Up Close With Kylan Johnson

Current job: I am one of the founders of CoLab Coworking, the Columbia Food Park and I run The Focals (a small digital marketing company).

Proudest professional moment: My proudest professional moment (thus far) was when I quit my full-time job working at a call center and successfully started up my web design business. I had a failed attempt a few years prior, so it was a highly intense period of time for me and my family. A few months in, and after a large number of failed sales, I had landed a few large clients and never looked back.

First job: Fred Meyer grocery clerk at age 16. I spent all my money on shoes. My first 9-5 was with the City of Tulsa (Oklahoma). I worked as a survey tech in the Stormwater Department. Not the most glamorous work, but it was fun to operate heavy machinery and work on large city projects.

Fun fact: I am 25. I have been married for over six years and have three kids with a fourth on the way. I have had over 25 different jobs, and helped start four businesses. I have dropped out of college a few times, and am only one semester away from a bachelor’s degree in marketing, but I don’t intend on going back.

Favorite spot on a Saturday night: At night, I am either sleeping or working. But, Saturday mornings are all the rage in our family. A family walk to the Vancouver Farmer’s Market and playtime at Esther Short Park are a must. In the winter, we keep up the downtown walks with a stop for coffee at Compass or Boomerang.

Favorite movie: I only really like movies that leave you better than when you started. Documentaries are great, but I would have to say my favorite movie is “The Brothers Bloom.” You will never see me at the cinemas. I’d rather be spending time with my family, or plowing through work projects.

Music of choice: My favorite artist is Andrew Applepie. His music is the best when working or relaxing. I also like anything that has a beat to help initiate a spur-of-the-moment dance party. My wife’s Instagram stories are full of me embarrassing myself to music, with our kids.

Favorite place to eat: I love to sit down at the new Mighty Bowl location during the week. The Pesto Chicken Bowl with a “Ginger and Juice” is my go-to. I also spend a good amount of my dinner hours at the East Vancouver Hopworks Urban Brewery (HUB).

Motto/Inspirational quote: “Turn stress into adventure.” – Unknown. This is a quote that has been the driving force to everything in my life. At my home, it is written on the wall, as a daily reminder that stress is best spent on an adventure. This applies to all aspects of life, and can help define the way you look at challenges in your life. I think sometimes we find ourselves avoiding the mountains that lead to our dreams because of how stressful or risky they appear.



Joanna Yorke is the managing editor of the Vancouver Business Journal. She has worked in the journalism field since 2010 after graduating from the Edward R. Murrow College of Communication at Washington State University in Pullman. Yorke worked at The Reflector Newspaper in Battle Ground for six years and then worked at and helped start ClarkCountyToday.com.