was going to a corporate function in Miami and he was messaging me. And he's like, I'm so happy right now. Like, I don't even feel like myself anymore. He's like, I feel like I just came out of my shell type of thing. He's like, I'm getting this attention from men who are complimenting me on my outfit, from women who are also complimenting me on my outfit. And it's just it's just like a sudden change of events in somebody's life from, like, wearing something that you're not really getting noticed in a sense. But, you know, you have that fire inside of you to put putting yourself into something that you're like this really speaks to who I am as a person and not. And I mean, again, all my clients are very different from one another. You know, if I can put one guy in skinny jeans and he'll love another guy, I know I cannot put him in skinny jeans. Otherwise he's going to run out of the store. So everybody's different. But in terms of impact, it's just the confidence level within all my clients.
George El-Masri [00:16:04] Well, OK, here's the thing. So let's say you have somebody who is interested in getting your help, but maybe they don't really know what they like. Or how specifically how they want to appear. So if you bring them, let's say, like a shirt that they're not used to wearing, like with a certain pattern that they wouldn't normally, where is it something that you would kind of allow them to try on and just run with and see what happens? Or are you really trying to focus on just working with their comfort level and putting them in clothes that they feel comfortable in both boxes?
Anja Potkonjak [00:16:38] So I want them to be comfortable, but I also do want them to step out of their comfort zone. After all, they did hire me to help them. I yeah, I don't want them to stay in that same pattern of the same things that they've been wearing for years in and out. Right. So what I say is, if you're afraid to, let's say, wear a bright pink shirt, I'm not going to put you in a bright pink shirt, but I am going to put you in something with a little bit of color and a little bit of pattern. Right. Depending on, again, there's skin tones and different colors and color matching. And there's just so many other variables it but it's really taking the client and saying, OK, you've been wearing this for so long, you hired me for a purpose. And that's to make you change up your style in the way that you've been doing things for a while. So, yeah, like I'm open to of course, I want to listen to the client. I want the client to be happy, but I also want them to trust in me that I'm not ever going to put them in anything where it doesn't or I think it doesn't look good on them or they don't feel comfortable in. So I definitely I definitely listen to my clients. Absolutely.
George El-Masri [00:17:32] Sure. And how do you figure out what you think would look good on someone?
Anja Potkonjak [00:17:36] Um, so I mean, I've been in the fashion world for about 11 years. I study men's fashion. I know what seasonally is coming up. And I just kind of go with what what's seasonally. And then I take the client and say, OK, how do I mix and match these patterns in textiles and all these different shapes that are coming up to suit the certain clients that are coming into my queue?
George El-Masri [00:18:00] Right, right. OK, so let's say somebody calls you and they say, I want to work with you. What happens from there? Do you do a consultation and then figure them out or what's going on?
Anja Potkonjak [00:18:10] That's that's exactly what I do. So, um, we'd meet for about an hour consultation. I get to meet the clients. You kind of what their style is like already. Like let's like the initial impression. And then from there we would sit down, discuss things like what are you looking to achieve? Are you looking for it to be more casual, more corporate or both? Mix of both. And then I would take all of the information that I just gathered from my client and I would do look at people as I like to call it. So instead of going and OK, I don't want them all, by the way, I don't do much. I do boutiques. I do I want it to be an experience for my client. I don't want it to be overwhelming. And I'm pulling them around from store. Right. And then so what I do in advance is I go to these boutiques, I'll pull out the certain garments that I know I want my clients try on so we save time. I don't like shopping. Let's be honest. OK, so, you know, I pride myself on my efficiency in how fast we get this done. Most of my clients, I think the the longest shopping session that I've had was four hours. And I mean, I'm usually done in two, which is that building, that foundational step with the jeans and the chinos and whatever they need to get started. But, um, but yeah, like it just it just depends on on the circumstances. But that's, that's how I normally do it. So I just pull everything and then once I'm done with that, we'll schedule a date to go shopping that works best for them. Right.
George El-Masri [00:19:29] OK, so they call you, you meet with them, you ask them questions, you observe how they're dressed in the moment. Yeah. And you kind of try to figure out, OK, maybe we can improve on this. Maybe the pants are a little bit too wide here. So we'll try to shop for something that's a little more fitted. You kind of see the body style.
Anja Potkonjak [00:19:46] Exactly. And then also to a lot of my clients, I mean, have some really tall clients. Right. So I know that I mean clients. I have a couple, but yeah, it's and it's not that easy to find a pair of jeans is just going to fit them. So I need to do my research, my due diligence before we go and shop so that there's a lot more to it. Right. It's not just let's just go shopping. Right. There's a lot more to take into consideration. Right.
