When I saw so many people had voted Twinkie Chan as the most kawaii person of 2014 in the SCK Awards, I knew I had to interview her. With her cute crochet products, colourful fashions and expanding empire, Twinkie Chan has always been an inspiration for me and I’m glad you think so too! Read on for another inspiring look into the life of a kawaii creative!
Introduce yourself! Who are you, what do you make and what do you do in your spare time?
I design and crochet fun, food-themed accessories for you and your stuff, like cheeseburger scarves, cupcake mittens, and corn dog pen cozies! I started to make scarves for myself in 2005 and then randomly decided to create a website to see if anyone would buy any. I was working in publishing at the time, and now all I do is crochet crochet crochet! I also have a diffusion line called “Yummy You! by Twinkie Chan” where we take my more popular crochet designs and produce them overseas to make my work more accessible to more people. I blog at my website, www.TwinkieChan.com, and share free crochet patterns, outfit photos, monthly giveaways, and I’ve also started to focus more on crochet tutorials on YouTube. I like to encourage people to have fun with their fashion as well as their crafting! In my spare time, I like to hang out with my doggies, watch movies, and eat dinner with friends!
Where do you live and what’s it’s like there?
I live in San Francisco where it can feel like winter during the summer, hence, my vast personal scarf collection! This is a really creative and eclectic city, with all kinds of people smushed into a 7 mile x 7 mile area. We have a lot of local arts and crafts events of all kinds, which is very inspiring!
What was your first experience with kawaii culture and why does kawaii inspire your work?
My family is from Hong Kong, and we go back to visit from time to time. You can’t NOT experience kawaii culture when shopping in Hong Kong. As a teenager, I kind of shunned it, because I felt like as a young, Asian girl, I was expected to love everything cute. However, in my 20s, I embraced it ironically and then earnestly. I love how Japanese street fashion is so colorful and expressive. Even if people feel that they can’t fully adopt a super unconventional look, I hope to show people that you can at least have fun with one statement accessory!
What cute products can you never resist buying for yourself?
I can’t seem to stay away from polka dot print, heart print, and happy candy colors in my clothes. I also have a ridiculous amount of hair bows and food-themed jewelry and food-themed purses. One of my odd and specific collections is plush bananas with cute faces on them!
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