Jack of all trades, master of… some? Narisa M Pokunchanan has her thumbs in every possible proverbial pie, and she’s made a living out of at least three of them. Her latest venture sees itself settling in Bangkok‘s new business district of Ratchada-Dindaeng, a co-living space called Life In The Alley, or LITA, for short. We talk work, passion, and how entrepreneurs like her cope through the revolving door of life.
Hello Narisa! Tell us about your personal style.
I guess I’m more of a minimalistic kind. I’m pretty much an easygoing person. I like to keep things simple and on point. This goes for most of many things in my life; clothes I choose to wear, food I choose to eat, and people I hangout with.
Co-living is becoming really popular worldwide. Why do you think so?
I believe that the trend for this generation is all about communities and sharing. People like privacy, but they also like to stick together as groups. Globalization takes a big part in this as people travel more while working. Accommodation can be expensive in some popular cities and co-living provides an alternative, affordable option, especially for international students and digital nomads.
What made you want to start LITA Bangkok?
I used to live in a shared apartment with a few roommates back in San Francisco. Many of my friends worked in startups as well, so co-living is something that I’m very familiar with. When I returned from the US and decided to stay in Thailand, I was looking for a project that I could work on and came up with an idea to start my own co-living place. Mostly it’s because I love seeing people from different places around the world, living together, sharing common spaces and inspiring each other with new ideas.
What’s your favourite thing about Bangkok?
I loved living abroad for many reasons and that includes the freedom; but Bangkok has always been my home. I came back for my best friend’s wedding in 2016, and getting to be back among friends and families was enough the reason to make me stay. Bangkok city is very charming on its own and it has everything to offer. People are easy going, food is amazing, and most of the things are fairly affordable!
LITA is in the Din Daeng district – what’s exciting in the area?
We’re literally in the center of everything. Ratchada-Dindaeng is the new business district that is constantly expanding during the past years. We’re surrounded by office buildings, shopping malls, markets, and nightlife scenes. Our location is just 5 minutes walk away from the MRT so it’s very easy to commute around the city. LITA basically stands for “Life In The Alley“. Even though everything is becoming more developed, the area still has local, authentic residential Thai vibes that is becoming rare to see.
LITA commits to organizing community workshops and activities. Could you tell us more about these activities?
We like to try to arrange workshops and activities that inspire people from time to time. Most of the activities that have been organized are based on requests by our guests, including Thai cooking, yoga, soapmaking, and sightseeing programs. We also host movie nights and small parties so that everyone can get together and make new friends. We have more planned for next year.
What’s your favorite food? Is there a restaurant you love in Bangkok?
Thai food, of course! If you have traveled to Bangkok, you’d know that food here is very diverse and most of the time, fantastic. I like Japanese too, but Thai food is my all-time favorite. I can eat somtam with grilled chicken, nam-jim-jaew, and sticky rice everyday. For restaurants, the Local in Sukhumvit 31 is always at the top of my list when I have foreign friends over. Simple. Natural Kitchen is my to-go place for healthy brunch, while Marcel is a cozy French place with good food, drinks, and a happy crowd.
What’s your favorite thing to do in your free time?
When I’m not at work, I tend to spend a lot of time browsing and researching for new business ideas. I enjoy meeting people and hanging out with my homies at our favorite places. I have a lot of DJ friends in Bangkok underground electronic music scene as well, so you will often see me dancing my legs off at clubs and music festivals.
You’ve got experience as a writer, entrepreneur, and artist. Do you see yourself pursuing more creative interests in the future?
Definitely! I am all over the place; like a jack of all trades kind of person. I used to dislike the idea of me not being a total expert in one particular field, but I look at it differently now. I love being able to do many things all at once. Life to me is all about learning and pursuing new experiences. I would love to try doing as many things as I can, while I can.
Finally, any advice for those who want to start a business venture?
I believe in endless possibilities and I believe that everyone has potentials in their own ways. I always recommend people to trust their gut; start with what they find easy for them to achieve first, and then work around it. Always remember that there’s no need to pressure yourself to start off with a big bang. Growing businesses is like climbing ladders. You take baby steps, and keep aiming for the ultimate goal as you go!
Looking for a space to crash in Bangkok? Learn more about LITA here.