Most of you will know Andy Jordan from Made in Chelsea, but now he is better known for his music and his family-run British beach brand, Jam Industries. We had the chance to chat to Andy about his life since he left Chelsea and how his career has moved in a different direction since then, as well as his love for surfing and what music means to him.
“To be honest, I feel like life has started since I left Chelsea.”
Taylor Magazine: Hey Andy! Tell us a little bit more about what you’ve been doing since you left Made in Chelsea.
Andy Jordan: To be honest, I feel like life has started since I left Chelsea. I loved it and it was a good experience but towards the end, it really was the achilles heel in bringing myself forward in terms of the things I love doing. So, I basically went 50/50 on music and my business and it’s great!
I work 9-5 like a normal person, which I love. Unless there is a really good surf then I tend to not go to work! The business has grown about 200% since I committed all of my time. We now have two stores and I’ve learnt that nothing gets you further than just pure hard work.
Taylor Magazine: When you put so much time into something and start seeing the rewards, it must make it so much better?
Andy Jordan: Yeah, we pretty much work seven days a week, but it doesn’t feel like work because I love it! This is really exciting as well – I’ve just got a new cottage and I’m building a recording studio in it so I’m going to write a whole load of new music. There is a lot of music that has been written that I haven’t had the chance to record yet. I’ve already bought all the equipment for it and I’m going to get it all set up myself, with the help of a few mates.
Taylor Magazine: What do you like best about song writing and how did you get into music in general?
Andy Jordan: I started when I was about 19 and it’s just about telling stories really. I’m actually weirdly not an emotional person outside of music. It’s kind of like therapy to me – I’ll write a song and I feel like I can just say what I’m feeling because sometimes I really struggle to say it without music. It’s like I hide behind the music and that’s what I love about the fact that I work too, because I live a life like any other person and as a result I have good stories.
There is a song I wrote called ‘We Are’, which is entirely about persuading my brother to stick with me in our business. He’s much smarter – he got offered a job in banking and I was like, “Noooo… don’t go, you’re selling your soul to the devil!”
He stuck with me though, and now we’re living the dream! I mean, we don’t have any money… I’m currently driving a Ford Transit van but I don’t care, I love it! I am never ever going to change this car. My mum asked me to upgrade this van and I was like “You must be joking!” This 2007 Ford Transit van was actually van of the year in 2007 – it’s not going anywhere.
“I’m actually weirdly not an emotional person outside of music. It’s kind of like therapy to me.”
Taylor Magazine: Looks like the van is here to stay! How do you find working alongside your brother? Are there any challenges?
Andy Jordan: Yeah, in many ways it’s tough but equally so much better than working with someone else because you have that care and respect for each other that goes beyond work. I can see when he’s unwell or unhappy and I’ve got his back as a brother rather than a partner.
Taylor Magazine: I guess it must be a really good partnership because you’ll know your brother better than anyone!
Andy Jordan: Yeah, it’s cool because we’ll go into meetings and if we’re doing a deal with someone for example, we don’t even have to talk, we’ll just look at each other and know what is going on!
Taylor Magazine: Sounds like you guys might be telepathic!
Andy Jordan: Yeah! We really are telepathic, but we do different roles within the business. I do all the creative stuff and he looks after the financial stuff. My brother isn’t really a clothing guy whereas I always have been!
Taylor Magazine: Opposites works well so if it’s successful, that’s the main thing!
Andy Jordan: Definitely! You have to have both. I’d be screwed without my brother! You know my Mum works full-time for Jam Industries as well?
Taylor Magazine: Nice! What kind of role does she have within the business?
Andy Jordan: She’s the bit that ties it all together. She deals with supply chains a lot, so she’s our factory liaison. A lot of the time Mark and I are in the stores talking to to customers, so we need someone behind the scenes talking to the supply chain. It’s cool, we talk to each other all day, every day.