George El-Masri [00:20:09] Right. I know this is kind of random, but I remember I always hated boot cut jeans. I just I don't like how they look. But then once I saw a friend of mine, he's a lot taller. He's maybe like six, too. He was wearing jeans and it looked it looked decent on him. So I then I realized, OK, that maybe that's what those type of pants are, that type of pant leg is designed for, for someone a little taller.
Anja Potkonjak [00:20:33] So but so fun fact. Yeah. When you're wearing blue jeans and a lot of the times guys will kind of roll them up a little bit too. It makes you look shorter. OK, so it's so that's the thing with some people. Right. Depending on how your structure is and how tall you are, certain little tricks can make you look either taller or shorter. So maybe that's why it could be.
George El-Masri [00:20:54] It could be. Yeah. Yeah. OK, why do you think that a lot of men don't care so much about how they dress?
Anja Potkonjak [00:21:03] So I think the men do care about how they dress. I think the biggest problem is, is that it becomes overwhelming. For them, not all men and women love to shop. I don't want to just characterize and say amen. But, you know, I think for the most part, men are just kind of comfortable with the way that they've been dressing for so long. It's overwhelming to go shopping. And most of the clients that I have there, like I go inside a store and I just stand there or they'll see something that looks really nice on a mannequin, for example. They'll go in, they'll talk to the associate, they'll try it on. And they're like, wow, that looks terrible on me. So and then you get discouraged and then you just leave. Right. That that's what happens for the most part. That's the feedback I've received from my clients. And so I think it's just having somebody who has an eye for it that it's like just go just go with it. Right. Like, that's why they hire me. They're like, just go with it. I don't even want to think about it. And the number one thing that my clients always say when they when we're doing the styling like the actual shopping day is they never expected to be wearing something like that. They never expected that it would look this good on them. So, I mean, again, I and I love that, but it's them not really knowing which ones to pull and how to layer and put things together. That's overwhelming. And that's why I think the majority of them have that issue.
George El-Masri [00:22:20] Yeah, well, part of that, like let's say I'm pretty sure this is common. For example, with me, sometimes I go out of my comfort zone and I'll wear something that I don't normally wear and then I'll wear it a couple of times after that. I'll never wear it again.
Anja Potkonjak [00:22:34] Why is that?
George El-Masri [00:22:35] Just I don't know. I guess in that moment I. I thought it would suit me and stuff and then I grow out of that phase. I don't know if that's common. Is that something that you find with your clients like that? Let's say you put them into a shirt with a pattern that they wouldn't normally wear, will say, oh, I never thought I'd wear this, and then maybe six months down the line, stash it in the back of a closet, never wear it again. Is that something you come across? I mean,
Anja Potkonjak [00:22:57] potentially, right. Like when it comes to patterns, it's difficult because when you start wearing them so many times, it kind of gets boring to anybody, really. Right. But, um, but there are different ways to take that one shirt and change it up completely. Let's say if you are wearing a pattern dress shirt, for example, you can put a cardigan on top, layer it up, you can put a jean jacket, you could put a leather jacket. You know, you can wear it on its own. There's just so many different ways to do it just to change the way that that one shirt looks. Yeah. So another thing I do with my clients, I say, you know, we're going to get a bunch of stuff, but this bunch of stuff are not not a bunch. But let's say like let's say temperature pans, temperature shirt. So I'm just throwing a number out there and I'm going to say we're going to get different jackets, different sweaters. I'm going to create fifty different looks with these like really how are you going to do that? All right. So then like I'll put a collage together for them. So they also to have a memory of what they were wearing. So when we're doing the actual styling, I'll take pictures of everything that they're wearing. I send it to them. I'm like, just just for your information, remember, this is how you can change that one shirt into like ten different looks and that's how you kind of don't get bored with it.
George El-Masri [00:24:01] That's right. Yeah. And I think another thing is a lot of people just don't feel like thinking about what to wear in the morning. Like you, let's say you wake up and you just want to get out of the house, you'll just pick whatever. And usually it's the same stuff over and over because you're comfortable with it.
