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Celebrating The Women Of Kayu

In honor of International Women’s Day, we are celebrating the women on our team. We asked them to share a little bit about themselves, the women they draw inspiration from and any advice they would give to their younger selves. Here’s what they had to say.

Andreina, Branding & Marketing

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you grew up, your background, etc.

I’m a first-generation Dominican American born and raised in NYC, more specifically, Queens, NY. After graduating from FIT I picked up and left my hometown for the first time ever and moved to the Bay Area– haven’t looked back since!

Who’s a woman you draw inspiration from?

I have always been inspired by my grandmother, she raised three strong independent females on her own after my grandfather passed away when they were all just toddlers. I can sit next to her for hours and listen to her speak so much wisdom, I’ve learned so much from her and I can’t wait to pass those teachings to my kids one day. She’s almost 100 years old!

What advice would you give to your younger self?

The key to happiness is to not take everything so personally!

What are you passionate about?

Images consume, I love creating mood boards for every event in my life haha. I’m still one of the remaining avid Tumblr users (even though I feel like they’re making a resurgence). Art, in general, keeps me going so you can almost always find me in a museum on weekends. 🙂

What did you want to be growing up?

Growing up I wanted to be an anesthesiologist since I wanted to fulfill my late older brother’s dreams but as I got older I realized my passion was definitely in fashion. So I’m glad I was able to identify that early on and do what I actually love, I’m sure my brother would still be proud nonetheless.

What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Even if you’re not sure of what you want to pursue, try different things and something will stick as long as it’s something you’re passionate about. Don’t feel like you need to go against the clock, everyone has their own timeline.

Erica, Business Operations

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you grew up, your background, etc.

I’m Korean American and was born and raised in the Bay Area — I’ve been a Cali Girl my whole life! West Coast is the best coast.

Who’s a woman you draw inspiration from?

My sister! She’s younger than me by a couple of years but always reminds me to be unapologetically myself. She also keeps me “hip” and in with the times haha

What advice would you give to your younger self?

I’d tell her to never get side swept bangs… and that you can’t please everyone but that’s ok!

What are you passionate about?

Fashion but that’s a given considering the industry I’m in, right? Aside from that, I go through random phases where I get really into something and my current hyperfixation happens to be on natural wine. It’s been cool to read about the different methods and experience the taste notes but my favorite part has to be seeing all of the fun and creative labels on the bottles! I am a sucker for curated design and packaging.

What did you want to be growing up?

Kid Erica wanted to be a stay at home mom, Teenager Erica wanted to be a fashion designer. Glad I got out of the first phase.

What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

Work hard and do what makes you happy and you’ll be able to make a career out of it.

 

Jamie, Founder

 

Tell us a little bit about yourself, where you grew up, your background, etc.

I was born in Houston but moved back to Asia when I was two years old. I’ve lived in Kuala Lumpur, Hong Kong, Austin and Boston but am currently in Northern California. I love big cities but also love the wildness of the ocean and mountains. California is the perfect fit.

Who’s a woman you draw inspiration from?

I’ve always admired Josie Natori. She’s a first generation Filipino American who grew her fashion label Natori from nothing to the powerhouse it is today. I love her East-West sensibility and how she’s stayed true to her roots while building a multi-faceted business that appeals to so many people.

What are you passionate about?

As a child I remember loving rainy days as it meant I could curl up in bed with a mug of hot chocolate and read to my heart’s content. My favorite thing to do how is read in the early hours of the morning when my husband and son are still asleep. I usually wake up before five, make my coffee, light a candle and cozy up on the couch. I’m currently reading Crying in H-Mart by Michelle Zauner.

What did you want to be growing up?

I knew I wanted to do something creative and have my own business.

I also always wanted to be a writer. I still do! Is it too late?

What is the most important message you want to send out to young women thinking about their careers?

You can do it all…just not all at the same time. Sometimes things need to take a backseat to other things and that’s ok.