Harry Drakopoulous and Angelo Destounis: Today’s Notable Young Professionals

Today’s Notable Young Professionals are Harry Drakopoulous and Angelo Destounis, cousins and co-founders of ‘Off The Hook‘ boutique in downtown Montreal. ‘Off The Hook’ has been a staple in Montreal for over 15 years, carrying the hottest and trendiest in luxury street-wear. Complete with a Vans store on the upper floor and growing social media and e-commerce fan base, ‘Off The Hook’ is a true demonstration of hard work and long hours paying off. We caught up with the duo to find out what inspires their work and what advice they would share with other young professionals…

Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
Our job is to keep pushing streetwear and street culture forward in Canada on a day-to-day basis..

Why did you start working at your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
We wanted to bring something different to our city and founded the shop to bring together fashion, street culture, art, food, and music.

What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is finding exclusive products for the shop, new brands, and things that we can help people discover. The biggest challenge is staying consistent while also making sure that we get better at what we do each and every day.

What is one sign that you’ve seen over the years to suggest that your work/life balance is off?
When you’re sick.

Where do you see yourselves in five years?
Manufacturing our own product line and telling our stories through our own product while marrying it with the brands and products that we carry in the shop.

What is one major challenge that you’ve had to overcome in your career? How did you overcome it?
When the economy tanks, which has happened pretty often in the last decade, it’s tough to be in retail. We’ve had to go back to the roots of the business and focus on how we made our first dollars. There’s a reason we’ve been around for over 15 years, so whenever a challenge arises we look back on how we got to this point. That, and balancing trends with making sure the shop stays profitable.

What does success look like to you? Does Money = Happiness?
Nope. Success is having balance – family and life. There’s also no feeling like seeing our staff and partners succeed; everybody growing together is a success.

What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Working with Vans. We’re home to Canada’s only partnership store with Vans and have been blessed to release a number of collaborations with them over the last few years. That and keeping the shop open for 17 years.

Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Choose your mentor from far and observe what they do, but don’t listen to anybody. Believe in yourself.

Where is your favourite place to wine/ dine in your city and why?
Le Bremner because they’re like us; hard working, passionate about what they do, and the food is AMAZING.

When you’re not working how do you love to spend your “Me” time?
We’re never not working. But definitely with our families when we’re “not working.”

Where is your favourite place to travel? Why?
Greece (Kefalonia). Do we really have to explain why? If you need a reason, do a Google Image search.

If you weren’t doing what you’re doing, what would you be doing?
We’ve been doing this for 17 years, so it’s all we know. If it wasn’t OFF THE HOOK, we’d be running another business.

Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
We support ProCure, because we’re all going to end up there at some point. It’s important for us to give back to the community that has given us a chance to have a successful business for over a decade and a half.

What to you is notable?
Closers. People who get stuff done.

Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
iPhone. We hate seeing green messages.