We had the good fortune of connecting with Clarissa Hong and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Clarissa, is there a quote or affirmation that’s meaningful to you?
My favorite quote is “Your comfort zone will kill you.” I have it hung up in my room. It’s the only thing I ever really hung up in my room. I would have never gotten where I am if I had stayed comfortable. I don’t feel like what I do is easy. I can’t sleep at night because my mind is either buzzing with ideas, or stress (so much of it). On snapchat, you get these memory notifications of what you were doing 1,2,3+ years ago, and recently I got a notification that it had been two years since I purchased my first embroidery machine. I was freaking out about spending $800 on a little embroidery machine off Amazon, and two years later I have four industrial 10 needle embroidery machines. If I had never taken that risk, I would not have been able to advance my business. Seek discomfort, it’s the only way you’ll move up in this world.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I’ve always been creative, doodled on the margins of my science notes in highschool, binged watch spoken word in highschool, all that good stuff. I love my clothing brand since I get to transform my lil doodles and writing into wearable art, and even though some of my pieces are silly and lighthearted, some collections I focus on becoming as vulnerable as possible. For example, my heartbreak summer collection focused on…you guessed it…heartbreak. My cutthroat summer was released exactly a year later focusing on healing. Those two entire collections pushed me as a creative and allowed me to share my emotions in the form of embroidery. I try to not force myself to create since it takes away the authenticity of a piece, especially when I’m writing poetry. I’m happy with creating 1-3 solid pieces a year, versus forcing myself to write a meaningless poem everyday. Same goes with my artwork. I find a lot of my art to be inspired by tattoos I see, as I am also a huge fan of permanent skin artwork! I feel like I am able to find a lot of success doing what I do, despite embroidery becoming a super saturated field in the rise of Tiktok since my work is original. It doesn’t exist as a etsy file you can buy. It’s not mass produced. I feel like many embroidery accounts just reuse the same etsy design and I’m set apart by being the original.
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?
So I live in the 626, which is known for it’s heavy Asian influence, especially the food. I love coffee and boba, so I would definitely take my friend to my favorite boba spot ever: Sunright! I’m also a huge thrift enthusiast, but prefer going to the goodwill bins in LA since it feels more like a treasure hunt. So we’d probably end up there. Honestly I don’t go out much, so I guess our day is just gonna be boba and thrifting. How basic LA of me!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My dad. My dad deserves the biggest shoutout in the world for trusting my highschool self into convincing him to loan me $7,000 for my first industrial embroidery machine. He was there when I was selling stickers in the lunch shelter in highschool trying to save up for a new macbook, and now he’s here helping me embroider my thousands of orders. He has taught me so much about business, and helped tremendously in areas I lack in…such as math and taxes. He’s been my #1 supporter from day 1, and even when it’s hard for him to see my vision, I am so thankful for his trust.
Other: Tiktok: @boxedtrends