In our third edition of our Guest Spotlight, we caught up with Mark Brand, international philanthropist and all-around good guy for a quick Q&A on his passions and to find out what masculinity means to him.

Mark Brand has been a mainstay in the city for many years and a regular guest of Vancouver men’s salon, thom. Founder of the infamous Save on Meats located on East Hastings Street among many other socially geared enterprises, he is every part philanthropist with an eye for helping those in need delivered througha mantra to support local community, enable upward mobility through employment, training and investing in the future.

"..If titles are important, I'm the founder and CEO of A Better Life Foundation"

— Mark Brand

What’s your coffee order?

Double Espresso, short or Oat Milk Cortado, depending on the spot and the hours clocked in bed.

Who are you and what do you do? 

I’m Mark Brand , I do a lot of things but what ties them all together is Design, food, convening, and direct impact for those marginalized in the world. If titles are important, I’m the founder and CEO of A Better Life Foundation (Canada, US, and Mexico) MB Inc. (The Diamond, Save On Meats, Hasty Cafe, Persephone Brewing, Catalog Creative here in Vancouver) Adjunct Professor of Design Thinking (USC, Stanford) and Executive Chef for The American Refugee Committee as my main roles.

Who is your thom. stylist and why?

Adam Petipas, that’s my man for real for real. Fellow DJ, basketball IS life, and we’ve been brothers for over ten years. It super helps that he’s a Maritimer and has always held me down regardless of my insane schedule. He also graduated me to a grown man haircut and ensures I’m linked with the best stylists on the planet wherever I go.

As a partner I allow it to dictate my deeper connections when it serves.


What is an interesting fact about yourself? 

I’ve been a Rap/Funk/Soul DJ for 20+ years, I don’t know how interesting that is but I deeply care about it.

What does masculinity mean to you?

I have so many clarifying questions, biologically? social norm’ wise? The positive or toxic parts? I do an entire 2 hr talk on this so let me just say this: I channel the biological parts of mine to fuel our work around marginalized populations, to have hard conversations where it gives me a chance to hold space for those that can’t. As a partner I allow it to dictate my deeper connections when it serves. I still have more clarifiers, time to book a cut.