We had the good fortune of connecting with Eugenia Chung and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eugenia, what do you attribute your success to?
Most of the success behind my business and brand has come through faith and the support of those around me. As much time and work I have put into this business, I still hold onto it lightly knowing that every good thing that has come out of this has been gifted to me. When times were tough or when I have felt that my business was on the brink of closure, there was always someone around me that pushed me forward and even offered tangible help. At this point in my life, I feel like have a good understanding of the things I am good at and in the areas that I know I am not, I have hired people to help me. I am so blessed to have an amazing team, admin support, industry friends and clientele.
Similar to the way I live my life, I will do my best and make the most of my time here until it is time to move on to the next thing.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I was always interested in the arts, but as a child I was never formally trained. I won a few school art competitions in elementary school starting in Kindergarten and art was always my favorite subject. From fifth grade to all throughout high school, I was highly involved in band and played the flute so I thought music was my path in life.
Little did I know that my high school hobby of putting together scrapbook pages of my dream wedding and getting dressed up with my friends at my house would become part of my job one day.
I would do my friend’s hair and makeup for dances and use my mom’s hot rollers for updos and my dad would take photos of us in his garage photo studio. My friends and I would always get together to dress up and have spa nights so I got a lot of practice.
Later, I was accepted to UC Irvine as a flute major. Shortly after I started college, I changed my major to studio art, realizing I didn’t want to be limited to just performing or teaching. I also couldn’t imagine being in a room by my self for hours practicing instead of interacting with others.
There were a few events or occasions where I had to do hair and makeup for my friends, so I became the hair and makeup girl in the college church group I was a part of.
After college I taught kids art after school and thought art therapy was the career I would pursue. I was trying a million things at this time- I even applied to sales and events in hotels, but quickly realized I wouldn’t be good at that.
During this time, I was asked by one of my college friends to do her makeup for her wedding and later she put me on Yelp. I think in 2007, Yelp was new and so I didn’t think much about it, but I started getting more and more inquiries and my business grew with Yelp.
I ended up not getting accepted to the art therapy program I applied to so I started a business on Etsy making hair accessories. The accessories were popular, but more than anything, I was connected to other vendors and the wedding industry through it.
I also learned about running my own business and the logistics and difficulties behind it. I tried to do everything on my own and I learned many lessons.
I eventually stopped making accessories to focus more on hair and makeup so I decided to go back to school to get my cosmetology license.
This really long story is here to say that I had to just try a lot of things to figure out which art or talent I wanted to pursue and then go all in and take risks to get to where I am today. I think there was an aspect of just meeting the right people at the right time too, but throughout the process in getting to where I am today, I was just always connecting with people around me.
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?
This is so hard because I love showing people around! I am in Orange County so things are little spread out, but I would definitely center the trip around places to eat.
To make this quick here is a list of things that I enjoy:
Boba, Beach, Korean BBQ, outdoor shopping malls, Brodard Spring Rolls, Japanese Bakeries, Disneyland, Artisan Ice Cream, Massages and Pedicures, etc
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?
I dedicate this to my family. It was my grandma that started this creative journey for my family. As talented as she was, my grandma was not allowed by her own mother to pursue the arts. Later, when she had her own children, my grandma allowed them to be creative and my dad did photography and classical guitar while working in the post office and my aunt became a mixed media artist and educator in Korea and LA.
Although my parents were always supportive and encouraged my interest in the arts, my dad did not want me to open up my own brick & mortar salon due to his own struggles running his own photo studio. I hope that I can give back to my parents and allow them to enjoy their life in retirement after many years of hard work and sacrifice.
I also have to give a shout out to my husband’s parents for financially investing in me even before I was successful. Also, their support in helping me raise my kids while I work has allowed me to pursue my career and for that,I am so very grateful.
I am hoping that I can make my family proud and it is through their support and prayers that has gotten me to where I am today.
Perpixel Photo, Joy Theory Co, Jen Sosa Photography