We had the good fortune of connecting with Connie Hung and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Connie, what’s one piece of conventional advice that you disagree with?
Call me old school, but I never agreed with passion chasing or only working at jobs you’re passionate about. I think it makes people forget about responsibility. And also people can have so many different passions – why does it need to be combined with work? Aren’t somethings better kept separate? I think it’s all about finding your own mission and how to apply it in different elements of your life – in building relationships, in work, or in your passions. During my years in Finance, I struggled to find what that mission was because I had kept mistaking what I was looking for as “passion.” But I began to pick up on my own patterns – what excited me, what motivated me, and what didn’t. I realized everything I wanted to do involved making a change and giving back. In 2018, I had the opportunity to soft launch Costanté at a Planned Parenthood benefit at the Marciano Art Foundation. That night, we sold 80% of our debut pieces and donated nearly $1,000 to Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. I was so proud! This night solidified my mission for Costanté – it’s now my own avenue to give back to the community that inspired me.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
Costanté is built on human connection – we are not shy to share who we are, our political views, and what we tolerate. When we soft launched at a benefit gala for Planned Parenthood Los Angeles, it’s clear we love and support women. Women are so beautiful and we want to empower them. And I think that’s one of the things that sets us apart from other businesses. Most jewelry brands want to use their products as a reason for women to feel beautiful, but Costanté is merely a reminder of innate beauty possessed by every being. As it goes for all businesses, it wasn’t easy to get to where we are today. But in contrast to the future, this is the easy + fun part – building the foundation, determining our brand voice, and not swaying away from our core message: with love + intention. As our business grows, I’ve realized how easy it is for you to cave to alternatives that might just make life easier. But as our climate becomes more globalized, we have to think a step further – is this good for now only? is this OK for the environment? But good long term decisions don’t arise from simple solutions, there’s layers to this shit.
Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Best restaurants in LA: Sushi Gen, Sqirl, Bestia, Gjusta, and Song Hak (Korean BBQ – an LA MUST!) Growing up in the Asian suburbs, I would start with my Taiwanese favorites in Rowland Heights/San Gabriel Valley – Tofu King, Dai Ho, and AB Shabu. And then tacos every night. To explore downtown, I always think it’s really interesting taking people around the Jewelry District. I love showing them the array of small businesses that live in these 2 blocks and how bustling with diversity it is. Afterwards, we can walk through the St. Vincent Plaza and get sandwiches from the old Armenian dude who’s been there since the 1980’s and then get coffee at Don Francisco’s Cafe! Basically, she better come hungry.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I’d like to recognize Tera Uhlinger – my mentor, an incredible force of a woman, and Program Director of Sexy Beast LA. Meeting Tera was a pivot point in my life. In 2017, we coincidentally met at Into Action, an art gallery showcasing local Los Angeles artists illustrating social justice. She introduced herself to me when she saw me wearing a shirt that Sexy Beast had created with Jenny Holzer + Virgil Abloh in benefit of Planned Parenthood Los Angeles. I had no idea she was the Program Director initially, but her energy was so inspiring that I almost immediately asked to be her intern. From that moment on, Tera empowered me to believe in my voice and myself. She taught me how to be confident and most importantly, she is the one that showed me I can find my own avenue to give back using my own set of skills. Just as she did with Sexy Beast. Without Tera, I would’ve never had the courage nor the opportunity to debut. And for that, I’m forever grateful. Thank you, Tera!