How did Will Poho start his professional life? He built a great winter parka, attached to it humour, hockey and a Moose, and the potential became endless. In case you haven’t guessed, he’s the man behind Moose Knuckles, a brand that represents Canadian lifestyle with urban appeal, which is looking to spread its homegrown roots abroad…
Elevator Pitch: Describe your job in a nutshell.
I built a great winter parka, attached to it humour, hockey and a Moose, and the potential became endless. My friends and family may have thought I was crazy but running Moose Knuckles and bringing truly Canadian fashion to an international audience is basically a dream job.
Why did you start your company? What was the inspiration for this career route?
Well I managed to complete six years of fashion school and had to make something out of it. Moose Knuckles is essentially an adaptation of my Masters Thesis from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, which was based on the idea that Canadian fashion reflects functionality tailored to the diverse rural landscapes of the country, giving it credibility from a global standpoint. I looked at that as an opportunity to create a brand that represents Canadian lifestyle with an urban appeal. I guess you could call it one part luck, 10 parts effort, and one hell of a long fight to keep it alive.
What is the best part of what you do on a day-to-day basis? The most challenging part?
The best part is being creative and thinking outside the box. The most challenging part is working with partners who don’t share the same vision and constantly having to fight for the right to be creative.
Where do you see yourself in five years?
Five years from now I see myself alive and well! Being happy, healthy and continuing to bring Moose Knuckles to the rest of the world and representing Canadiana in a playful, urban manner.
What does success look like to you?
Ultimately, to me success looks like a full bank account because when it’s empty, it sure doesn’t feel like anything you did mattered.
What is the most memorable milestone in your career?
Without a doubt the most memorable milestone so far in my career is opening our first MK store in Korea. We are thrilled to be so well received in the Korean market and look forward to future expansion in that market.
Do you have any advice for other young professionals?
Do what you love and always have a fall back plan in case what you love doesn’t pay the rent.
Do you support any charities? If so, which one(s) and why is that important to you?
I believe in supporting anything mental health-related and support CAMH and the Royal Ottawa Hospital.
Blackberry, iPhone, Android, or Other?
BlackBerry because it’s Canadian.