#DrakeDreams: Justin Manning, Assistant Buyer

Posted by Drake, August 15, 2016


We’ve teamed up with Street Dreams Magazine and New Balance to connect + inspire up-and-coming dreamers who live the creative life. If you're as passionate about food, drink, art, craft + design as The Drake is, we want to hear from you! Calling all makers, artists, musicians, mixologists and culinary adventurers: post on Instagram to show us how The Drake inspires your creativity. Be sure to tag #DrakeDreams + win a priceless Drake experience that nurtures your craft. Interested? Learn more here.

justin manning

It's not everday you meet a stunning model discovered in a quaint little cafe with piercing blue eyes and personality that melts the coldest hearts, but Justin Manning is all that and a slice of pizza. Now working as an Assistant Buyer for the Drake General Store, we sat down with the Nanaimo, BC native for a little #DrakeDreams tell-all.

1. What does the Drake mean to you?

Drake is a little bit of everything. It’s a creative conglomerate that is taking over the world.

2. How does working at the Drake inspire you to follow your dreams?

The people within the Drake community are the most inspiring. Everyone is contributing in a different way, and getting to see that all come together in the most amazing ways is a pretty awesome thing.

3. What do you love most about what you do?

I love being able to bring in products that I think are cool to our stores. Sharing what I think is sweet and seeing it sell well because other people think it’s cool too is exciting for me.

4. How do you feel when others get inspired by your work?

I don’t know if they get inspired by more work directly, but if people are inspired by the products we sell, then that is pretty awesome.

5. Why do you wake up and do what you love?

I love shopping around for well-designed knickknacks and novelties, which is part of my job, so that’s kinda perfect.

justin manning

6. What gets you out of bed in the morning?

My dog, Oval.

7. Describe your creative process.

It sounds a little lame, but scouring the internet, going through deeeep Instagram tunnels and travelling and checking out stores in other places is where I find myself being the most creative.

8. Describe your ideal day.

My favourite days are spent at the beach or a pool with friends, my dog, and some rum. A little shopping and a good restaurant for dinner are a bonus.

9. Tell us 3 random facts about yourself.

I grew up in Nanaimo, BC. I played saxophone in high school. Rum and coke is my drink of choice.

10.What's something people would be surprised to learn about you?

I actually started my life with Drake as a barback/barista at the Drake Hotel, working brunches on the weekend while I was at school. After working there for a year, I was asked to model for a Drake General Store photoshoot, and from there, I started interning with DGS. A year and a half later I became the assistant buyer. I’m like the other Drake, started from the bottom, now I’m here.

justin manning

11.Where in Toronto do you feel most creative?

On the internet.

12. Why do you love Toronto?

There is always so much going on which makes it easy to have a great work/life balance. There is also so many places to go to get away from the bustle of the city, which is also great at times.

13. Who or what are your greatest influences?

Joyce, the head buyer of Drake General Store is probably my biggest influence when it comes to my work. She’s taught me so much, and she’s also the coolest person I know.

14. In what ways you do see yourself improving in your work?

I’m constantly learning new things at Drake General Store, so improving my work comes along with that.

justin manning

15. What do you think distinguishes you from others?

Since I’ve had experience in multiple aspects/properties of the Drake, my actual job expands much further than just assistant buyer.

16. What do you when you hit a life roadblock? How do you get past that?

I’ve been lucky so far and haven’t really hit a life roadblock. I’m just going to continue going through life as if nothing bad will ever happen. It’s worked for me so far.

18. What's one important thing you've learned, that you could have only learned through experience?

Excel. As exciting and fun as my job is sometimes, a large chunk of my time is spent on Excel spreadsheets. I’m a pro now though, so I’ve learned to like it.

20. What are some goals you’ve yet to accomplish?

I never really think that far in advance for goals.

21. What’s #1 on your bucket list?

Travel the globe, go up in a hot air balloon, and go to outer space. Can’t narrow it down to just one.


Posted in: People

Tags: Drake Dreams  Drake General Store