Blogger. Entrepreneur. Self-professed “unorthodox sports fan”. These are just some of the hats that Jean Trudel, better known as JT Utah, wears. Inspired by tabloid sites, the young Montrealer started the French language blog called 25stanley.com, which has grown to become the go-to resource for all things Habs. Recently, he underwent LASIK, a decision he calls “one of the best [he’s] ever made”. Read on and discover why this procedure was a total game changer for JT.
In 2007, JT was studying at HEC Montréal and was hungry for the next big entrepreneurial idea. Inspired by popular web sites like TMZ or Perez Hilton, he saw the potential to recreate a celebrity gossip blog suited to Quebec audiences. But in JT’s eyes, the biggest stars in the province were the ones you’d find in the sports section of the newspaper. “In Montreal, Carey Price is a hundred times more popular than the band Arcade Fire,” he says.
And so, JT saw a real opportunity in providing fans with a newer, fresher angle. He focused his early blog posts on what others weren’t talking about, from where the players were spotted out on the town, and just who it was they were spotted with. And that’s how 25stanley.com was born.
Shortly after its launch, photos of hockey players partying on vacation were published to the site. “Those [initial] posts went organically viral,” says JT, with readers sharing the content to their social media feeds. From there, things really started to pick up.
All of that buzz about the blog put JT in the spotlight: Radio-Canada’s weekly current affairs talk show Tout le monde en parle featured some of his stories and local magazine, Urbania ran a piece about him. That kind of exposure early on played a pivotal role in 25stanley.com’s success.
Upon graduating from HEC Montréal with a Specialization in Entrepreneurship, he decided to go all in with the blog. Since 2009, he’s been running the show. And in November of 2015, its success caught the attention of V Média Group, who purchased 25stanley.com, a milestone for both the blog and JT.
With the acquisition, JT still maintains ownership of the blog and manages all of the content that makes it to the site. Plus, his insider knowledge means the city’s local radio and TV shows seek him out to talk hockey—and hockey gossip. He’s also active on social media, giving readers a peek into his world (in his Instagram bio, he writes that he’s “fascinated by the #Habs shenanigans”).
And while scandalous stories do feature prominently on the blog, JT stresses there’s more to it than that.
“As much as [25stanley.com] shares gossip, we break concrete hockey news, too,” he says. “We’ve gotten scoops on new contracts before some major media outlets have.” And V Média backing his efforts, there’s no telling where 25stanley.com—and JT Utah—are headed next.
LASIK, A Top Shelf Solution
In spite of his successful career, JT felt hindered by his eyesight. He first got glasses at a young age but later switched to contacts when his specs caused chronic headaches. While the headaches subsided, wearing contacts came with its own set of problems: itchy, irritated eyes were an almost daily occurrence. Spending time in front of a screen, writing and editing articles meant JT’s eyesight needed to be reliable.
At first, he admits, he was nervous about the surgery. But after a reassuring consultation with the staff at LASIK MD, he knew what to do. Plus, he adds, LASIK MD’s exceptional customer service experience made him feel like he was in great hands.
“From the first contact I had with the [downtown Montreal] clinic, the employees that I met with were all so kind and comforting. They didn’t treat me like I was a number,” he says. After a quick and painless procedure, today, he’s living—and loving—his #lasiklife. He was so thrilled with the overall experience that he even wrote a very personal blog post up on 25stanley.com, detailing the many reasons why everyone should consider LASIK.
“Because I had such a high prescription,” he says, “I couldn’t go a day without my contacts.” Prior to LASIK, he admits to keeping contact lens cases in his car, on his boat and even at his parents’ house.
Beyond 25stanley.com, JT embraces an active lifestyle: “In the summer, I water ski a lot,” he says. “But wearing contacts can be annoying when doing water sports, and it’s a problem when you lose a contact in the lake.”
Now, JT is having it all and living life in a big way: Without glasses or contacts, he can enjoy his favourite sports, like wakeboarding, waterskiing, soccer and hockey, with ease. Plus, he can continue to build his media empire without his eyesight getting in the way.
Why wait? Start living your #lasiklife! Book your FREE, no-obligation consultation today and see how life begins with LASIK.
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Also available in/Également disponible en : French