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Peer Portraits: Jonathan Pokasuwan, Reigning Champ

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Peer Portraits: Jonathan Pokasuwan, Reigning Champ

Based in Vancouver, British Columbia, Jonathan Pokasuwan handles sales for Reigning Champ and wings+horns as an account manager for CYC Design Corporation. The smile you see in his portrait is true to his personality and vibe in real life. Jonathan is fun to be around, generous and always knows the little hole in the wall spot where you can get the most delicious kebabs. 

We’d love to know more about your background, upbringing and the road that brought you to where you are now, personally and professionally.

My parents come from very diverse cultural backgrounds, but harmoniously sync up when it comes to cuisine. Growing up half Thai and Mexican there was always a love for trying new foods. My parents would fly back and forth exposing me to their culture and language which developed my excitement for food and travel. 

Through school I always was involved in some type of sport and played mid-level soccer and football all throughout my high school and university years. 

Before Reigning Champ I dipped my hands in all sorts of gigs from ziplines, construction, restaurants, and retail.  My first retail job with Nike really sparked my interest in sneakers and athletic wear. My wallet hated me, but I always had the freshest gym gear!

When I found out Reigning Champ was opening their first store in Vancouver I knew I had to be part of it. From there I’ve been able to expand my roots within a local company and build strong relationship with the most amazing people that helped shape my professional career. 

What is something you believe everyone should experience in their life?

Everyone should experience travel to Japan. If you find yourself feeling uninspired or need a reset, Japan always has something new to discover. The fashion offerings are top tier, not to mention the food options are endless. For my first trip I went solo for 2 weeks without any solid planning. It was the most fun and eye-opening trip despite not knowing an ounce of Japanese. I jumped around Tokyo staying in cheap hostels and rented a bike for the smaller cities. 

Train travel within the city was surprisingly simple to navigate using pocket wifi and Google maps.

In Kyoto I got to experience mouthwatering A5 Murasawa Wagyu and a Sento with an electric bath that sends your nerves through the roof. 

Hoping to return once we are able to travel again! 

What was your favorite moment today and do you have any favorite grounding rituals?

My favorite moment today was seeing a new leaf sprout form my plant! Quarantine made me a first time plant dad and they’ve been thriving in the sunlight so far! After a good watering sesh, every morning starts with the same smoothie recipe to break the fast. I find it tough to get some greens throughout the day so throwing 2 handfuls in a blender helps kickstart my morning and lays down the groundwork in making healthier diet choices throughout the day.

Jonathan Pokasuwan Reigning Champ for HNDSM

Work from home essentials? How are you adapting to this new reality?

Working for a brand that specializes in quality sweatsuits has it perks, I’ve been inseparable from my classic RC sweatpants. Through the day I find that a solid foam roller and a resistance band are key to stay flexible and remedy my terrible posture from being slouched on the couch staring at a laptop. 

On the bright side this new reality has rekindled my love for running and biking but has made me realize how fluffy I got during quarantine...

Any advice you can give to young creatives in and out of the current context of the virus?

Look into sustainable ways to bring something new to light. There are many young creatives pushing out quality content, but the ones that succeed I find are those that remain hungry and are genuine to themselves. You may fail and feel discouraged especially during these tough times but by practicing patience and putting in quality effort, you will flourish.

Can you tell us about some of your favorite spots in Vancouver?

The city has a lot of gems from nature hikes to world-class dining. 

Summer is the best season to fully experience the city. Highly recommend biking the Stanley Park seawall for an incredibly scenic bike route through the tall trees and over the Burrard Inlet. 

On the North Shore there are some great trails that lead up to lakes and glacier rivers you can swim in to cool off on those peak sunny days.

To round off the activities- favorite restaurants that are a must when you visit: Phnom Penh for their garlic wings and butter beef, Wang’s for their XLB, Toshi or Shiro for sushi, and Bun Cha Ca Hoang Yen for their wildly flavorful Vietnamese noodle soups.  

The list continues, if you find yourself in Vancouver and need recommendations - hit me up!

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