We had the good fortune of connecting with Amy Tung and Karen Elano and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Amy and Karen, Let’s talk about principles and values – what matters to you most?
Integrity. The world is full of so much unknown, but as humans we have the privilege to make certain choices that can add a little bit of certainty to our own lives and other people’s lives. If these choices are made with integrity, we believe that the world can be a better place one choice at a time. Integrity means following through with the promises and things that you agreed to do. It means being loyal, honest, trustworthy, and responsible. Having integrity means being able to admit when you are wrong and being willing to help fix things. The world shifts so much and can change in a blink of an eye, but being a dependable person helps ground the chaos just a little bit for others. Sometimes life happens and you can’t always follow through but it’s ok. We are always learning and evolving. As long as we have integrity in mind, we can keep moving forward with caring for ourselves and others for a more collectively content space for all.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
The fashion business usually puts profits before the shared future of our planet. That’s why we choose to do business the unusual way. Wearing amren tulano is a choice to put the environment and future of generations to come, over cheap deals or disposable fashion. Buying sustainable fashion is one of the things we all can do to make a positive impact on the climate crisis. Sustainable and recycled materials, fair trade, small scale local production, long lasting quality — all of these DO make a difference. “Finally, an actually eco-friendly fashion brand with clothes I’d actually want to wear!” — Was a response we got from a reporter at a green trade show. With glitzy and glamorous designs, we aim to prove that high fashion can be both sustainable and responsible. There is no need to produce excessive waste to be more stylish than fast fashion. The effort we put into the artistic expression of our designs has earned us 3rd place for “Most Exciting Brand” at the Los Angeles Green Festival Brand Awards. Our designs have graced runway shows in New York and Los Angeles, and have been featured in the prestigious World Journal. As a locally owned small business, all of our products are proudly produced here in Los Angeles, CA. We are a Green America™ certified business. Green America certifies businesses that are committed to using business as a platform for social change. A Green America certification indicates that our business is a “values-driven: enterprise according to principles of social justice AND environmental sustainability. Giving back is among our core values. We donate regularly to a wide range of organizations, such as Goodwill, Salvation Army, California Parks Foundation, Sierra Club, the Los Angeles Conservancy, and the Gentle Barn. Every year we donate gift certificates to silent auctions such as Plate by Plate, APEX, and the Jewish Temple. We also donate to the Pembroke Tamparelli Arts Festival and a local program that uses art as therapy for children with trauma. And when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, we used our position to manufacture face masks for hospital donation and for the public to purchase at cost. We also donated fabrics and supplies to help others make masks, while providing incentives through our mask match campaign that gifts $10 gift certificates to the donor for every 10 masks that are donated to a hospital. We support local artists. One of our favorite charities is Remainders — a local Pasadena non-profit that supports artists and crafters with materials and supplies. The local art scene is important for uplifting and inspiring communities, and we are big fans of Remainders’ work empowering local artists.
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?
