The Thursday Q&A with Stephen Bleeker
Stephen Bleeker is a serial pop culture entrepreneur. With his wife Janice, he is the co-owner of CD Warehouse. Earlier this month, he launched MyMusic.com with two partners and that’s where he is now spending most of his time. Their store-front operation, CD Warehouse, has a new store opening in Kanata at the end of this month. And their clothing retailer, iStyle Originals, has recently signed a few licensing deals in Europe. It will be launching new lines in the next few months in the bed-and-bath and back-to-school categories.
OCS: Who are your style icons?
SB: Tom Ford
OCS: What’s on your bedside table?
SB: My iPad. and Architectural digest
OCS: Best home accessory?
SB: My turntable and fresh flowers from my wife, Janice’s, garden.
OCS: Best recent fashion find?
SB: It’s a vintage T-shirt with a CBC logo on it. I love wearing it when I am out of the country. It’s like a magnet for finding other Canadians.
OCS: Who would you invite for dinner if you could choose anyone in the world?
SB: Richard Branson (preferably at his place on Necker Island).
OCS: You can see the debut of any piece of music in history. What would it be?
SB: Well, the repertoire is a little older but I would have loved to have seen the three tenors’ (Domingo, Pavarotti, Carreras) debut in Rome in 1990 at the Baths of Caracalla. If you don’t own this recording — buy it!
OCS: What’s your earliest memory?
SB: Playing with my brothers on the driveway with my Big Jim Sports Camper!
OCS: Your biggest fashion faux-pas, when, where and how?
SB: Channeling Bjorn Borg circa 1980.
OCS: Proudest moment?
SB: Any accomplishment of one of my three kids. My daughter, Veronica, graduates from high school this week. That’s my proudest moment… this week anyway.
OCS: Favourite piece of furniture?
SB: My kitchen table, because it’s a gathering point for the family.
OCS: Qualities you most admire in a person?
SB: Kindness, loyalty, sense of humour, graciousness and passion.
OCS: Describe a perfect day off (it can be anywhere in the world).
SB: Simple: On a beach, good book and great tunes, with Janice.
OCS: Favourite artist, living or dead?
SB: Emily Carr.
OCS: Favourite local artist?
SB: My mother-in-law, Betty McDonald. I have about five of her pieces in my house.
OCS: Best book you read in the past year?
SB: Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole
OCS: Favourite food?
OCS: Most-oft-played song on your iPod or MP3 player?
SB: Lately it’s been Fitz and the Tantrums and the new Amos the Transparent…. and anything by Third Eye Blind.
OCS: Wine, beer or both?
OCS: Mac or PC?
OCS: Fine dining or plain old diners?
SB: Fine dining is always a treat…especially with good friends.
OCS: Best restaurant in Ottawa?
OCS: Person, place or thing that makes you proudest/happiest that you live in Ottawa?
SB: The thing I love about Ottawa is that it feels like a really big small town. I love that I anywhere you go you can bump into a good friend.
OCS: Fave blog or website?
SB: Shameless plug: Our new start-up Mymusic.com
OCS: Twitter, Facebook or both?
SB: Neither. I like to be under the radar. But if I have to pick it’s Twitter over Facebook. @stephenbleeker
OCS: What’s your guilty pleasure?
SB: French fries
OCS: Favourite place to spend time?
SB: Home — when all the kids are in town.
OCS: How would you like the world to remember you? What would your eulogist ideally say?
SB: When he was born, he cried and others rejoiced. When he died, others cried and he rejoiced. (Modified from an old Indian poem.)