Riddle me this… Jag Bhabra
Up close and personal with founder of Gustav’s of London, bespoke gift sets for special occasions
If you knew then what you know now… would you still do it?
Don’t you hate this question? I was just starting to like you Riddle. I have to say yes I’d still do it. Everything we do is part of our story (good and bad) and it’s necessary for our development as people. I don’t like the idea of changing anything because I’ll kid myself into thinking it was the better road not travelled, and there’s no way in knowing that. So why beat yourself up for nothing? Plus I like my life so far and I’m the sum of my choices and mistakes.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
“Fake it til you make it.” I’ve actually heard this a lot from different people but I am not sure what they actually mean by it. For me, I use it as a mantra to make sure I feel like I belong and that I don’t feel like I am incapable of doing anything. You won’t believe how freeing it is to remove the restrictions, just because you don’t have the exact experience, doesn’t mean you’re not capable.
What was your biggest break?
The soppy answer would be having some phenomenal people around me, my parents, sister, aunt and family are huge influences and I didn’t choose them; that’s a lucky break. Outside of that probably getting into business school, as I was in a massive rut prior to that. Intellectually, emotionally and really lacking purpose. Whilst arguably that has not had too much of a tangible change to my life, it impacted me immensely. I met some great people and I know I am way better suited to succeed than I was before. It really grew my mind set.
What’s the weirdest rumour you’ve ever heard about yourself?
Haha! No one’s ever told me any rumours that were about me. If they have I have conveniently blocked them out of my psyche. I did hear something funny the other day, that some people at work assumed I was good with chatting up women, which is woefully untrue.
Do you consider yourself lucky?
I am both simultaneously lucky and unlucky. I think you need to be, for balance and perspective. You don’t really appreciate the good luck or appreciate the urgency to capitalise on the breaks unless you’ve been on the other side of lady luck. In short I’d say I am generally lucky, I have a good life, that will only get better with time and a good attitude.
What’s most important in your life?
I need a sense of achievement and accomplishment. I am a proud person, with certain expectations of myself. What I need to achieve isn’t entirely for selfish reasons, I desperately want to make those around me happy and proud. I suppose those people are the most important in that case.
What brands do you admire?
Apart from my own? I am going to be super pretentious and not go mainstream; Beautiful Destinations is one of my favourites, I love the content they create and their ‘Behind the Scenes’ stuff always astounds me. I also desperately want to be their friend. Monocle 24 are pretty interesting how they managed to evolve from print media into some great diverse, multi channel content. I am a sucker for good content, so Suitcase, Mr Porter, Vox Media Group and heritage brands such as Dunhill, Rolex and Time Life magazine and National Geographic.
Do you have a guilty pleasure – if so what is it?
I like to listen to cricket on the radio when I can’t sleep and England are on tour, but I want to sound interesting and memorable so I’ll say I oddly find picking my nose satisfying.
Describe your personal sense of style.
I hate the idea of seeing a picture of myself 20 years from now and wondering “what on earth was I thinking?” So I try and dress as non-offensively cool and casual. There’s a big part of me that loves a sense of occasion and a little bit of a classic style – I’m a big fan of the Bond franchise, old Hollywood and Noir which has some influence. I always want to look a little smart and not too high streety. As my girlfriend likes to remind me – I’m not cool enough for High street fashion anyway.