We had the good fortune of connecting with Amber Pangan and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Amber, how did you come up with the idea for your business?
I have had medical challenges since the day I was born, however it wasn’t until I was 19 years old that I faced my largest medical battle: Stage 4 Hodgkin’s Lymphoma. I went through 6 months of chemotherapy and one of the many side effects was neuropathy. I had major neuropathy in my hands and finger tips. My oncologist suggested I do some sort of therapy to help offset the numbness. My first thought: crocheting! I started crocheting back in high school and thought it would be a great creative outlet to dive back into. I started small with beanies then pushed my creativity and began creating my own designs and patterns: shorts, bikinis, tops, bags, you name it. My brother has always been ‘Mr. Business’ and said to me, why don’t you start selling your designs? That’s when REY418 was born. For every product sold, $1 was donated to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. I will always credit creativity as being my life saver. 🙂

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I have always been one to try anything and everything. After studying marketing/entrepreneurship at Chapman University in Orange, CA, I honestly wasn’t sure what my next step was. Over the next few years I truly dabbled in EVERYTHING. (Looking back, I think that was so crucial in discovering where I was supposed to be.)

I was working a restaurant job while working on my crochet business. I then become a yoga instructor and began freelance graphic designing for a luxury jewelry brand based out of LA called Jennifer Meyer Jewelry. I never studied graphic design in school and am completely self-taught, but my business’s digital marketing called for it. I went on YouTube and learned everything I could about Adobe programs, etc. and off I went. Funny enough, graphic design has become one of my best and most favorite skills. (It’s SO fun.)

I got my first marketing job as a Content Marketing Manager at a small business and began to fine tune my creative marketing skills. My work with Jennifer Meyer increased immensely and I began working on design projects that I could only dream of (merchandise design, digital marketing design, etc.)

Fast forward to today and I still continue to do freelance work with Jennifer Meyer and also work full time in the consumer electronics industry at VIZIO, managing and creating all of their retail marketing assets. Those years of playing, absorbing, and learning were so important in my professional story and definitely played a part with where I am today.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Being from Orange County, a visit to Laguna Beach is a must. Whether it’s grabbing an iced coffee from Koffee Klatch or devouring chips & salsa and a margarita at South of Nicks, Laguna’s atmosphere is the greatest. (I am Hawaiian so the beach is in my blood! I’m also Colombian, so coffee is also in my blood…what a mix.) Another city I love is Old Towne Orange. Free Soul Caffe has the BEST matcha lattes ever. At night I’d grab a beer and pizza at an Italian Pizzeria called Centro (also in Old Towne.) You are surrounded by super kind people—it truly is the best. Lastly, I’d definitely go thrift shopping—one of my most favorite activities ever. There are so many hidden gem thrift shops in Orange County.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My mom! She has been my warrior since day 1. I was born with a rare congenital defect called Goldenhar Syndrome. I have had many cranial facial surgeries since I was a baby, as well as 2 back surgeries. I knew I looked different from everybody else, but my mom ALWAYS encouraged me to be confident and to always look people in the eye. She taught me to never ever feel ashamed with how I look. As a now 31 year old woman, this advice is everything and I am so thankful it is now instilled in me. She also always encouraged me to go after anything I wanted: from becoming a double certified yoga instructor to a crochet entrepreneur, she has been my #1 cheerleader from the start. I truly would not have been able to make it through any of my life battles without her. She has always fought for me. I tell her that everything I do in my life is for her!

x

Website: https://www.amberpangan.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/ambspangan

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/amberpangan/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pangan33

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