Anja Potkonjak [00:24:16] That's why that's why I kind of wish I went to like a Catholic high school like it. Everybody always used to hate, like getting dressed, uh, getting the you get the uniforms. I'm like, I would have loved that uniform. Right. You know, and then they have like different days. But yeah, I know to your point, it is it is a pain. But if you once you start you develop that routine of, oh, you know what, I know that that's going to go well with this. And then it's also to color matching in terms of saying, like, I know that no matter what shirt I put on with these pants, it's going to look good. So it's easy for them. So it's not like they're just standing there and they're like, OK, well, I forgot what you said. Yeah. They're like, oh, no, no. Onya said that I can wear any one of these shirts with any one of these pants easy. Right. So it's an easy thing for them to just kind of open their door and go make sense.
George El-Masri [00:24:59] Do you have any tips for maybe a way to spruce up your switch up the routine, like, say, for example, maybe preparing your wardrobe for the entire week ahead of time?
Anja Potkonjak [00:25:11] I always prepare the night before and I always say, you know what? When you're preparing for the next day, it just makes your life so much easier. That goes for anything, really. Just not not just clothes, right? Yeah. Um, prepare the night before. Have an idea or just call me a message if you have any problems, you know, if you're trying to figure it out. But for the most part, like I said, I send them those pictures and they're they're good to go there. I really I have really great clients, but so on.
George El-Masri [00:25:37] And so on a Friday night, you were picking out your outfit.
Anja Potkonjak [00:25:40] Yes, exactly. I like to plan ahead. I'm a planner, you know, like project management at its finest.
George El-Masri [00:25:46] Yeah. All right. So plan ahead. Make sure you have different pieces that can match with other like, let's say, a couple of shirts that can go with different pairs of pants, maybe throw on a cardigan or a different blazer or some sort of accessory maybe to switch things up a little bit.
Anja Potkonjak [00:26:02] Exactly.
George El-Masri [00:26:03] Yeah, exactly. Are you a fan of accessories for men?
Anja Potkonjak [00:26:05] I am. I think there's a certain type of guy that really enjoys wearing accessories and there's a certain type of guy that just absolutely hates.
George El-Masri [00:26:11] What kind of accessories are we talking?
Anja Potkonjak [00:26:13] Anything, necklaces, bracelets, rings, they just don't like it. It just causes a distraction for them.
George El-Masri [00:26:20] See exactly light or anything at all.
Anja Potkonjak [00:26:23] Well, and that's the thing, right? Like, some people love it. I know guys that'll wear two necklaces and they'll have a bracelet, some ring and a watch and the whole nine yards. But there's some clients like that's not my style. And I don't I don't force that. For me, it's mainly like the clothing. Like if if I think the client's open to the accessories, I'm always for it. I'm like, you know, we can get a couple subtle things. They don't have to be so flashy, but, um, you know, small steps.
George El-Masri [00:26:50] All right. Well, we talked about some of the important things to have a strong image, let's say, in a professional setting. So you say the fit is very important. Absolutely, yeah. Are there any other things that are important for for a professional setting and presentation?
Anja Potkonjak [00:27:05] Well, no, like, OK, so no one is the fact. Absolutely. Um. Another thing is, is just getting into something that makes you feel comfortable. Right. Like there's different suits out there for men. That and a lot of my clients will do me to measure or bespoke suits. You have to be comfortable in what you're wearing. And a lot of people, I find, that are not in something that they are comfortable in get distracted. And that's not a good thing. So finding something again is great and just something that makes you feel comfortable. And like I said, corporate structure is completely changing in terms of the things that people are wearing. So if it's not a suit that you're wearing, maybe it's going to be like a nice formal pant with a sweater. Let's say, for example, just finding something that you're comfortable in really is what matters.
George El-Masri [00:27:50] All right. So it's not about specific colors or
Anja Potkonjak [00:27:55] it's not specific
George El-Masri [00:27:57] materials. It's about comfort and it's about fit. Correct. And the whole point of that is to give you confidence so that from within the change comes from within. It's not about how people perceive you, but it's how you perceive yourself, correct? Absolutely. All right. Good. I was going to ask you something here, but I just kind of forgot. Well, anyways, just in terms of tips on how to maybe efficiently spruce up your wardrobe, are there any things, anything specific that comes to mind
Anja Potkonjak [00:28:30] just paying attention to what's coming up in the season? Um, I mean, Instagram is a huge platform. There's so many different accounts for men. You can take a look there and get ideas if you don't necessarily have the time for a stylist or if you don't really have time to shop, period, you know, you can order online. But, um, typically, look look online, see what really gets your eye, catches your attention and then go from there. Just start small. Like there's so many different ways that you can start, but just start, you know, and then you can take it from the jeans to lasers to sweaters so, you know, dress shirts. Although I do stretch shirts for the most part, ninety nine point nine percent of men will have to get altered.
