By CLAIRE LAW
Amy Lu (12)
What is your business?
“My business is a sticker shop called MimiBun Co. Sticker Shop. I started my shop in June 2020, but it opened on July 12th, 2020. I [always] wanted to experience what it is like to be a small business owner, as well as turning my art into something more valuable! My stickers are mostly “food” based such as my “Citrus Sharks Sticker Set” and my “Mochi Buns.”
What inspired you to start making stickers and create a business out of it?
“My main inspirations for opening a sticker shop were “AppleCheeks” and “thanksxu” on YouTube; they both also have their own sticker shops. “RossDraws” on YouTube is another one of my inspirations! His art is absolutely beautiful, and he runs his own art merchandise shop as well! As for my stickers, anything inspires me! From music to animals, I love being creative with simple ideas and turning it into something out of the ordinary.”
What was the process of starting your own small business like?
“The process of setting up my shop was tough, but also fun. The fun part was drawing my designs and sending them out to be produced! It was absolutely amazing to see my own art as a product! The tough part was learning how to start a small business, how to ship orders, and how to pack the orders! I spent so much time, usually about two hours every day, researching on YouTube and Google, but [the hard work] paid off. Doing your own research is super important and will help make the process of starting a small business easier!”
What do you hope for your small business in the future?
“I hope that I can continue to grow my shop and expand it beyond just stickers. I want to make art prints, pins, maybe apparel, and of course, more stickers! Aside from my shop, I hope I can attend a good college and continue to improve my artistic talent.”
Do you like drawing on paper or digitally? Why?
“I like drawing on paper because it is more accessible to me. Since I share a family computer with my brother, sometimes it makes it difficult to get the chance to draw on my tablet. I think drawing on paper allows me to be more creative because I have limited supplies, and I have to make the most of my resources! It is also something I have done for so long that drawing on paper is a lot more comfortable for me than digital art. I still appreciate digital art and do it from time to time!”
Have you faced any difficulties? If so, how did you overcome it?
“My self-confidence in my shop is one of my biggest struggles. In the first two weeks after my shop opened, I had a moment where I basically doubted everything about my business and kept bringing myself down. But, I tell myself constantly that success is slow and takes time. Another challenge is balancing school work and my shop! On weekends, I go through any orders I got that week and pack them. That usually takes about two hours since I hand-package everything myself. Also keeping my Instagram (@mimibun.co) for my shop as active as possible to draw in more customers has been a struggle since I do not have much opportunity to post due to school! But I try my best to.”
What is your favorite TV show or movie?
“My favorite movie is Ant-Man. I really love the humor in the movie, as well as the storyline! I would love to be Ant-Man because I think it is so cool to shrink down super small and see the world from a microscopic view. Also, the movie was really cool and funny! My brother and I have watched that movie so many times, and always end up laughing at the most stupid scenes.”
*You can find Amy's MimiBun Co. Sticker Shop at https://mimibunco.company.site/
Aaron Wu (12)
What is Undesirable?
“Undesirable is a platform to express my creativity with clothing. I grew to love clothing from the beginning of my freshman year. Undesirable started at the beginning of quarantine, and I think it was a perfect moment because I had much more time to develop ideas and implement elements that I thought were missing in fashion.”
How did you start your own clothing line?
“I had help from a friend and he gave priceless advice from motivation all the way to life lessons. That was the final push I needed and the tips he passed down to me were key to starting Undesirable on my own.”
What motivated you to start your business?
“I always wanted to get into fashion, and when I saw my friend Preston and Nolan start their clothing brand, I knew it was time for me to start as well.”
Where do you see your clothing line in a couple of years?
“In the future, when I get big, I want to host an event at Glen A. Wilson as well as other places like Los Angeles and New York.”
Have you faced any difficulties? If so, how did you overcome it?
“I can not say I never faced any difficulties because life is just full of rollercoasters. A challenge I faced was publicizing my clothing line. During my first drop, I messaged about 200 people asking if they wanted to check my clothing brand. Most simply did not reply or just left it on read. [Initially], I did not really take it well but I have learned to not take it too seriously.”
Where did you get the name of your business?
“The way I came up with Undesirable was from a sad song that I really connected with and I just rolled with the name ever since.”
Who is your favorite celebrity?
“My favorite celebrity has to be Bailey Sok. I met her in Little Tokyo not too long ago and I was really nervous.”
What is your favorite song to listen to?
“It has to be “Probability” by my friend Donny; that song just makes me feel some type of way.”
*To check out Undesirable, be sure to visit the clothing line's social media! (https://www.instagram.com/undesirable.co/)
Kiani Jimenez (11)
What is Humanidad Collective?
“Humanidad Collective is a mini-magazine that highlights any and all kinds of art from today’s young creatives. We also love to feature and promote small businesses! I started this ‘zine’ back in July, and I am so proud of what we have accomplished since then.”
Why did you decide to Humanidad Collective?
“In June, I was looking to start a nonprofit with goals of spreading love and light during such a dark time in the world. [However], I was not too confident because I was trying to [incorporate many elements], including art and creative expression. That is when I had the idea to make a mini-magazine, and I think my staff and I have definitely followed through with my original mission to spread love.”
How did you come up with the name of “Humanidad Collective?”
“In Spanish, ‘humanidad’ means humankind. In the beginning, I wanted to include the word ‘kind’ in the name since [my project] was a way to promote kindness. I wanted the name to be in Spanish as a way to represent myself, a Mexican American, and the many other Latinx people of our community.”
What was the process like when you first started?
“It was difficult at first to get our name out there, especially since we are not at school to promote it. When Humanidad Collective first started, we were planning the kinds of things or events we wanted to post as well as getting a theme decided for our first issue. Compared to where we were in August, we have come so far!”
What do you expect a few years from now?
“A few years from now, I definitely want to see our future issues grow and reach a bigger audience. I also would love to collaborate with other zines! Since most of us on the staff are currently juniors, I want to see how we transition to senior year and hope we get more people to join us in managing this zine together.”
Have you faced any complications? If so, how did you overcome it?
“So far, we have not faced any big issues, which makes me very happy. Everyone on our staff gets along well; I am thankful to be working with such a punctual and amazing group of people.”
Where is one place you would like to travel to in the future?
“I’m hoping to one day travel to the Philippines! My dad is from there, and he came to the U.S. with his family in the 80s. I would love to go with him so I can see my family there.”
If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would you choose?
“If I could only eat one food, I think I would pick smoothie bowls! I love their variety and how colorful they are. They are definitely one of my happy foods!”
*Make sure to check out Humanidad Collective’s zine on their social media! (https://www.instagram.com/humanidadcollectivezine/)