Sonia Smith Kang is the Founder and Creator of Mixed Up Clothing. She is mixed: Mexican and Black, born in Puerto Rico and raised in Hawaii before moving to California and marrying her Korean husband. Together they raise four beautiful multicultural children. The family speak three languages! Before starting Mixed Up Clothing, Sonia worked as a RN and was taught how different cultures react to being in the hospital. Off duty, she sewed clothes for her kids and when the orders grew out of control, Mixed Up Clothing was born! She uses the beautiful clothes she creates as the vehicle to teach and celebrate diversity and inclusion.
Do you work from home or out of an office?
Do you work alone? Work with a partner or team?
Tell us about your typical work day.
I start at 6:30AM, checking emails and looking at social media. This helps me prioritize my day. Then it’s shower time and getting kids up and out to their schools. By 10AM, I’m downtown starting in on designs, checking in on production, marketing and publicity, working with interns or prepping for photo shoots. I leave downtown to start afternoon pick ups around 2. Kids go off to Korean language tutoring then it’s off to their Taekwondo or other sports. By 5PM, we are back at home for dinner then kiddie showers and they’re off to sleep. I’m up until about 11 or 12AM setting up the next day’s calendar, finishing up blog posts, social media prep or sending off emails.
Then to do it again the next day!
What are your most productive work hours?
10am – 2pm
What is your biggest challenge as a solopreneur?
TIME or lack there of. Having to balance mommy hood with being a solopreneur. And whether you are being mom or businesswoman, being fully “present” is hard. I’m constantly having to work on it.
What is the one piece of advice you wish you knew when you started out?
Ask for what you want, you might get it.
If you were given $5k, what would you do with the money?
I would hire part time either as an assistant with my kids or with the business.
What is your favorite book and why?
Lean In: Women. Work and the Will to Lead by Sheryl Sandberg The book encourages woman to get in there and get it done. You don’t have to be “bossy” to be successful and you don’t have to apologize or shy away from being a leader.
If you could have dinner with three people, who would you pick?
Sheryl Sandberg, Mary J. Blige, and Oprah
What is your dream job? Are you doing it right now?
Mixed Up Clothing is for anyone interested in learning about another culture as each item of clothing comes with a hangtag that tells about the culture. The company uses children’s clothing as the vehicle to teach; Celebrating cultural diversity and inclusion. To learn more about the company and peek behind the scenes, follow the blog and join the conversation on Twitter.