We had the good fortune of connecting with Vincy Z and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Vincy, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Starting a business takes tremendous courage especially in a time of the unknown. Growing up in a traditional Asian household, I’ve never thought of entrepreneurship. As I got older and stepped out into society, I would come across business owners who would tell me about their experiences. I’ve come to realize that the one common word that I hear is ‘passion’–passion for what you do.
As an entrepreneur, you work 10x more hours and you put in 10x more effort; but by doing so, you get control of the outcome and return. That is when I began exploring the idea of entrepreneurship. My co-founder Grace and I knew each other before I approached her with the idea of starting a custom Qipao (Cheongsam) brand. Grace was and still is my role model, she’s a mother, a wife, an entrepreneur, and a creative soul. She has been in the custom couture bridal industry for a decade, and has vast amounts of experience.
My family is from Shanghai, China. I came to the United States when I was about 5 years old. I grew up watching old Shanghainese films with my grandparents and would see ladies wearing Qipao (Cheongsam). My grandma and relatives that are in the same generation as my grandparents will wear Qipao to family events, and my favorite time period of Shanghai is in the 1920s-1940s era, that Old Shanghai glamor.
In the United States there are only a few places that sell Qipao; needless to say, even less places that do custom. By combining my heritage with my friend (now co-founder), we’ve created Madam Shanghai. To honor our heritage, and bring accessibility of custom Qipao (Cheongsam) to our community here.
What should our readers know about your business?
At Madam Shanghai we want to define a new era of Qipao (Cheongsam). We offer Custom pieces with intricate embroidery that derive from the ancient traditions rendered in glamorous fabrics. We offer Wedding Cheongsam, Tea Ceremony Dresses , Occasion Wear, and Daily Cheongsam. We want to showcase the beauty of Qipao, whether you are in different age groups, or wearing it to different occasions. While honoring our heritage, style and fashion is an important part of a woman’s wardrobe, we can be as multifaceted as we please, same with Qipao.
We founded Madam Shanghai as a brand that offers highly custom Qipao to demonstrate the different facets a dress can have. Every client we have and the dresses we end up designing for them is really different and unique. Each individual piece has their own personality, sentimental story, and to simply put it— the Qipao is made for them.
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?
My co-founder and I love to spend time at home, we are definitely homebodies.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My co-founder and I want to give a big shoutout to our family, who raised us and supported us.