George El-Masri [00:29:12] Oh, yeah. So you recommend that people buy a dress shirt off the rack and then get it adjusted?
Anja Potkonjak [00:29:18] I recommend that people actually do me to measure in the long term. It's actually a lot cheaper because they're not that expensive. They're not they're not like I mean, a couple of different places I go to. They range anywhere from one hundred and fifty to the most expensive one is maybe three hundred five hundred at the stores that I go to. But it depends on the fabric. And there's just so many
George El-Masri [00:29:37] different pair and there are options that are even less than that. The quality is going to be a little bit different. But yeah, it might still be better than going to like Zara or certain other stores.
Anja Potkonjak [00:29:47] And again, it just goes back to what your budget is. Right. So with my clients, the number one thing I focus on, too, when we're at the consultation is like, what's your budget for this? You know, and some of them will say, well, I don't really have one. I'm like, well, we have to work with something because there's just so many different options out there. We can go and shop for suits. If you want the finest quality, you're going to be spending a fine dollar, right? So you just have to kind of figure out what works best for you. And like I said, if you're online searching and looking and looking at different Instagram accounts, even my Instagram account. So, I mean, there's just so many different ideas you can get.
George El-Masri [00:30:21] Yeah, well, let's see, somebody had like five hundred dollar budget, which is a very small budget. What would be some of the first things that you would go after? Basically, I'm asking you, what's the priority?
Anja Potkonjak [00:30:32] Um, I would say pants. So I'm going to give away one of my secrets. Club Monaco has the best. Chino's the hands down. And I love the fact that you can mix and match those chinos with everything. Right. You can throw on a pair of converse shoes. You can throw on a loafer, you can throw on a dress. You you can throw on whatever you want, basically. And then you just find one nice shirt that fits you. And it's a full outfit that you can transition from day into night. So you can go from office out on a date with your friends for a drink. And, um, that's a number one thing. And then they're not even that expensive, to be honest. So I would say, um, pants, chinos, maybe a pair of. Jeans and a couple of different tops.
George El-Masri [00:31:13] OK, so mostly focus on the pants. Yes, on the lower, yes. And then because the shirts, I guess you can figure it out or you might even be able to use what you have already.
Anja Potkonjak [00:31:22] I just find that it's easier to find shirts for four men. I mean, I'm not talking specifically dress shirts. I'm talking about like any shirts. And even if you are five hundred dollar budget, you can even go into Zarah and find a couple of pairs of t shirts and a couple of pairs of, let's say, light cardigans for our spring summer weather we have right now. So, um, and they're not that expensive. So there's there's different ways to do it. It's just a matter of doing your research or getting a stylist like myself to do the research for you. It's just depends on what your budget is. But start off with those foundational things like the pants and the shirts that are going to fit you properly.
George El-Masri [00:31:59] I agree with you. I'll when I a few years ago, I went into Ted Baker to get a suit because I was at York Dale Mall and some guy was wearing a really nice suit. And I just asked him where he got in. He's like, oh, just Ted Baker downstairs. So I went in there, I checked it out and I tried on the suit. It looked good. But the guy, the the associate was saying that you should get a tapert. And that was the first time that I knew anything about getting a suit tapered because I always thought you can, like, shorten the sleeves. I didn't know that you can actually
Anja Potkonjak [00:32:30] take them in. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:32:31] Yeah. In so that they're tighter. Yeah. It's a much different look much. Yeah. And I started doing that with all of my. Well a lot of the clothes that I had and it made such a huge, huge difference. Very it doesn't cost very much. No, not at all. Yeah. But like I had a few suits that I, that I had bought a few years ago and I never wore them because I just hated how they fit. But once, once I got the legs tapered on the pants and the sleeves that made all the difference, it looked so much better.
Anja Potkonjak [00:32:58] And that goes back to the fat. That's why I'm a stickler for fat, because it's those subtle little things that people don't really pay attention to or really even understand that they can do or I don't really know that the option is there for that. Right. Having a suit that fits you like it's made for you, you just said right now, like it made a huge difference. And you notice the
George El-Masri [00:33:16] huge stuff and it makes the suit look more expensive. Exactly. Because if you have a very expensive suit that doesn't fit well, it'll still look cheap.
Anja Potkonjak [00:33:24] Absolutely. And I've seen that many times.
