I have been waiting for a very long time to reel Sagal Kahin into the world of the Passion Proj in more than just a “check-out-this-post-and-come-to-this-event” kind of way. And here we are. I’m beyond excited to introduce you to Sagal – one of my nearest and dearest; a lady who inspires me (simply by the way she lives) to think differently and challenge my self-imposed restrictions on life and the way things ought to be. Sagal holds a BA in Human Geography from the University of British Columbia, was a varsity Rugby player (and continues to kick-ass in all things sport), pottery aficionado, and lover of cooking. She’s creative and witty – you’re in for a treat with this gal as your World Cafe Series host in Vancouver.
On August 11th, we met up at Matchstick Coffee Roasters in East Vancouver – an absolutely beautiful space perfect for dreaming big dreams and getting things done. But it’s more than just a beautiful space; I was drawn to their vision and mission:
At Matchstick Coffee Roasters, we believe that all too often we place common things into categories that they need not belong. Too many of us go about our daily routines, experiencing daily products and services, while subscribing to the underlying premise that that which is familiar must also be mundane. Common becomes status quo. Common becomes trivial. Common becomes commodity.
At the core of Matchstick is our desire to take that which is common, like a daily mug of coffee, and produce it with the highest level of care and attention. We believe that something familiar can still be special.
AND, they strive to “source organic, seasonal, local ingredients wherever possible”.
Without further ado, here’s my interview with Sagal (along with many a picture from her instagram feed! (Follow her @sagalk):
Tell us about a great conversation you recently had
I just took part in a Young Women’s Cycling Camp, and I was lucky enough to interview the founder and organizer for an article I was writing for work. She’s AMAZING. I’m inspired by her.
She’s a doctor, has 2 children (one 3 month old and one 3 years old) and she’s super involved in the cycling community. She had this feeling that there’s not enough women in the racing community and biking community…so she said, “Ok I’m going to fill this void”. She’s busy but she just found people to help her run it..and she just did it.
One of the people who participated in this camp was Jasmin Glaesser – 2 Time World Championship medalist and Olympic bronze medalist.
Lisa’s just really cool. She doesn’t make any money running this camp; it’s entirely volunteer, so I was asking her why she’s so obsessed with being an ambassador for this sport. She simply said it’s because cycling has given her a lot in life and she wants to give back to that community. Through cycling, she was able to do things like travel around the world, and even ride a tandem bike with somebody who was visually impaired at the paralympics.
I’m inspired by the stories of female athletes. And the thing about Lisa is she’s not really focused on being an athlete; she’s at a different stage of her life but really committed to the community and giving back and being a mentor for young women in sport. And without sacrificing work and life to do that: she’d bring her baby to the session and just say: “someone hold my baby so I can show you”. She has her cake and eats it too.
Favourite cafe in van city and why
Culprit Coffee for when I have work to do. They have huge windows so i feel like i’m outside still. And i can babysit my bike while it’s parked outside!
Nelson the Seagull - favourite place when it’s raining. it’s cozy; I feel like I’m inside someone’s house. And they have communal tables and soft music, dim lighting and really cool books to browse through.
Crema Coffee Bar & Bakery – because I trust them to steam the milk to a temperature that doesn’t make me gag.
I also really like them because it’s a very social coffee shop; not a lot of laptops open – people are there to have coffee – not there to do work. And if you just walk across the street (or sit on the patio) you can see Stanley park and the Lions Gate Bridge from across the water and it’s really pretty.
What’s your go-to drink:
small americano; black
and when it’s not hot anymore, I don’t drink it. game over.
3 principles you live by
1. doing things that make me nervous…which is a lot of things [at this she laughs] and basically challenging myself to step outside my comfort zone
2. Packing my life full of work and fun in the hopes of achieving good work-life balance
3. Saying “no” and reminding myself that I don’t have to please everyone. What other people want me to do and what I want to do are sometimes two different things and while in some contexts its harder to say “no” to people, I don’t want to consistently find myself doing what I don’t want to do. Knowing that “No” is OK and then just owning it is important to me.
Most recently inspired by (Event, person)
I actually just made friends with this girl named Stephanie – we’re just really on the same page about a lot of things; it’s weird. Also, she shares my love for the Whole Foods Burrito bar. She’s insanely outgoing and super friendly with people which I really admire. She’s also always asking people really good questions – strangers included. She’s really curious about people and can talk to anyone – and unapologetic about it. Those are all things I hope to be better at so I really admire that about her.
Favourite book, film, blog
I don’t think I have a favourite anything to be honest. I appreciate good photography, lifestyle, fashion, design and mommy blogs. I’m very biased to an aesthetic appeal; I like beautiful spaces and read a lot of blogs that are visually inspiring.
Tell us about your typical day
I usually wake up an hour after my alarm goes off. Almost always. I’ve yet to master the art of going to bed at a reasonable hour, so I’m always pressing snooze a million times. On an ideal day, I would get my exercise out of the way before work, but that doesn’t happen very often. Then I make a smoothie, drink a cup of coffee, and eat oatmeal, every morning. And then I bike to work. My days are not cool.
[I beg to differ. Sagal’s days are packed with goodness including unplanned 84km bike rides].
most excited about with the world cafe series:
Having an excuse to talk to people i wouldn’t otherwise have the courage to talk to
what keeps you going when the going gets tough?
I always tell myself that regardless how it’s going, it’s eventually going to be over. There is a deadline and whatever it is I’m not enjoying is going to end. (think: exams). Also i read this quote and thought. YES. yes. “sleep is for billionaires.” I am not sleeping.
Sagal, thanks again for jumping on board. We can’t wait to discover the movers and shakers of Vancouver with you!
Passionate Readers: stay tuned for posts from Sagal which are scheduled for the 15th of each month.
What can you do RIGHT now because you’re so jazzed?