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The suiting thread


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So, JT is moving to Plaza Kelana Jaya. I do not expect business to materially change with this change of premises. All I gain is double the floor space of our current unit in Empire City.

This is a temporary solution, as all solutions. I had wanted to go full retail, but there are many issues which need to be solved first. Also, operating conditions in the next 12 months may have all sorts of surprises which are beyond what one could reasonably expect. So, for now, this temporary solution.

Plaza Kelana Jaya is a failed development. It is mostly untenanted.

But one business really stood out: Secret of Louisiana. At 9:40pm on a Tuesday, it is nearly full house.

Prices are high. It is in a location with zero foot traffic. I am waiting for my clam risotto to see if the cooking is really the draw.


(Is he that good that he keeps his tables full on a Tuesday night?)

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Melissa made this muslin in 4.5 hours, which is quite an achievement for someone who has only worked here for 6 weeks. My pre-pandemic employees would need 4 days. I wonder why the difference.

It is for a very young political science grad (London) currently working as special officer to a minister.

I shared with him an insight of mine that I told him is "somewhat relevant to you." He was curious.

I told him there will probably be civil war in Malaysia in my lifetime. He wanted to know between which parties.

Between the Chinese and the Malays, of course. I told him how Einstein emigrated to the US 6 years before WW2. I will not be the one at home when the militants come knocking on my door, I told him.

He wanted to know why I think there will be a civil war. I gave him the reasons.

While Melissa was making that baste, Dennis the Mayang boy was removing the old carpets from the future JT Workshop.


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I will soon be adding two pieces of furniture to the JT inventory of furnitures.

A cabinetmaker is currently making two bookcases for me. Solid kembang semangkok wood, with adjustable shelves. They are wide enough to accommodate whole bolts of cloth, something that the IKEA Billy cannot do. They are supposed to be ready end of January.

Then, I watched a video on YouTube where a lady was showing her house, and she said how she once heard someone say that you should put one piece of antique furniture in each room. This "grounds" that room. Whatever that means.

I contemplated the advice and think it makes sense.

So, today, I bought the antique table above. I visited the house of the owner, who is an avid collector of antique furnitures. His entire house is stuffed full of it. There is barely space to walk. He lives in that house with his wife. His children have emigrated out of the country, and have no intention of continuing their lives in Malaysia. They have no interest in inheriting his collection of furnitures. So, he's gradually liquidating his collection.

He says that he bought that table several decades ago, and that it has always been with him. It was very old when he bought it. Now it's even older.

I saw his wife and understood the situation. She is really old and frail. I think she will die soon.


My intention for this table is for use as a cloth platform. All tailors have a cloth platform of some description. In this role, it accompanies the shelves currently being made.

The tailor retrieves a bolt of cloth from the shelf. He wants to show it to the customer. He unfurls and places that bolt on a platform of some sort. This table is that platform.

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You see Lorenzo's cloth table in the far right. It has only one function: to place an unfurled cloth bolt on for the customer's viewing. It is often positioned in front of the cloth shelves.

The table he is leaning on has a different function. I call it a consultation table. At the consultation table, the tailor discusses the commission with the customer, and they peruse the cloth books on it.

Many Savile Row tailors do not have a consultation table. Instead, they have sofas and a coffee table. I find this arrangement idiotic.


Lorenzo at his consultation table. Notice how narrow the table is. This is so he can flip through the cloth books (for the customer) from his side of the table without having to stretch too much. I find 80cm to be perfect. His is like 70cm. Most tables are 90cm in width and this is a bit too wide.


Steven Hitchcock's cloth table


One of Liverano's cloth tables


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I am dismayed to find that in his zeal to protect the expensive hand rubbed with genuine lac bug shellac finish of his antique table, Lorenzo opted to cover it with glass.

I personally very much dislike glass topped tables.

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I am currently talking to this girl about her working for me. Doing that, I realize just how clueless 21yo's are about anything. The question then becomes: How do I communicate with her without coming off as condescending?

She messaged: May know in details what this job position responsibility are? Are there any other skills needed for this position other than sewing and pattern drafting?

I'm thinking: Many skills are employed in our operations. You possess none of them. You can neither sew nor can you make patterns. At least not at a level that is not embarrassingly bad. None of your lecturers were tailors. They have underdeveloped cv's, they have never been commercially successful, and they are not particularly smart. That's why they teach teenagers how to make clothes. For very little monetary compensation.

I'm not hiring you for whatever skills your lecturers imparted to you. I'm looking for only two things.

1. IQ

2. Interest

Skills are a BYPRODUCT of these two multiplied by time.

Of course I can't tell her that. So, I shall have to find something socially more acceptable to say.

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I thought Kent & Curwens sounded familiar. I now recall how I heard about it.

The owners once leased 2 Savile Row for it. I thought how stupid.

Turns out it was all financed with debt. Stanchart's money.

I find a lot of these businesses very strange. They would, all of a sudden, open multiple outlets. Then, 2 years later, it completely exits the market. 

That's not how smart people do business. You open ONE outlet first. Then, you figure out how to turn a profit. Once profitable, you open another one. That's how Uniqlo and Muji and IKEA did it in Malaysia. Open one shop first.

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