George El-Masri [00:33:27] Yeah. So it just getting getting the adjustments done and you don't even have to spend a lot really. Like if you don't have a huge budget, if you're able to just like you said, just make those small adjustments, it'll
Anja Potkonjak [00:33:38] change things for sure. Oh no. One hundred percent. And there's so many different options. Do like there's outlets, there's if you if you really want to look you can find.
George El-Masri [00:33:45] Yeah. For sure. It's just a matter of time. So that's why it's great to have someone like you who can go out there ahead of time, like you said, visit the stores and pick things out. So that saves them time. Saves some people time.
Anja Potkonjak [00:33:57] Exactly. Yeah. And I love doing it so they don't have to I don't have to drag them around with me. They can just show up and we'd already have everything we need for the pull for that day to shop.
George El-Masri [00:34:07] Yeah. What goals do you have for your business
Anja Potkonjak [00:34:10] in terms of,
George El-Masri [00:34:12] in terms of the direction that you want to take it in? How many clients are you interested in working with? Just just in general?
Anja Potkonjak [00:34:19] I mean, right now, directionally, directionally, um, the business is at a great standpoint. Um, I can't complain. I have great clients, um, pretty busy as I like right now. Yeah. I've worked with some amazing people. I've done a lot of different things where, um, you know, like doing a podcast like this or, you know, being like a feature on different segments and blogs and in newspapers and whatnot. And so as it stands, I'm very, very happy with where it is. Good.
George El-Masri [00:34:48] Again, I was going to ask you a question, but I forgot. OK, I guess we'll just move on to the next segment here. Oh, before we do, I just remembered how are you getting your clients? Are you doing ads? Are you promoting
Anja Potkonjak [00:35:01] online? Uh, so it's mainly through my existing clients. They get their referrals and Instagram and then just surprisingly enough, Google search.
George El-Masri [00:35:10] OK, so just organically, you're not doing any. No ads. No. And for your referrals, are you asking for them or are people just thinking of you?
Anja Potkonjak [00:35:17] People are just thinking of me. Really?
George El-Masri [00:35:19] Yeah. Have you ever tried asking for referrals?
Anja Potkonjak [00:35:21] I have. I have. And I mean, I guess because a lot most actually of my clients will always send me referrals that, like, I just kind of don't even ask anymore because they do anyways. So but yeah. No, I'm not afraid to ask. Yeah. If that's what your question is.
George El-Masri [00:35:36] No, I'm just it just because I think a lot of people don't ask for referrals, a lot of people think that you have to do you have to create ads and pay money to promote rather than just leveraging the people that are already believing that already believe in you, that have used your services.
Anja Potkonjak [00:35:53] Absolutely. Yeah. No, no, I'm not afraid to ask. Yeah. If you don't ask, you don't know what the answer is
George El-Masri [00:35:58] going to be. OK, perfect. Let's jump into the next section, which is the random five. I'm going to ask you five random questions, OK? All right. And you can just let me know whatever comes to mind, OK? All right. What's the most valuable lesson? That a teacher taught you as a child.
Anja Potkonjak [00:36:14] Don't take no for an answer.
George El-Masri [00:36:16] OK, it was that here or in Serbia that was there or Bosnia.
Anja Potkonjak [00:36:19] I guess that was here.
George El-Masri [00:36:20] Yeah, OK, that was here. Don't take no for an answer. And that means was there a context around that? Like where you trying to get something.
Anja Potkonjak [00:36:28] And, um, I was I like to hustle as I like to say, I think I don't know what I was. It was I was trying to I was trying to get I think it was probably some classmate or something to to do something. And she's like, don't take no for an answer. She's like, but, you know, look at it from a perspective where if you want it, figure out a different way to ask for
George El-Masri [00:36:49] it, to ask for it, find a way to get
Anja Potkonjak [00:36:51] what you want, find a way to get what you want, obviously without hurting anybody or anything in like a malicious way. Just from a humbling perspective. Don't take no for an answer. Got it.
George El-Masri [00:37:01] OK, that's good. What's one meal you'd eat for the rest of your life?
Anja Potkonjak [00:37:07] For the rest of my life. Oh I love seafood. Yeah. I don't know if that doesn't really narrow it down to it. That's why we go to the Mediterranean like a good octopus and yeah, just leave me in Greece by the ocean and I just
George El-Masri [00:37:21] want to do like culinary do. I do. Yeah that's amazing.
Anja Potkonjak [00:37:26] It's so good. I can't eat it all the time and it's good for you so.
