We had the good fortune of connecting with RNA Designs and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi RNA, why did you pursue a creative career?
A song, a painting, a poem; these are all forms of expressions describing one’s internal state of being. Artistry can convey happiness, sadness, and contentment. We chose a creative career (more of a side hustle) so we can help others express themselves and breathe life into their unique designs. Our favorite part of the whole process is watching our customers’ excitement as they rummage through their order package, anxiously anticipating how their design will feel in hands compared to an image they’ve seen or designed on their screen. We assure you that every smile and praise we receive is the energy that fuels and keeps RNA designs going.
What should our readers know about your business?
How many times have you been in a situation where you want to have a custom garment, but find out that you need a minimum order of 50-100 pieces!? That’s where we come in. We’re here to help those people who only need 1 – 2 pieces, and knowing that one garment can spark so much joy keeps us going.
With RNA designs, we strive to make our customers’ hearts pitter-patter as they see their idea come to life in a tangible form. It’s those moments when a baker sees their logo on an apron, the camaraderie felt between friends wearing matching shirts, and that “love at first sight” feeling when a newborn baby rocks a custom-named onesie. These are the moments that RNA wants to be there for and to help you celebrate.
Being a married couple definitely has its advantages. We have such a strong bond and a commitment to supporting each other wherever and whenever each of us needs help. We are forever a team. Everyday entails a team meeting about the company and it’s effortless to bounce ideas off each other, no matter the time of day. We each have our own strengths and weaknesses and where one lacks, the other is definitely capable of fulfilling.
The future is here and a new age of digital learning is upon us. During the pandemic, we joined the TikTok craze and discovered hundreds of ideas and advice from seasoned professionals eager to share their stories. A few dances and hacks later, we spent our free nights learning design programs such as Procreate, Canva, Illustrator, Photoshop, Cricut Design Space and more. Information travels quickly these days, and anyone can become a professional at anything. All it takes is a little bit of research and time. We are so thankful to all the creatives out there who share their tips and tricks on digital platforms.
We truly believe nothing ever goes without a little effort. The most difficult part of all this would be carving out some time for R&D while maintaining our full-time jobs, and working on RNA designs. Thankfully, we have each other and grit, and it helps us slowly reach our goals.
The great poet, Maya Angelou, once said, “I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel”, and that is exactly what we try to provoke in our customers. If you’re still reading, remember, it’s never too late to start your side hustle dreams. You can have your cake and eat it too.
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?
Amy is a South Bay Native and Ricky is a San Gabriel Valley (SGV) native, and together we’ve accumulated an eclectic list of places to eat and explore. We love the salty ocean breeze and atmosphere at the Manhattan Beach pier because it serves as a quick getaway from the heat and the congestion of Los Angeles. Whenever we visit, we grab a mandatory cone at the Manhattan Beach Creamery. The heath bar flavor is a local favorite and tastes exactly like the chocolate bar, but in an ice cream form. On the way back from the beach, a good place to stop for a snack as we enter the city is Ensenada’s Surf N Turf Grill. Their deep fried fish tacos are ginormous and jam packed with flavor. If we’re not in the mood for fish tacos, we take a detour to Aunty Maile’s for some authentic Hawaiian cuisine. Our favorite order is the Chicken Furikake with the side of Macaroni Salad. It hits the spot every time!
Since California is also known for their breweries, especially in the South Bay area, a list of our favorites include, Culture Breweing Co, Brouwerij West, So Cal Vibes, Hop Saint Brewing, and Phantom Carriage Brewery. Culture is the only one that does not serve food, but there are multiple restaurants nearby.
When we find ourselves in the San Gabriel Valley we love coming to Neighbor’s Teahouse for their mouthwatering Smashed Avocado Smoothie. Believe it or not, it is a drink that is made completely with smashed avocados! If our cravings still haven’t been soothed, then we drive over to Arcadia to visit Menya Hanabi, a restaurant known for their Nagoya Mazesoba bowl. It is packed with Umami flavor. The soba noodles are always hand made and the bowl is topped with a poached egg and chashu slices, giving the dish a unique taste full of umami flavor.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
First and foremost we would have to thank Maria Leyesa, Cuong Nguyen and Jennifer Huynh for being there at the very beginning. Next would definitely have to be our customers who continue to come back to us. Last but not least, would be our friends and family on instagram who support and spread the word about us.
Maria is the CEO, baker, and creative genius behind the dessert company, Foodologie Baked Goods. She is such a trail blazer and served as an example that a business can definitely be “home brewed.” Maria, assured us that we had talent and didn’t want to see it dissipate. Our first big project was creating merchandise for Foodologie and bringing her brand to life.
During the pandemic we dabbled around with heat transfer vinyl on small garments and everyday objects for friends and family. Maria shared with us that she had just created a logo for her instagram page and we decided to gift her an apron with her logo on there to show our support for her. It was a simple idea yet it brought her so much joy. This lighted a fire in us and eventually our hobby turned into something so much bigger than what we had intended. Since masks were a required item during the global Covid-19 pandemic, we started printing masks with designs that matched people’s style or branding and passed them out like candy. That’s when our services started gaining traction. We received a text message on a Saturday morning at 7:30am from a company that wanted to order 50 masks with their logo on it, and RNA designs was born.
One of our early challenges was figuring out how and where to build our inventory and materials quickly. Not to mention, we had to figure out how to market ourselves like a real business and create an invoice template. That’s when our dynamic duo, a dentist couple, Cuong and Jen helped us perfect our logo. After one evening of testing different logo ideas, we finally had one that felt unique to us, however we needed the critique and attention to detail that only people who work microscopic levels can provide. They helped us with tweak our design and made our imperfect logo, perfect.
Our customers have been the saving grace of our business and have given us so much more support that we could have ever imagined. Despite the nights where we’ve felt overwhelmed with the quantity of orders or the growing pains that come with owning a small business, we push through because the smiles and joy that come after are always worth the effort.