We had the good fortune of connecting with Yanz Zeng and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Yanz, what role has risk played in your life or career?
Risk-taking has been a big part of my life in the past 10 years. I moved from China to New York City. I transited from being a food engineer to a visual designer and illustrator. I have been jumping around different creative channels and fields. From exhibition design and experience design to healthcare technology design. From marketing design to print design, illustration, and product design. My business partner has been away from the business we created for a while and came back in the last few years. From working with my business soulmate from the same time zone to 12 hours away. Every step has been unexpected but this ride so far is very exciting and rewarding.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
The Boba Family is a long-term collaboration between Iris and me. Iris has been a big part of my life. My strong pillar when life seems shaky at many points. We try to speak about this universal emotional experience of being human and celebrate everything that connects us. The concept of expressing this through one of the characters we created for fun – Bobo – a little boba pearl, just felt so natural to us. We are all just a little boba in this big, complex world.

In the beginning, we quickly created a bunch of illustrations sharing universal feelings like love, despair, gratitude, and fear through adorable drawings. This later become a big part of our product line – postcards. Later on, we challenged ourselves to create more products including a reusable boba bottle. This was one of the most challenging product we created so far. We learned about product design, food restrictions, and even manufacturing process. And now you can find it in our store: thebobafamily.com

We never stop creating and sharing. This has been the core value of our collaboration. And it always leads us through difficult times.

Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Art, design, music, food, local places, artisan/maker markets

The first thing in New York is art. Let’s go visit The Met for a history of art from different continents. MoMA and Whitney Museum for modern art, The Shed for contemporary experiences. And Natural History Museum for a lot of interactive and knowledge fun.

On the third day, we should check out a live concert in some of the coolest local venues – Brooklyn Steel, Warsaw, Music Hall of Williamsburg… to catch a local band or an influential alternative rock band.

By the fifth day, we probably have already explored plenty of the food scene. We should get some drinks and snacks at Celestine at DUMBO to watch the beautiful sunset and skyline of lower Manhattan. Cha Kee at Mott Street in Manhattan Chinatown for nostalgic HongKongese diner. And The Royal Palms Shuffleboard Club in Brooklyn for some fun with a group of friends.

Lastly, during the weekend, let’s go explore some artisan markets: Hester Street Fair at Seaport District, First Saturday Night Market at Brooklyn Museum, and FAD Markets at Governor Island.

There are so many other places, my friend should definitely stay for a month!

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?
Yinfan Huang and Dingding Hu, my illustrator friends helped me realize I can be an illustrator. FAD Market, Brooklyn Pop-up, and Meals for Unity provided me with tons of opportunities to present my products in their markets to a bigger audience.
Cloud Printing has always been by my side to print out my products impeccably.

Website: www.thebobafamily.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/bobafamilyofficial

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