George El-Masri [00:37:29] Exactly. Yeah. OK, perfect. I think you'd probably get sick of seafood though.
Anja Potkonjak [00:37:33] Eventually you'd probably just get sick in general from seafood right. Over time. But who knows.
George El-Masri [00:37:40] OK, can you share a success principal. You live by
Anja Potkonjak [00:37:44] treat others how you want to be treated. OK, I think the number one thing in life is showing respect to people. Doesn't matter who they are, you know, like the saying you can cheat the CEO the same way you treat the, you know, the janitor. The janitor. Right. So and I'm I'm and I hold myself to that merit. I really don't think that people have, um, an idea of how and what other people are going through. So you just have to that's how you want to be treated, you know? Well, we're all going through something at the end of the day. Be a good person.
George El-Masri [00:38:12] Right. Well, the funny thing is, before actually interviewing you or even calling you, I had spoken to a couple of stylists and some of them, they didn't really give me a good, good feeling for whatever reason. But when I spoke to you, I actually felt like you would a bit. You are a good fit for this. I just got a good, good vibe from you. So thank
Anja Potkonjak [00:38:31] you. Likewise. This is why I'm here.
George El-Masri [00:38:34] All right. Can you share your morning routine?
Anja Potkonjak [00:38:38] I wake up, I think I meditate. I meditate for ten minutes every morning and every night, actually, um, I meditate. I make myself a water with lemon hot water with lemon and I blast music. Oh, I listen to music all the time. I thank my neighbors hate me, but I do. I love listening to music. It puts me in a good mood, you know, just listening to really anything. I'm open to all genres and just getting ready to tackle the day.
George El-Masri [00:39:09] OK, do you work out as well?
Anja Potkonjak [00:39:11] I work during the day. I don't work out in the morning. OK, just when I have time. Actually I work
George El-Masri [00:39:16] right. Life. Yeah. OK, all right. So this is a two part question. It's the final one in a professional setting, do you think women should wear skirts or pants?
Anja Potkonjak [00:39:26] Women should wear whatever they want to wear.
George El-Masri [00:39:28] OK, that's a good answer.
Anja Potkonjak [00:39:30] Now if you want to wear pants, whereas if you want to wear a skirt, wear a skirt, you know, like we live we live in an age where come on, come on, guys. Like, we should be really able to wear whatever. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:39:40] Who's to say what you should be wearing, even for example, like a suit for men. I always wondered where that idea came from. That that is the professional. Look, I'm sure there is a history. You know, the history.
Anja Potkonjak [00:39:54] No, I don't actually at a question
George El-Masri [00:39:56] like why aren't t shirts the professional look, for example? Well, I can imagine maybe because the suits are more expensive. So you have to spend more money and that gives you that prestigious look potentially. I'm talking about historically,
Anja Potkonjak [00:40:08] I think I think it stems essentially also two from different eras and progressions know we had the kings and the queens. Right. And then different eras transition into different wardrobe styles. Right. I'm going to say it's safe to assume that from an evolutionary perspective, we were we hit that point in our lives where what's the next thing? And men who were, you know, well off would purchase suits. And so that was a status thing, a stature thing. So I want to say kind of started from that realm. Yeah. And then it transitioned and
George El-Masri [00:40:42] it could even be like, why don't men wear dresses? Why is it a suit? Like, why is it pants, shirt and jacket? It's just I'm just curious to know why that happened. But I do know one thing. Do you know why men have flaps at the back of their suit jackets? Like, you know why there is a suit.
Anja Potkonjak [00:40:57] Tell me why.
George El-Masri [00:40:59] You know, as I do know, from my understanding, it was originally created for the men that were riding on horses so that it wouldn't question. Yeah, yeah, exactly. So that's something that I discovered when I bought my Ted. Because there is a little pamphlet inside that explain it.
Anja Potkonjak [00:41:16] Yeah, that and also to after a while, like I mean, that's how it started. But it's also too like when you sit down. Yeah. So it doesn't pull it, right.
George El-Masri [00:41:23] Yeah. Originally for the horses
Anja Potkonjak [00:41:26] and other things, it's like I see a lot of guys walking around in the financial district specifically where they have the flab, but they didn't cut the string. I just want to carry little scissors. Like, can you just stop for a minute? It's going to get that right.
George El-Masri [00:41:39] Right. Yeah, I guess people don't really know if they should or not.
Anja Potkonjak [00:41:43] Like they'll leave like a tag on or.