At the heart of our business is family and fun. Anyone who comes to work for us and joins the team we will treat as family. We want to have that emotional bond with everyone that works for us because actually, it goes a lot further and people will do things for others that way. For example if someone is down in the dumps and has had a bad break up or something, I’ll take them for lunch, go for a surf, take them back to work and be like, “Right, now you feel better.”
“I’ve been trying to stay really positive mentally, so every time I get a challenge I go, “Yup fine, ok how am I going to deal with this one?” You know, it’s fun!”
Taylor Magazine: Jam Industries brand is a British beach brand and surfing is at the heart of it – is surfing your favourite thing to do?
Andy Jordan: Yeah, I surf every day! My favourite surf spot is an island called Lobos just off of Fuerteventura in the Canaries. It’s just one big volcano in the middle of the ocean. It’s such a cool wave – the waves just wrap around it. To get there you need to get a small fishing boat to drop you off, so they drop you on this volcano and you stay there all day. It’s completely uninhabited – they’ve made it a national park so you can’t camp on it or anything. You’re completely stranded about two miles off the coast.
Taylor Magazine: Awesome! Sounds like a good way to wind down. Have you had any challenges business wise?
Andy Jordan: Yeah, challenges never ever stop coming at you. There are a lot of things that are out of our control. We had one supplier who was amazing but unfortunately, they decided to cease trading. We have to react to things like that and we need to have a back-up plan.
Realistically, you don’t know any of this stuff until it actually happens to you, so you learn on the job. It wouldn’t be fun if there weren’t challenges. It’s not something we’re afraid of though. Challenges are everywhere but you have to stay positive! One thing that’s amazing is that I actually quit drinking alcohol in January, which if you knew me, you’d know how much of a serious challenge this was but by getting fit you’re in shape and you’re positive. Positive vibes go a long way.
Taylor Magazine: Congratulations on giving up alcohol – that’s impressive!
Andy Jordan: I haven’t entirely – I went to New York for a week and you know… that just kind of happened. My favourite beer is Brooklyn Lager, so I drank a lot of that. I’ve been trying to stay really positive mentally, so every time I get a challenge I go, “Yup, fine, ok how am I going to deal with this one?” You know, it’s fun!
Taylor Magazine: If we talk a tiny bit about Made In Chelsea, do you think that it helped your career or do you think it’s pretty unrelated?
Andy Jordan: Yes and no. It had its positives, I definitely gained some good friends from it. Equally, it has its negatives. Sometimes I think there is a weird misunderstanding that perhaps if you come from a show like Made in Chelsea you might not actually be intelligent or capable of doing anything else, which is obviously not the case.
For me, I hit a mental wall when I was doing Made in Chelsea, which is that I didn’t want to be known for being a ‘spoilt rich kid’ – I’m actually not. Like I said, I’m in a 2007 Ford Transit van! So, it’s frustrating and for me I want to be known for achieving something so that is why I definitely won’t be going back.
“We all went on a journey together. It’s a really weird thing to go through. The journey of going on television and living your life on TV – it actually makes those friendships even stronger than they were initially.”
Taylor Magazine: Do you miss anything about the show?
Andy Jordan: Not really! I enjoyed it the first year but in the second year I felt like I became a ghost. I’m obviously still friends with some people, like Jamie Laing. I talk to him but that’s a friendship that’s been there for years before Made in Chelsea, so it’s completely unaffected by the show. I’m still friends with Stephen and Spencer Matthews is a good buddy too! That side of it is cool – we all went on a journey together. It’s a really weird thing to go through. The journey of going on television and living your life on TV – it actually makes those friendships even stronger than they were initially.
Taylor Magazine: If you’re in the public eye all of the time there must be a lot pressure, so friendships must become stronger because you’re all in the same boat?
Andy Jordan: Yeah totally! I don’t regret it in any way. I don’t regret anything really and I am glad I did it – 100%.
Taylor Magazine: If you were to give your younger self any advice, what would it be?
Andy Jordan: Just… do what you want and enjoy! Pretty much how I live my life.