Going back to the beginning of your beauty journey, what are your earliest memories of beauty?
Growing up I wasn’t super into beauty. I think because of coming from an Asian American family, I think that me being able to express my love for makeup just wasn’t something I felt I was allowed yet. I wasn’t out of the closet, until I was like 20, so even though I’ve always loved interior designing and cooking, it wasn’t until I was able to move out of my parents’ house... I moved to Arizona when I was 17… that I started being able to be more comfortable with myself. I feel like when you get a glimpse of this world, I feel you go like ‘ooh this is fun.’ From there, I think that my obsession - I’m 30 years old now - I think my obsession for makeup and my obsession for beauty has evolved so much. I think it’s amazing that I feel in this day and age you can express yourself in whatever way you want and not feel ashamed for what you love. But I think the moment I felt that I was able to tell my parents what I actually love, I feel like that was the moment I was able to really connect with the beauty world.
What made you see beauty as a career?
I had a roommate in Arizona, she was a makeup artist, and I needed a job. She got me a job at MAC, as one of my first jobs doing makeup as a career. And from there I really, I really just started to fall in love with it. Maybe like, this is actually what I want to do with my life, because 1) it was fun and 2) it was a way for me to perfect a craft. I feel like it’s something you always have to practice, and for me I love things where you have to get better and better.
You’ve been very open about your first beauty business - a tanning salon – failing. How was it approaching Patrick Ta, the brand, with that experience?
I think I was able to take all the knowledge of the mistakes I made before. I think one thing that’s super important is being able to know how to work with others, like the most important thing about having a team is having a team that works well together, because no one can do everything themselves. I think the one thing I learned, the biggest takeaway, is being able to work well with others.