George El-Masri [00:41:45] Yeah, yeah, yeah. The little thing it's interesting just to see different people. Like for me personally I don't really love to shop, but I do, I don't want to look bad. Like I just I want to wear just enough to to look presentable and decent, especially because I'm in sales and whatnot. So when I was younger, I used to enjoy shopping a lot more as I as I've aged.
Anja Potkonjak [00:42:09] It's is it is it a time thing? Is it what what's the main, I guess, point as to why you don't like it and why change time.
George El-Masri [00:42:17] Yeah, because I don't have the patience to go to the mall like I used to and spend all those hours shopping. So for me, like getting a custom shirt is so much better, even though it's a little more expensive, but it just saves time. And the other thing is, I don't like to spend as much money as I used to on clothes. I just for for whatever reason, like I have different priorities now, like a mortgage.
Anja Potkonjak [00:42:40] That's a big priority.
George El-Masri [00:42:42] So I rather save the money and spend it on something different. But just once in a while, I kind of set aside a small budget for for clothes.
Anja Potkonjak [00:42:51] You have to invest in yourself, you know, and it doesn't have to be an astronomical amount. But just a little bit of investment in yourself goes a long way. You know, you're not. That's what my grandfather had of saying. He's like, you're not rich enough to buy crap. And really and that resonates with me because the more things you buy that are cheaper, you're going to have to keep buying. Right. So in the end, if you spend an extra one hundred dollars, the quality of something is going to be astronomically different. And so you have it then for a longer period of time as opposed to buying a shirt that's six bucks a box, that it's going to wash it a couple of times. It's going to get ruined and disheveled. And you're like, well, now I'm going to go buy another one for six bucks. Another one, OK, well, over time that adds.
George El-Masri [00:43:37] And it doesn't even look good. That's exactly
Anja Potkonjak [00:43:39] right.
George El-Masri [00:43:39] There's a big difference. Even when you're talking about like a V neck shirt. Yes. If you get a really cheap one, it just doesn't look good. And once it's washed a couple of times, it's done well. But if you get like a wool shirt or something like. Exactly, it's going to last.
Anja Potkonjak [00:43:52] Exactly. Well, think about it this way. You can use that six dollars here to clean your floors. Yeah, exactly.
George El-Masri [00:43:58] Yeah. What I do now, because I don't spend as much as I actually create a priority list on my phone, if I think to myself, OK, I really need some shirts. So I put that as a number one priority because what I used to do is like I would just go spend time at the mall and then, oh OK. It's a nice pair of shoes here. I'll grab those, I'll grab a pair of pants. And then later on I realized I didn't need that stuff. I needed shirts.
Anja Potkonjak [00:44:20] Right. That's they really you in exactly. Consumerism.
George El-Masri [00:44:25] So to create that priority list really helps. And then that way I'm I'm always just spending the money on the things that I need.
Anja Potkonjak [00:44:31] Well, and also to I think I think a lot of people don't realize. But online shopping is great for that. Right. Like if you know specifically you need shirts to go online. Exactly. Order shirts
George El-Masri [00:44:41] when you're online, you still end up seeing like a pair of pants that you like or something
Anja Potkonjak [00:44:45] you have. Not an online shopper. I, I, I really I think I maybe, maybe, maybe only purchase three things in my life online. Oh really. Yeah. I'm more about the touch, the physical look of things. So I don't understand the world, but I do know that a lot of my friends.
George El-Masri [00:45:02] Yeah. Yeah. It's, it's easy.
Anja Potkonjak [00:45:04] It just depends on your person.
George El-Masri [00:45:05] I do everything. I shop for everything online except clothes. Probably interesting. Yeah. OK, yeah. I just I think it's very important to have the right fit and to try it on and whatnot. So especially because like I said, I don't buy too much.
Anja Potkonjak [00:45:17] But if you do go to the mall and you find a store that has the fit that you're looking for, then you can just go online and you know what size you are. Yeah, that's true. So it helps you in that.
George El-Masri [00:45:25] But even even like, say, a given store like Zara, they they might have a fit that's very skinny and then it may not be advertised as that. And then they might have like another pair in the same store. That's completely different. A good example of that would be Topshop or Topman.
Anja Potkonjak [00:45:42] Topshop. Yeah. Yeah. The Topshop men.
George El-Masri [00:45:45] Yeah. Top Shop men. Yeah. They're like I can try on a pair of pants. That's so usually I'm like a thirty three or thirty four inch waist I can for them I might try on thirty two and it'll fit and then another pair right next to it will be a thirty six.
