FOB Lifestyle & Apparel
Class: 2013 Winter Accelerator
FOB ("fresh off the boat") is often used as a term to mock migrants -- but to us, FOB is about adapting to change while holding on to your roots. FOB is an urban-alternative street apparel brand inspired by immigration and of being an outsider. Co-founded by starving artists hungry for social change, FOB sells apparel and in doing so, provokes cultural perceptions within communities of diasporas. Drawn from our own Southeast Asian roots where war and genocide has left a cultural black hole, FOB aims to ignite a sense of pride, promise, and empowerment one t-shirt at a time.
Doomsday Eve: 25 Things FOB Learned This Week
It's Doomsday Eve. As I reflect on what's happened thus far in this accelerator, I had a somewhat epiphanic moment. So, if the world truly ends tomorrow (as grim as a prospect that may be) - what was all that hard work for? What really are my longterm goals - I definitely want this to be a salary paid job, but at the end of my career, or my life even, what is the meaning of starting this business? To be famous? No. To be rich? Maybe. To help others? Hopefully.
Right now, I can only answer this within a 5-year time spectrum. As an artist (mind you I hate referring to myself as that, but for the context of this blog I accede to it) -- As an artist, I'm such a variable of self-identity. I change constantly. Yeah, I'll commit to this for 10+ years, but in a broader perspective of why we do things... Seriously why? My answer: because life is short, but the journey is long and fulfilling.
As a refugee escaping a genocide, I don't take my life for granted. As an artist, I need to do more. During the Khmer Rouge reign, artists and intellectuals were the first to go. Yeah. So if I was born just a few decades before and I was doing things similiar to what I do now - I'd be dead. I don't take this freedom for granted, and as more and more refugees are fleeing countries of conflict and coming to America and to Lowell, I'm hoping FOB can somehow be a strong and welcoming brand that ignites empowerment. How? I don't know. And maybe right now, I can start thinking about it but before I can help others, maybe I need this ship to stay afloat first! I get to be alive and be an artist. How awesome is that? AND I have an opportunity to inspire others.
Sorry for being a Somber Sally! Different from that cheeky post, huh? You didn't think us FOBs can be self-reflective did you? Well, writing this has been cathartic and hopefully a good read.
Well, the days have been long. The nights even longer. And before I go to sleep and sustain a peace of mind in order to keep pushing myself, here are 25 things I learned this week at the Sandbox Accelerator. Cheeky mode commence!
- We have too many assumptions and not enough verified testing. (Thank you everyone for today's feedback. We value your big brains...which by tomorrow, as zombies we will devour. Muwahaha.)
- "MY LIFE IS ABOUT MAKING LISTS" - Joyce Dostale, our lead mentor. I'm following her footsteps :-)
- There's no clear answer on what works. Recognizing pivots and reacting to them is crucial to business, so calculate our risks before we take them, and do what Guy Kawasaki would do.
- Real numbers equal real expections equal "we need to bust our asses off!"
- I hate bureaucracy but like networking, I just have to deal with it
- I tend to look down when I talk. Need to change that.
- Alexander Wang, an Asian-American designer is now creative director of Balenciaga. He's the first Asian designer to lead a major French Fashion House. I will be the second... (in my dreams)
- UTUTC is really hard to say
- I already want to start another business with my mom and establish a catoring service. Her last name's Mom, so think about it - "Mom's Asian Cuisine"!!! -- Ugh. Must. Resist. From. Overcommitting.
- A player hire A+ players and they hire A++ players, because if you hire B players, they'll hire C players, and it'll just get dumber and dumber
- I'm officially addicted to K-Pop (Korean Pop) I use it for marketing purposes ;-) ...Psy's Gangnam Style? C'mon! Genius!
- Branding doesn't mean abusing cattles
- Spreadsheets are my soon-to-be bestfriends...
- Every conversation counts
- A handshake agreement means, "Hey I can sue you in 10 years!"
- I am funny (but only in writing)
- My parents still don't know what I'm doing, but they're supportive.
- Assumption 1: Seattle and Australia are great places for business opportunities and I hear their coffee is totes cray cray
- Assumption 2: Wearing a FOB t-shirt will give you a 40% increased chance in being approached by a modeling agent
- Assumption 3: Everyone in the Accelerator will have one of our shirts before the end of March :-)
- David is good at pointing out big picture scheme of things (We know what to get him for Christmas: a 50" x 50" frame photo of us)
- Sarah Jessica Parker who? The movie "I Don't Know How She Does It" should've starred Keo Rattana!
- Lydia and Francey are twins who were separated at birth and founded each other in the hit film "The Parent Trap" - oh wait...
- We're rooting for everyone at the Accelerator! Go Winter class 2013!
- Ricky and I are over-over-achievers... we need to remember if things go wrong, it's not the end of the world. Or is it?!!!! Dun, dun, dun!
Good night everyone. Happy Apocalypse!
We have nothing to be scared of, after all...
-Sopheak and Ricky