We had the good fortune of connecting with Sonia Smith-Kang and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sonia, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
I grew up surrounded by multiculturalism. I was born on the island of Puerto Rico to an African American father and Mexican American mother. As a proud military family, we were then transferred to the Hawaiian island of O’ahu before calling California home. When I married my Korean American husband and we started having children, it was important to us to be intentional in our approach to bringing our rich cultures and heritages into our life and home. We did well until it came to fashion. There was a white space in the fashion and manufacturing space so I created Mixed Up Clothing to fill that void. Mixed Up Clothing sources fabrics from all over the world and turns them into fun, everyday outfits. We know that cultural representation is important which is why I also make sure our influencers, ambassadors and models reflect diversity of cultures, body types, hair texture, and ability.
What should our readers know about your business?
I am proud of my multicultural heritage and bring it into all that I do. Mixed Up Clothing is dedicated to celebrating diversity and inclusion, our super powers, which separates us from other children’s fashion brands. We source fabrics and trims from all over the world and sew them into fun, trendy pieces children will enjoy wearing and parents will love learning about the different cultures reflected in our line. By highlighting culture, our brand uses fashion as a vehicle to teach about multiculturalism. A company born out of necessity making clothes for my children, has grown into a movement where we understand the need for cultural representation for a growing multicultural community. Join us on our mission to learn about one another as we build friendships through fabrics.
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?
I love taking visitors around Los Angeles where we enjoy walking tours of the city. Depending on how long they are here, we can visit and learn about the many ethnic enclaves around L.A. I like to start in Chinatown then move over to Little Tokyo which are two of the largest ethnic neighborhoods of Downtown. Next up is Little Ethiopia and Museum Mile for more culture. Head over to Olvera Street for lunch and cross the street to Union Station to catch a bus to an evening Dodger game. With each outing, we get to learn about the history of each community, visit museums, try new foods and learn about our neighbors.
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?
While I stand on the shoulders of my ancestors, today I have the great fortune to have an amazing circle of family, close friends, mentors and colleagues. They taught me to be relentless in pursuit of my entrepreneurial dreams. They are the ones that I lean on during the challenging times as well as the ones I celebrate with.
Photo Credits: Mixed Up Clothing Shea Anne Photography