Anja Potkonjak [00:45:59] Yeah. And that's to the point I was saying like you have to know the store that you're buying from. I like you. If you know that then you know you don't shop online for that. Right. But if you know like let's say Box Club Monaco that you're a size thirty to thirty three, it's always going to be this. That's right, right, so you just have to know the story, really. Yeah, it's an effort and it takes a long time to really kind of figure out what works best for you.
George El-Masri [00:46:20] Yeah, it's an investment so that you can look good and feel good. Yeah. All right. There is that second part, which I think I already know the answer based on your other answers. But do you think men should be where in a professional setting again? Do you think men should be wearing a tie or no tie
Anja Potkonjak [00:46:37] in the professionals anyway, or just in general professional? What's professional? Let me ask you that.
George El-Masri [00:46:42] Let's say a job interview.
Anja Potkonjak [00:46:43] A job interview. Interesting. Um, again, with the with the way that things are changing, I really I really think it depends on what you're interviewing for, really. You know, there's a lot of we live in a time where it's like a huge startup culture. Yeah. They don't even care about if you're where they actually prefer you not to wear a tie, whereas you could be doing an interview for the bank and they might prefer you to wear it. Yeah. So it depends on the corporate culture you're kind of immersing yourself in. But I think that people need to figure out for themselves what works. Right. I personally, I love ties. I don't mind if they wear a tie or don't wear a tie. It's completely up to you. Right. But in in an interview setting, just know your employer, just kind of figure it out for yourself to really make a difference, you know, if you're wearing a tie or not wearing a tie. Right. You know, so that's true.
George El-Masri [00:47:33] That's a good point. What I love about just fashion in general is that in my opinion, there are no rules. I know. I know a lot of people say that there are. But really, I think you've touched on this. If you feel good wearing what you're wearing, then that's your fashion style. Then no one should you shouldn't be mindful of what anyone saying about it,
Anja Potkonjak [00:47:52] because what works for you is not going to work for somebody else and vice versa. Right. It's all about being, uh, have your own like like individuality the way that you do express yourself. Yeah, it's art. Fashion is are they really what it comes down to it. So everything
George El-Masri [00:48:06] is art. And when you think about it, everything is art
Anja Potkonjak [00:48:08] and you know who you are as a person. People don't know that the first thing that they see is what you're wearing. Right. So your clothes and you introduce you before you even say a single thing.
George El-Masri [00:48:18] So it's a little bit it's a little bit controlled because we're kind of conditioned to think to find out or figure out what we should be wearing based on what's acceptable. And even when you walk into stores, every store will have the same color patterns. The same style is just slight differences. I've noticed that.
Anja Potkonjak [00:48:40] So, again, it depends on where you shop. Yeah.
George El-Masri [00:48:42] Where, you know, I mean, if you're walking through the mall. Sure. And you're looking at the major brands. Yeah. They all they're all carrying pretty much the same thing.
Anja Potkonjak [00:48:49] And I'm in agreement with you. Even for women it's the same thing. Yeah. You know, it's it's across the board men and women like I walk in, I was like, that store looks like it has the same thing as the other store, just kind of a little bit different, but yeah. Same same but different basically. So and that's why it's overwhelming for people to shop. Right, because you're like, OK, I just walked by that store. That store has the same thing. What's the difference inside? And for people who don't know, they don't know. Right. So it gets a little bit more tricky towards the end.
George El-Masri [00:49:15] All right, great. Well, that was really good. I, I thought it came out really well. And I appreciate all of your input on this. So if you just want to share how people can reach you and you've talked about the services you provide, so it just kind of telling them how they can reach you.
Anja Potkonjak [00:49:30] Absolutely. So I have a contact form on my website. I w w w alpha male styling dotcom can just drop me a line there and I'll get back to them pretty much within the hour or so and they can check out my Instagram at Alpha Male Underscore Stelling. Awesome.
George El-Masri [00:49:46] Great. Well yeah. Thank you so much for your time.
Anja Potkonjak [00:49:48] Thank you for having me.
George El-Masri [00:49:49] Forward to seeing you again.
Anja Potkonjak [00:49:50] Likewise. Thank you.
George El-Masri [00:49:52] Thanks for listening to this episode of the Law podcast, if you enjoy the show, then I'd really appreciate if you left us a review on iTunes and let us know your thoughts in order for us to get a larger audience. It's really important to have reviews. So your support is extremely appreciated. And also, don't forget to share the podcast with your friends and family. Until next time. I'm George Elmasry. Have a great day.