He left the comfort of the corporate world of finance to pursue his passions of fashion and fitness. Little did Jason know that what started as a passion project would quickly unfold into a more rewarding and fulfilling life choice. Today, Jason is involved in all facets of fashion and fitness, from creating his own bespoke suit line, to being a VP of Catalyst Kinetics Group. A man of values, Jason felt a responsibility to give back to the community around him, so he co-founded his own not-for-profit 1KARMA, through this and other efforts, Jason has been involved in numerous fundraising efforts, totalling over millions of dollars, to support local organizations like BC Children’s Hospital, Covenant House Vancouver and the Vancouver Art Gallery. Jason is a true example of what being a successful man looks like when one gracefully balances pursuing your purpose with giving back to those less fortunate. Please welcome our newest Man Of The Week, Jason Sarai!
Age: 35 on Dec. 29th. No point holding onto 34 anymore ☺
What do you do? (Work)
I left the corporate world of finance to pursue my passions in fashion and fitness in 2013.
I’m a Bespoke Stylist and CEO of Style by Sarai – a multidisciplinary fashion, design, image and style consulting business. I started a bespoke suit line, called Jason Sarai, using fabrics from Italy and England from world renown mills. The suits are tailored and customized here in Vancouver, Canada.
I’m also VP of Catalyst Kinetics Group in Burnaby with my role focusing on fitness, active rehabilitation and business development.
Finally, I’m the co-founder of a not-for-profit business 1KARMA, with my business partner Riaz Meghji.
Why do you do it?
I’ve been passionate about fitness and fashion my whole life. Through my careers, I now have the ability to help people become more confident, increase their self-esteem, and put their best foot forward by assisting them to achieve their health and style goals. I work almost twice the amount of hours as I did while I was in finance, yet it doesn’t feel like work.
How do you make a difference in the world? (Work, business, life, family, self)
Several years ago, I was advised to think globally and act locally in terms of giving back to the community. My good friend Riaz Meghji and I started 1KARMA, a not-for-profit business, to raise awareness and funds towards local charitable causes and organizations.
Being fortunate to be blessed with health and opportunity, I believe greatly in donating my time, through mentorship and services. With my businesses, I’m thankful to be able to provide services to events that support various causes and organizations.
Since 2013, I have also had the opportunity to showcase well-rounded individuals that give back to their community, through my editorial series Men of Vancouver and Women of Vancouver for Vancity Buzz. The professionals I feature are hardworking, give back to their community, and are confident with who they are and the legacy that they are creating. I believe that sharing their success stories help create awareness about individuals making a positive impact towards society. They are an inspiration.
What are 3 defining moments in your life?
– Tearing my ACL playing for the second time when playing NCAA men’s soccer in Pittsburgh causing a change in focus from pursuing professional soccer to education
– Changing careers from corporate finance to starting businesses in Fashion and Fitness
What is your life purpose?
My life’s purpose is to pursue my passions, play to my strengths, and have a meaningful impact through my work and to give back/pay it forward to those in need in the community, both locally and globally.
How did you tap into it?
I want to make people feel strong and confident through helping them reach their goals and leading by example. Whether that is through work or my relationships with family, friends and colleagues.
Who is your Role-Model or Mentor?
I’m fortunate to have multiple mentors of various ages that I seek business and life counsel from. I’ve always believed in surrounding myself with people that are smarter or better at a set activity, task or skill. Whether it was during my sporting career to my life in business.
Do you have any daily habits? If so, what are they?
Listening to music
When do you know your work/life balance is off?
My balance is constantly changing. I’ve let go of trying to find an ideal balance as I feel that life will shift focus naturally depending on how I prioritize what is happening in my life at that set time, from a relationship, health/fitness and career standpoint. Therefore my work/life balance is at a constant flux and I don’t see that changing for some time.
Vulnerability is a challenge for most men – share a vulnerable moment from your life with us.
A vulnerable moment for me was leaving a corporate career as an investment advisor to pursing my passions in fashion and fitness, starting from scratch.
What did you learn from it?
Through following my passion, I was able to feel more connected with my work and new careers. With Style by Sarai, I had to follow my instinct and pave a new pathway as there were only a few similar businesses to replicate globally. My passion and commitment allows me to keep pushing forward, which has created new opportunities. I believe vulnerability has the ability to create opportunity.
If you are or were going to be a mentor for another man, what is one piece of advice you would give him?
Don’t set any limitations. Think and dream BIG.
How do you be the best partner (Boyfriend/Husband- past or present)
– You constantly have to work at your relationship. Communication is key.
– Date nights and small getaway trips to connect, reflect and detach from the weekly grind
– Build trust, honesty and vulnerability
– Have fun
– Make her smile
Do you support any Charities or Not-for-profits? (Which one(s) and why?)
I’ve always been a believer in supporting organizations, societies and charities whether it is through volunteering, mentoring or financially.
When I turned 30 years old I realized that I was spreading myself thin through various causes without being truly connected to any. I couldn’t comfortably state how my funds donated were being distributed.
Being in finance as an investment advisor at the time, it made sense to do my due diligence and understand exactly what my money and time were being donated towards. It was at this point that I reached out to my good friend Riaz Meghji, host of Breakfast Television, about the idea of starting a not-for-profit business as we both were attending and supporting several events through work and our own personal network.
We started 1KARMA in 2012 with the goal to raise funds and awareness towards different organizations and causes every year. We have worked with and supported Covenant House Vancouver, Camp Goodtimes with Canadian Cancer Society, and DUDES Club in DTES. We have raised approximately $50,000 thanks to our donators and corporate sponsors.
In September, I was invited to be a Co-Chair of the Nordstrom Opening Gala. More than 2,000 people attended a sold-out gala and fashion show and the event raised $420K benefitting BC Children’s Hospital Foundation, BC Women’s Hospital & Health Centre Foundation, Covenant House Vancouver and the Vancouver Art Gallery.
This past November, Riaz and I represented 1KARMA and joined 53 local executives and professionals of Vancouver to raise awareness and funds for homeless youth and Covenant House. This was our 4th year of sleeping out in an alley in downtown Vancouver to experience a small glimpse of the reality that homeless youth face on a daily basis. I’m proud to be part of a collective effort that surpassed the fundraising goal of $450K by raising $670K to this deserving cause and great organization.
If your life had a theme song, what would it be?
I have two:
One Man Can Change the World – Big Sean ft Kanye and John Legend
Don’t Worry, Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin
Where do you see yourself in 3 years?
Running a global lifestyle consulting company that focuses on image consulting, clothing, fitness and health.
What legacy do you want to leave for future generations?
I want to share my message globally about taking care of your health through fitness and nutrition and putting your best foot forward through style and fashion. Through this, I want people to become their own style icon.
What One book would you recommend for any Man?
Four Agreements: A practical guide to personal freedom by Don Miguel Ruiz
If you know a Man that is making a positive impact on the world, we would love to hear from you! Contact us at [email protected]
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