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

Hi Brittney, can you talk to us a bit about the social impact of your business?
Our non-profit, all-volunteer organization, Compassion in SGV, was born out of the rise in anti-Asian hate crimes and we help the community by offering free chaperone services to anyone who might feel unsafe. We offer to accompany business owners as they lock up, walk someone to the bus stop or to their car, go grocery shopping, or even go on daily walks. Our mission is to help provide a sense of security and unity for Asian communities in San Gabriel Valley. We prioritize compassion and unity above all to stop AAPI hate and foster a community of togetherness.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As a designer, what sets me apart from others is my versatility and attention to detail. Branding is my speciality. Whether it be working on a restaurant brand or chocolate brand, to building Compassion in SGV’s brand from the ground up, I love giving brands a voice. I always try to have fun with everything I do, because design is my passion and I am lucky enough to get to do what I love every single day, and make a living from it. Being the black sheep in my family, I was looked down upon for choosing art as a career, but I knew this was what I was meant to do, and my family knows that now too.

The road to getting where I am today definitely was not easy, and had a lot of bumps, but I definitely learned a lot along the way. I’ve worked at jobs where I was undervalued or underpaid, but the work I created at some of those jobs actually helped me get better ones. I try to take everything as a learning experience, but ultimately it’s about knowing your worth. For a long time, I felt like I needed to stay constantly busy to be successful, but that simply isn’t true. I realized that jobs that work you to the point of exhaustion and burnout, will never prioritize your mental health. You have to do that for yourself.

Now I am the Art Director for Halo Top International and Creative Director for Compassion in SGV, and I finally feel like this is where I’m supposed to be. When you work alongside like-minded people who have the same values, it makes such a huge difference. I’ve always been one of those people who needed to be interested in something to excel in it, because I want to feel excited about what I’m working on. Granted, not everything will excite you, but when it does, your passion will show through your work.

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?
I’m from San Gabriel Valley, so the itinerary would definitely include some of my favorite restaurants here. I always say we’re spoiled in LA because we have the best of everything when it comes to food.

Savoy Kitchen has been around since 1982, and they’ve been serving iconic hainan chicken and rice for almost 40 years! 
Elite is my favorite dim sum restaurant, hands down.
Delicious Food Corner has the BEST bolo bao’s that’s served with a huge slab of butter in the middle that melts perfectly
Corner Beef Noodle House has some of the tastiest beef noodle soups in the area. Their broth is so rich in flavor.
TK92 is my favorite KBBQ spot in SGV and it never disappoints.
Menya Hanabi has the incredible mazesoba, which is a Taiwanese-influenced ramen that originated from Nagoya, Japan.
Bone Kettle is my go-to whenever someone is visiting. Their Indonesian food has a modern twist and the 36 hour broth is a must-try. They also have a Passion Fruit Mojito that you cannot skip.
Sushi Yuen is the place to be if you’re looking for a memorable omakase experience. It’s 15 courses, some come hungry.
Tastea is my favorite boba spot, because I prefer fruit teas over milk teas and you can never go wrong with their Peach Me Sweetie with honey boba and lychee jelly.
Wanderlust Creamery is one of my favorite ice cream spots – all of their flavors are inspired by travel, like Japanese Neapolitan. I guarantee their flavors will be the most unique ice cream you ever try. What’s not to love?!

In LA, you’ve got Rakkan Ramen, Leo’s Taco Truck, Orsa and Winston if you’re looking for a fine dining experience, Bestia, Bavel, L’antica Pizzeria Da Michele for the best Neapolitan pizza, Hoy-Ka for the flavor-packed jade noodles, and the list goes on. I always love taking my friends to Two Bit Circus, which is basically an arcade for adults, with virtual reality experiences, escape rooms, and a ton of arcade games. Griffith Observatory is the best picnic spot, with beautiful panoramic views of LA. There are also so many museums, botanical gardens like The Huntington Library, and galleries all over LA that are definitely worth visiting.

A trip to Southern California would not be complete without a trip to Disneyland and California Adventure of course! There are definitely some really great restaurants out in OC too – Gem Dining, Brodard, Mai’s Kitchen, and Fill Bakeshop for the best mochi donuts. ◡̈

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I want to shoutout Phoebe Gallo, who helped me start Compassion in SGV. I truly could not do any of this without her, and she is my rock. I always say I probably wouldn’t have started it if it weren’t for her encouraging me to. She really gave me the courage to start this organization and has been there every step of the way.

Website: brittneyau.com

Instagram: instagram.com/brittiepoo

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

Other: compassioninsgv.org

Image Credits
Photo Credit: Tommy Su, Makito Umekita

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