Customers of the Month: Alvin and Julie Loh
Meet Alvin and Julie Loh, two of our loyal customers in Seattle. Julie is a pharmacist, who is passionate about balancing work, family, and friends, all while maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As a technology entrepreneur, Alvin ran a startup for recruiters and hiring managers that protected candidates from bias by redacting terms around ethnicity, schools attended, and gender from candidates’ resumes. Prior to starting his own venture, Alvin began his career at Microsoft building technology that enabled people with inexpensive PCs to use Windows, and then also helping to develop anti-malware products.
As a product person, a technologist, and someone with a passion for software development, what gets me really excited is figuring out how we advance things for everybody in an equitable way and improve peoples’ standing in life and health.
Alvin’s passion for technology and helping others crystalized after Alvin was unexpectedly diagnosed with an autoimmune disorder in 2009. After getting into remission, Julie and Alvin committed themselves to living their lives to the fullest, making the most of their time together and improving the lives of others. He was sick for a year and a half, and an experimental therapy finally allowed Alvin to go into remission. That’s when Alvin thought, “Okay, if I get out of this, I have to use my skills and experience for good.”
Supporting Alvin through his illness, Julie, similarly felt that “the life we live is short, so I’m committing myself to living a life that is fulfilling and positive.” Alvin and Julie now spend much of their time enjoying what they love most. Alvin’s interests include, reading, travel, charitable work with the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, building and advising businesses, and playing badminton. Julie enjoys a healthy lifestyle of yoga, running, and spinning. Together, they enjoy running and most importantly, spending time with their four year-old daughter.
We came to know Alvin through our Kickstarter, “I keep a spreadsheet of companies that I’ve found developing interesting products. Needless to say, Ministry of Supply was added to this list. Now, as I’ve retired older things out of my wardrobe, I’ve replaced them all with Ministry of Supply items.” Alvin’s staples include Aero and Apollo Dress Shirts, “My wife always jokes, ‘Alvin, you are so well dressed for someone who works from home.’” According to Alvin, he most enjoys the stretch, breathability, and the wrinkle-free aspects of Ministry of Supply, especially given his frequent work trips. Alvin introduced Julie to the brand when he gave her a pair of our Kinetic Pants. She has since built out her Ministry of Supply wardrobe with our 3D Print Knit Sweater, Luxe Summer Tops, and Aurora Winter Coat. “The colors are versatile and easy to mix and match, which makes putting together an outfit a breeze and gives me back precious time to spend doing things I love.”
How do you take your coffee?
Alvin: I live in Seattle, but don't drink coffee. I'm a tea drinker. I like black and green teas, Arnold Palmers (unsweetened), and I love bubble tea.
Julie: I don’t drink coffee but really enjoy tea, chai and a London Fog.
What/who are your influences/role models?
Alvin: Bill Gates and Warren Buffett
Julie: I am influenced by Christian values and strive to lead by example.
If you could have dinner with anyone, who would it be?
Alvin: I am a big fan of Warren Buffet. Every time I see an interview with him I always feel like I learn something new. He obviously gives great financial advice, but what really stands out for me is his advice on life.
Julie: My grandfather, who passed away when I was in 6th grade. I would love to hear more about his life as a chef, living in Cuba as a Chinese immigrant.
What TV shows or movies have you watched recently?
Alvin: Recently, I watched the final season of Game of Thrones. I also enjoyed Westworld and early seasons of Arrow.
Julie: It’s hard to watch anything lately with a four year old, but we did manage to get out to see Crazy Rich Asians and thoroughly enjoyed it. My husband’s family is from Singapore, so the movie was nostalgic and fun at the same time. We also just watched Free Solo, which was amazing.
What music do you listen to?
Alvin: Pearl Jam, Coldplay, Top 40 and I listen to a lot of podcasts when I run, unless I’m running with Julie.
Julie: Pop and Christian.
What’s your favorite place?
Alvin: My wife and I have been lucky to visit so many places. Favorite place in Seattle? I have a couple of favorite coffee shops in Seattle, but I just go for the tea.
Julie: My absolute favorite place is a sushi restaurant, Sora.
What’s one place you would love to visit?
Alvin: Before I got sick, my wife and I planned a trip to Kenya and Tanzania for an African safari. We ended up cancelling that so i could get treatment, so maybe we’ll get to do that some time in the near future.
Julie: I would love to visit Africa. I've always wanted to go on a safari with my husband.
What’s one thing you wish you had more time for?
Alvin: More time to read and study. Most of all I would love to have more time with my family. Over the last few years I really focused on my daughter and my wife, but there is just never enough time. I’d also like to spend more time with my parents who live in Canada. We just booked tickets for them to come visit us for 10 days.
Julie: I would love to spend more time on vacation with friends and family.