We had the good fortune of connecting with Elizabeth Yada and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Elizabeth, how do you think about risk?
Conscious risks are admittedly somewhat new to me, but when I started being aware of the risks I was taking, I found it came naturally. I don’t cringe as much at stupid decisions I’ve made in the past, I look at them as learning experiences. You really don’t grow, or even know what you want if you don’t step outside of your comfort zone.
Trying big scary things really does get easier when I look back at other big (seemingly) scary things I’ve done. I think of my move to Southern California from a small Central Valley town and wonder “Did it really take me that long to do THAT?” Quitting my job to go full-time, setting up a retail space, starting a new website and merch line.. THAT was big and scary to me? I can’t wait to see what big accomplishments I make next!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My work is mostly derived from the characters and motifs we loved as kids; such as Barbie, My Little Pony, Care Bears, unicorns, rainbows, boomboxes, confetti, etc. I am one of those people that had their I-Hate-Everything-Girly phase and I’ve pretty much bounced back from that! It’s all about being unapologetic and there’s a lot of power in that. Don’t hide who you are. My brand is all about being a kid at heart.
The timing for the genesis of Miss Alphabet was really interesting. I think I was almost in the right place and right time with an exploding online scene of handmade sellers (this was before Etsy, so we used eBay). But over time the market got a little saturated so I faced some perceived headwinds of competition. I eventually lost this mindset and to this day I continually remind myself that my following loves my work for the way *I* do it. For my own personal spin on things.
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?
Funny, my best friend and I have already explored some of our favorite spots in LA! But if she came for a weeklong trip, we would definitely visit our usual favorites, the Fashion District and Little Tokyo. For lunch, street hotdogs and tacos for the win! Next, we would explore West Hollywood and their vintage stores, bougie dog boutiques, and trendy coffee shops. Then we’d spend the day in Long Beach (which is actually where I live), gorge ourselves on Vietnamese food and spend the rest of the day on Retro Row. Then well, does Orange County count? We love the beaches there as well as Disneyland of course. Then there’s Open Market OC in Santa Ana, which is a department style store of small businesses (yes, I’m set up there as well)! We’d stop for meals and desserts at Taiwanese bakery/teahouses like 85c. And Anaheim Packing District of course. Then on Sunday, depending on which one is happening, we’d get up super early for some more vintage shopping at flea markets such as Long Beach Antique Market or Rose Bowl Flea.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’ve got to give credit in two places. The College of the Sequoias Fashion Department was how I got training without the student loan debt (yay community college).
Amy Doan (owner of Sugarpill Cosmetics) is someone I’ve known when she used to design clothes back in the day. I followed her example, and I made the leap into just selling my creations on my own.