Meet Shawn Levin and The Rain City Kennel January 20, 2015
Who is Shawn Levin?
This week’s Customer of the Week comes to us from Seattle. Meet Shawn, a beer connoisseur with a zest for life and an affinity for adventure!
The/Studio:Introduce yourself. Tell our readers a little bit about who you are!
Shawn: My name is Shawn, I live in Seattle, and I’m a runner, cyclist, traveler and beer drinker. I go by a different name within my organization, though I’m not sure it’s appropriate for your newsletter!
The/Studio: Haha. I would love to know what your “organization name” is, but I think you are right, we better keep this interview PG! What does your organization do?
Shawn: This patch order was for a group called the Rain City Hash House Harriers. We’re a chapter of the larger Hash House Harriers organization that exists all over the world. The Hash House Harriers (or H3) are a drinking club with a running problem. We host events that can best be described as scavenger hunts for beer. These can have any number of attributes depending on where you are and which group you’re with. The Rain City Kennel (what we call our chapters) tends to have trails that are 5+ miles long, usually have 2 stops for beer along the way, and usually take place off of paved paths – hopefully in parks or in the woods somewhere.
The/Studio: That is awesome! This sounds like so much fun. I need to sign up immediately! What have you learned since starting your organization?
Shawn: While I’m certainly not the founder of the organization, since I started Hashing, I’ve learned that often times, the best way to explore an area is by running around and getting lost in it! I know things about cities I’ve hashed in that I would never have discovered otherwise!
The/Studio: This is such a cool concept. I can’t get over it. What about your organization are you most proud of?
Shawn: Hashing is one of the most inclusive physical activities I’ve ever been a part of. I’m proud that people of many levels of physical ability can participate. Yes, we’ll make you wade through the mud and slide down a snowy hill, but (at least in Seattle) you don’t need to be runner to do it!
The/Studio: I would walk for sure! I wouldn’t want to spill my beer! What are some of the greatest challenges you face with your organization?
Shawn: To be completely honest, there aren’t that many challenges with hashing. You show up, you drink beer, you go on an adventure! Sometimes it’s like herding cats, but that’s part of the fun.
The/Studio: That’s sounds great! Where do you see your organization or business in 10 years?
Shawn: Rain City H3 will still be hashing long and strong in 10 years
The/Studio: What type of legacy do you want to leave?
Shawn: Our (Mis)Management has been focusing a lot lately on carving out a niche for the kennel – kind of rebranding. We want to make sure that we’re unique in the Seattle area. The types of trails, the areas we host them, and patches like the one we got from The/Studio go a long way to make this happen. Hopefully these efforts will have a lasting effect on the group.
The/Studio: I am glad we got to be apart of that! What is the story behind the custom patch that you produced with The/Studio?
Shawn: As I mentioned above, we’ve been focusing on a bit of branding within the kennel. This specific patch has been a long, long time in the making. We went through two different production companies before I heard about The/Studio. The design was done by one of the members of (Mis)Management, and refined a bit by another. We love that it incorporates a reference to the Rainier beer can design, both because the mountain is such a prominent symbol of our area, and because we commonly drink light (read: easy to drink while running) beer on trail. Rainier is one of our favorites for this purpose!
The/Studio: This is my type of club! I love light beers! How are you going to use this custom patch?
Shawn: Patches are a huge part of hash culture. They are used as tokens to represent the various kennels you’ve run with. They’re commonly put on what we call “Happi Coats,” an adaptation/interpretation of kimono style jackets. For some, patch placement is very important (as a symbol is on the traditional Kimono), for some, it’s just a matter of jamming as many patches as possible on the fabric! For me personally, I’ll be placing this patch in the top center location on the back of my happi coat.
The/Studio: Describe the custom patch and what does it means?
Shawn: The patch is a picture of a beer can with writing similar to that of Rainier Beer. Among the things it says are: “Fueled by Beer,” and “Naturally Drunk.” These are above the prominent “Rain City Hash House Harriers.” Along the bottom there is a row of small feet, which is a universally recognized symbol of hashing.
The/Studio: What a great design! Do you have any promotions you would like to offer our community?
Shawn: If you show up to a Rain City H3 run having never hashed before, we’ll give you a dollar off your registration fee (which is usually $5-$7)!
The/Studio: That is so affordable! Do you have any upcoming events that our community members can attend?
Shawn: All of the Western Washington hash events can be found on our calendar at http://wh3.org/calendars/alternate.html. Rain City H3 runs the last Sunday of every month.
The/Studio: Is there anything our community members can do to help your organization?
Shawn: In February, one of our other Seattle area kennels (The Seattle Hash House Harriers), has their annual Red Dress Run. Here, all proceeds go to charity (which changes every year). It’s a really great time, and is for a good cause. This year the run is on February 14th (Valentine’s Day). Information will be posted on the calendar above as it comes in.
Thank you Shawn for sharing your story with us! Who knew you could run and drink a beer at the same time! I am inspired!