We had the good fortune of connecting with Justine Pan and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Justine, how do you think about risk?
I’m one of the most risk-averse millennial I know! But I like to frame it as I’m more measured than most, partly because of my upbringing and being drawn to historically stable jobs, and then starting off my professional career as…an accountant! It was taxing for the first six years, but after I took a much-needed detour, I really found the balance my life so desperately needed! I was able to use the extra time to recenter and explore other interests, one of which was home decor. Many home decor pieces can cost quite the pretty penny even though their primary purpose is aesthetic and not functional. Since the items I gravitate towards are basic, I recently decided to buy some bags of concrete and concrete dye and begin making my own concrete decor bowls and trays. With my accounting background, I make sure I’m at least covering my costs. Now, I work my standard work days during the week and over the weekends, I may pour a small batch of concrete here and there. It’s really the best of both worlds.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My professional career is in Finance and completely separate from my concrete creating side. I used to work in public accounting and though I’ve met some great people along the way, the hours were difficult and not sustainable for me long-term. It wasn’t easy having my career basically become my life in my 20s. But I learned so much and worked as hard as I could and when I met my goals, I decided it was time to leave and considered myself all the richer in terms of the opportunities and learning I had been given. Because I had invested in my career to the extent that I did, I don’t have any regrets looking back. And I feel all the more thankful for the life-work balance I currently do have to be able to explore making concrete bowls and trays on the side without any pressure, whether it is as a hobby or as a business venture.
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?
We’d start with grabbing a cup of pandan coconut coffee at Fresh Roast before going on a scenic morning hike in Griffith Park. Then we’d probably head to Koreatown for food, maybe Spoon by H (if they make it through this difficult time), or go to the Farmer’s Market at the Grove where there are a plethora of options. Finally, I’d want to end the day at Santa Monica beach to see the sunset.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’d like to dedicate this shoutout to my husband who always accompanies me to the Lowe’s at Burbank and lifts bags of concrete from the shelves into the cart and then into the car. He’s supportive even when the garage area is a total mess and reminds me to enjoy the process when there are hiccups along the way.