Behind the Brand Series: Meet our Graphic Designer, aka my Mom.
I've often said, my mom is a hell of a lot cooler than me...
Chong-a Hwang, aka my mom, has over 20 years of experience as a textile graphic designer. She has a discerning eye for color and style and one of her hidden talents is identifying trends before they go viral. She lives in the artsy neighborhood of Chelsea NYC and can be seen walking in her sparkly Golden Goose high-top sneakers, baseball cap, three-quarter length bell-bottom jeans and oversized t-shirt. She's not afraid to stop my husband from walking out of the apartment with brown shoes and a black belt, or pleated pants that went out of style 15 years ago. When we go shopping together she’s often schooling me on the latest trends and is frequently mistaken for my sister – fingers crossed I have those genes! She’s really good at pushing the envelope when it comes to both fashion trends and making her own success in real life.
While my mother is a bonafide Manhattanite now, she's come a long way. Chong-a was born and raised in Mokpo, a tiny fishing village in South Korea. The youngest of six children, she demonstrated artistic talents from a very early age. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Sook Myung University in Seoul and moved to the United States shortly thereafter to start a new life for herself and raise our family. Like most women did during that time, she took several years off to raise my brother and I. In her early 30's she started her design career in NYC. Her timing was less than optimal since the design industry was undergoing a fundamental change – it was going digital. While my mom could paint with a brush and draw freehand like nobody’s business, she didn’t even know how to turn on a computer at the time. She could have easily let her career drift away as the industry advanced, but instead she rose to the occasion and not only learned, but mastered the skills of a graphic designer. Fast-forward to today, she’s a Senior Designer at an established textile design firm in Soho NYC. Needless to say, I’m extremely proud of her.
Collaborating with my mom on bringing Deklan to life is long overdue.
Over the years, we’ve brainstormed ways to combine our talents, but like most ideas they had fallen flat. This time it seems different as the stars are seemingly aligning for us to bring something to the world together. We make a great tag-team with complimentary backgrounds – I bring the business and product knowledge to the table and she carries the graphic design skills. We both have an eye for style, and the icing on the cake is a shared passion that didn’t exist before a year ago – my son and her grandson, Blake.
My mom has spent the last couple of weeks creating the textile patterns for our first collection, which we’re really excited about. We’ll be sending our first newsletter over the coming week, which will include a sneak peak of her designs for the launch collection. Don't miss out and subscribe for our updates below.