Monday – Tour of DTLA Breakfast: Wake & Late – Breakfast Burritos – Vegetarian/Vegan/Gluten Free Options Last Bookstore Lunch: Beelman’s Vegan Gastropub Snack: Donut Friend – Vegan Donuts Los Angeles Public Library The Broad Downtown Disney Concert Hall Ahmanson Theatre MOCA Dinner: Au Lac – Vegan Raw, Vietnamese, and Modern Cuisine – Romantic Bonaventure Rotating Lounge Tuesday – Tour of Little Tokyo, Arts District & Chinatown Breakfast: Urth Caffe (Rec: Gluten Free Cereal, Bavarian Fruit Tart, The Rustic Poached, Tea & Coffee) Walk & Tour of Arts District Art (Rec: Hauser& Wirth Museum) Walk & Tour of Chinatown (Rec: All the small shops and Food: Egg Tart (Won Kok Restaurant), Rice Cake, museums and central plaza, burger lord) Lunch: Zen Mei Bistro – Local Mom & Pop Chinese Restaurant (Rec: Stir Fried Pea Sprouts, Salt & Pepper Fried Tofu, Vegetarian Chow Mein, Mu Shu Vegetable) Walk & Tour of Little Tokyo – Favorite Spots: James Irvine Japanese Garden at the Japanese American Community & Cultural Center Plaza, Market Place Street Snack: Fugetsu-Do Mochi Store Snack: Tea Master – Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream and Drinks (Fav: Match Green Tea Ice Cream and Tofu Donuts) Dinner: Shojin – Vegan & Gluten Free Japanese Cuisine (Fav: Potato Fish, Green Tea Matcha Cake, Spider Women Roll, Maitake Mushroom Fried Two-Bit Circus Wednesday – Tour of San Gabriel Valley suburbs Breakfast: Yung Ho – Chinese Traditional Breakfast (Rec: Vegetarian Rice Roll, Stewed Egg, Egg Pancake, Savory Soy Milk, Sweet Soy Milk Teatime at the Huntington Library – Can ask them for vegan/vegetarian/gluten free options Visit the Huntington Library & Botanical Gardens – Our favorites are the Chinese Garden, Japanese Garden, Bamboo Forest & Bonsai Tree Forest, Children’s Garden, Cactus Garden, Rose Garden Snack: Dim Sum at the Chinese Garden Plaza Dinner: Boiling Point (Pasadena Concept Store) (Rec: Organic Vegetarian Hot Pot, Spicy Stinky Tofu/Reg Tofu, Soft Tofu Pudding Dessert) Snack: Jin Tea (Pasadena) (Rec: Oolong Tea) Tour of Old Town Pasadena (Rec: Oreo Cheesecake at Green Earth Vegan Cuisine, One Colorado area and IPic Luxury Movie Theatre, kale danish at 85 degrees IPic Luxury Movie Thursday – Theme Park Day Breakfast: Fred 62 (Rec: Bolsa Nova) Universal Studios All Day (Rec: Harry Potter Land) Lunch: Simpsons Burger Joint Universal City Walk Snack: Cold Stone Creamery Dinner: Vegetable (Studio City) Vegan Organic Food (Rec: Mushroom Appetizer, Vegan Cheese Plate) Friday Breakfast: Marmalade Cafe at the Grove Walk Around the Grove & The Original Farmers Market Lunch: Rahel’s Vegan Ethiopian (Rec: Collard Greens, Cabbage/Carrots, Teff, and eating in the side area with wicker baskets) LACMA Hollywood Stars, Old Chinese Theatre, Shops, Etc Magic Castle Saturday – Beach Day Walk & Shop at Abbot Kinney Road at Venice Beach Lunch: Butcher’s Daughter – has vegetarian/vegan options Venice Beach Play, Walk & Tour – Muscle Beach area, Shops, Drum Circle, People Watching 3rd Street Promenade/Beach Dinner: The Misfit Restaurant & Bar (Rec; Gluten Free Mac and Cheese) Santa Monica Pier Sunday – Farmers Market – Hollywood/Hancock Park Brunch: Smorgasburg Food Festival Check out the Art and Shops at The Row Snack: Trails (small shop at griffith park, Rec: pies and lemonade) Griffith Park Observatory & Hiking Dinner: The Dresden Restaurant & Lounge Upright Citizens Brigade Comedy Show 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?
Christian Moralde – his belief, encouragement, wisdom, generosity and kindness is what started it all and keeps us moving forward through challenging moments Michael Liu aka latca – his consistent support and generosity in time, energy and talent has been invaluable to our operations Our parents, grandparents, family and friends – their participation, excitement, and generosity has helped us set up and grow our business
Karen Elano Michael K Liu Amy Tung Rain Valdez Monica Baptist Anna Maria Orlu Luz Fuentes Alessandro Nori Gyongyver Gigi Laszlo Christian Moralde Dana Kenerson Stacy De Pannetti