Posts tagged ‘korea’

Happy Kinda Sorta Birthday to Me

Today is gonna be my new birthday. My real birthday falls near the start of the holidays which makes it really tough to get friends together to hang out, especially when so many of them live out of town or have families of their own now. Everyone is either traveling or getting ready for people who are traveling to see them. Some of my friends were joking that I should move my day to maybe halfway or something. I wasn’t sure what date I would pick and then I remembered that 3/29 is the day I arrived here in America. I call it my Adoption Day ’cause it’s a lot shorter than saying ‘happy day that I came to this country’. I guess I could call it Arrival Day, but that seems just kind of, well, boring.

I was born in Korea and adopted by two awesome parents that gave me a German last name. A favorite story of mine is when I went to college. They sent out the ‘get to know your roommates’ letter with all our names on it. I was in a room with 3 other girls and they all had definitely Asian last names and then there was mine. One of them (who I am still good friends with) found out that my name was German and was worried that I would feel left out as this blonde haired, blue eyed Caucasian chick among all these Asian girls. Well, imagine their surprise when I showed up and was just as Asian as the rest of them. I was the last one to arrive and I remember poking my head in the door with a box in my hands and the looks on their faces was pretty funny when they realized I was their roommate. Ah yes, fun times.

In all seriousness though, I feel truly blessed to have been chosen by my parents. Sometimes people ask me how I feel about adoption, about losing my culture. I do not feel that way at all. Mom and dad have always educated me (and the whole family for that matter) about my Korean heritage. I was even taking Korean language lessons at one point as a child, but then the one lady who taught it moved and believe me, where I was growing up it wasn’t like you could just go next door and continue lessons with the next person. Mom often did summer school classes to elementary school kids and had a section on Korean life. My sister eventually went over to teach in Korea for a year and it was during that year that four out of five of my family members were able to all travel there and stay in Seoul for a week. It was such a cool experience to be in my birth country with my family. Mom and dad also told me my Korean name once, but I can’t remember it right now (I’m doing well to set my alarm correctly for work these days, eek). So other than my short term memory loss due to cramming my schedule as full as I can, I really don’t feel like I have ‘lost my culture’ at all.

I have some friends who have adopted or are thinking of doing so, and I get kind of emotional thinking about it. I think it is such a wonderful thing to bring in a child to your home and give them a family that they otherwise may not have had. I know that I would seriously consider adopting a child myself once I am married. There are so many children out there who need loving, stable homes.

If you are interested in adoption for your family, here is a link to Holt International, the agency that my parents went through for both me and my brother (who is also adopted from Korea).

P.S. Before we all break out the kimchi and celebrate, apparently I still fail at picking birthday celebration dates. My plans were foiled (a friend and I were going to go out for burgers) when I realized that I had a staff development class for the same day and our lunches wouldn’t coincide. Maybe next year I’ll pick my citizenship day?? The day that my parents found out I was going to be their daughter??? The first day I started walking??? Um….running out of options here….

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March 29, 2011 at 7:22 pm Leave a comment

The Kimchi Kawaii Crazy Dreams List!

I need something to cheer me up. Nothing like finding out that your art was stolen and being sold to ruin an evening. I’ve been calling friends, ranting and emailing various parties to get this resolved for the last few hours. I need a break! So, I now present my semi-unrealistic list of wishes for Kimchi Kawaii! Some of the wishes have already been fulfilled.

• Make a sale in Japan. After all, it’s the originator of kawaii. I actually DID make a sale there. You don’t know how happy and excited that made me. It was like validation.

• Make a sale in Korea. That’s my birth country after all!

• Make sales in all 50 states. Still working on that one. Almost there with only about 6 more to go. Wyoming? South Dakota? Maine? Where are you guys??

• Make sales around the world. This is actually happening! I know the internet is world-wide, but still I never thought of my stuff reaching overseas. Most unexpected place I made a sale? That would have to be Dubai. I have a map where I color in the countries that I make sales in. It’s kind of fun to do.

• Have the brand generate enough income so that I could go part time at my current job and spend more time on Kimchi Kawaii. I’ve spent more time this week maintaining various sites used for updates and promo. Haven’t been able to design 😦

• See my design on a random stranger. My friend actually saw one of my designs on a stranger at her farmers market, but I have yet to run into anyone sporting Kimchi Kawaii.

• Reach 500 fans on the Facebook fan page.

And the super, crazy, far-out there wish (drumroll please):

• Gwen Stefani of No Doubt finds my stuff and loves it! Ok, pretty much if THAT happened, I would be on cloud nine for at least a year.

I’ll try to post updates to the blog if any of these reach ‘fulfilled’ status.

• Maybe I should put ‘no one will steal my art’ as one of them….

July 28, 2010 at 5:40 am Leave a comment

New Name, Same Art

I’m still on Cafe Press, just under a new name (for those of you who knew it by Soy Happy). The new name is Kimchi Kawaii, which actually I think will work out better. Yes, I know that not everyone knows what ‘kawaii’ means, but I think that those who do, are the type of people who may like my stuff – hopefully! Maybe this will help me hone in on my target demographic. My stuff is Japanese pop art inspired, thus the kawaii part, but where does the kimchi come in? I was born in Daegu, South Korea, so I liked being able to tie in the Korean heritage a bit. Plus, I just liked how it sounded all together 🙂 If you want to see the art and judge for yourself if it truly is ‘kawaii’ the link is http://www.cafepress.com/kimchikawaii.

The shop is plugging along. Back in June, Cafe Press announced that they were changing their search engine – the way it searched things. Supposedly, it is to weed out the repetitious art and bring more focus on to the original stuff. Believe me, I was a bit discouraged once when I did a search for one of my designs and found it on page 13 after about 6 pages of some clip art cupcake that had ‘Johnny is turning 1’, ‘Anna is turning 1’, ‘Peter is turning 1’, etc. etc. Each of these names had an entry!! Drove me crazy. No wonder my stuff was languishing in Anonymous Land. I was skeptical about this search thing at first. Internet business is a bit of a hit and miss I’m finding. On the one hand, you have the advantage of not having to pay rent for a physical building, but on the flip side, you don’t have said physical building to catch passerby’s attention. I am at the whim of search engines and put my designs in there and just hope that I put in the right tags and that they actually show in the marketplace (hopefully, before page 22). However, I’ve been noticing a slow increase in sales to random strangers which means that my stuff IS showing up. Since the economy still stinks here in America, I can only think that the search engines are actually doing what they promised. Makes up for the lousy marketplace commission policy of 10% – almost….

July 21, 2009 at 4:30 am Leave a comment


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