Tag Archives: Meet:

Yow Yow’s Yearly Recap

Wowowow. What a year it has been for Yow Yow!

I’m not all that sad to see 2013 go because I am so looking forward to what 2014 has in store for us. 2013 was a big transition year for Yow Yow! Postings became a little bit more consistent because I was no longer in school and it started to become predictable that I would just log on right after work. It’s nice to be able to have a set schedule to be honest. When I was in school, I would post any free moment I had, which was great because maybe sometimes I would be inclined to write a post about something because it was convenient. However, I appreciate now, that I get to wait until the end of the day to sort out my thoughts and to spend some time thinking a little bit more about what I am writing. Yow Yow! has turned 5-years old! It’s hard to believe that this blog has been with me for that long and that some of you have watched me transition, grow, and hopefully write better content in that time. Thank you x 23984298 to everyone who has supported the blog during this time. If I didn’t have that, I may not still be writing today. We know for sure though that Jennie and Ashley have at least helped me keep Wedding Mondays alive.

Stats from 2012 will be on the left and italicized while stats from 2013 will be right and bold.

1,130,911 total visits to Yow Yow! – – – – – – – – – – -  1,294,886 total visits to Yow Yow!

*In just 2013, there were 163,975 visits to Yow Yow!

7,067 Posts, 2,187 Comments 10,229 Tags – – – – –  9,167 Posts 3,152 Comments 12,122Tags (cumulative)

Top Post of 2013 – “Hipster Disney Princesses In Real Life” – 15,726 views (written in 2012)

Top Post Written in 2013 – “Meet: Hollis Wong-Wear” – 2,071 views

Busiest Month in Terms of Views – October 2012 (49,821 views) – – – – – January 2013 (24,905 views)

Highest Average Visits Per Day – October 2012 (1,607 views) – – – – -  – January 2013 (803 views)

*Busiest Day – October 5, 2010 (4,239 views)

Credits + References

Worked with

  • Gilt City
  • Postmates
  • Dry Soda
  • Gratify
  • Nordstrom Wedding Suite at the Seattle Nordstrom Flagship

“Women Who Are Making It” Series:

  • SuChin Pak
  • Molly Young
  • Kendall Herbst
  • Hollis Wong-Wear

Top Referring Sites in 2013 Were:

  • Pinterest.com
  • Facebook.com
  • Twitter.com
  • Android.pinterest.com
  • holliswongwear.com

Most of My Visitors Came From:

  • The United States
  • Canada
  • The United Kingdom

Music Festivals Covered:

  • Capitol Hill Block Party
  • Bumbershoot

Other:

*We started a new series on Fridays called “Take Me There” and “Truth and Words” Sundays

*We ended the series “Thought Catalog Roundup.”

*New graphics and headers by Leanna Robb! [Facebook, Twitter, Blog]

* We made a Facebook page! Like us.

*We packed up and moved to the Bay area! [Seattle, forever <3 - I promise]

*Veronica became an official part of Yow Yow!

*We received our very first press passes for Yow Yow!

*We started “Conversations From 20-Somethings.”

*We hit 1,000+ subscribers!

*We followed-up with some of our previous guest writers from a year ago:

*We made some videos! Like this unveiling video below:

and one last hoo-rah with Space Girl

*We had a memorable Twitter interaction:

Here’s to what we hope will be a very exciting 2014!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yow Yow’s Top 10 Posts of 2013

This is a pretty healthy mix that I am happy with. This is probably one of my favorite posts to compile every year because I am always so interested in seeing what readers are drawn to the most. I’m not able to get a whole lot of stats from WordPress or the stats that I mainly need, but I’m so thrilled to know that two of our interview posts were a top read this year. Working with both Hollis and Molly was  such a treat!

  1. Meet: Hollis Wong-Wear (Yes, this too is one of my favorite posts!)
  2. 2013 Golden Globe Awards
  3. 5 Reasons Why I Love the Mariners Bearded Cap
  4. Is Ballard Becoming the Next Capitol Hill?
  5. Emma Watson for GQ UK May
  6. U.S. Map of Highest Paid Public Employees in Each State
  7. 3.1 Phillip Lim for Target
  8. The Names of McDonald’s Chicken Nuggets
  9. Meet: Molly Young
  10. Coachella 2013 Street Style
Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Hollis Wong-Wear for Billboard Magazine

photo cred | Behzod Sirjani

One of the best parts about writing for Yow Yow! is having the opportunity to interview individuals that I admire and individuals that do something completely different with their craft than I do. We were thrilled to have Hollis on the blog earlier this year as part of our “Women Who Are Making It” series. We always knew that she was going to be a big deal someday and she’s well on her way to getting there. Recognized for her chorus in Macklemore & Ryan Lewis’ “White Walls” along with being an all-around icon in the Seattle music scene for her work behind the scenes on their music videos and working with Blue Scholars, Hollis is a woman of many talents. She has her own band, The Flavr Blue, which I listen to daily and now she’s got an article by Billboard Magazine. You can read it here.

Congrats Hollis! No one is more deserving than you and we’ll be rooting for you every day.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Meet: Kendall Herbst

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 9.38.42 PM

As all women know and can relate, getting dressed in the morning is never as easy as we wish it could be. To the women who feel confident in tossing on whatever they please regardless of how it will match or how it will look – power to ya – but if you’re like me, then your morning routine can be a little bit more complex. One minute you want a pullover sweater, but the next minute you’re eyeing that cardigan that you haven’t touched in months. If you’re in Seattle, you’ll start off your morning bright and sunny and by afternoon caught in a torrential downpour. Making sure your outfits are appropriate for the weather can be one of life’s unexpected challenges… so what if there were something to make your life and choosing outfits a little bit easier? Former fashion editor at Lucky Magazine and MBA grad turned entrepreneur Kendall Herbst created a solution. StyleUp was designed to simplify your morning routine by sending you personal recommendations on an outfit to wear to match the weather of your location daily. I have been receiving emails from StyleUp for the last year and have loved the daily inspiration regardless of whether or not I’m re-creating the outfit myself that day. Since Kendall has had such a diverse background in working in the real world to going back to school to creating her own start-up, I thought that she would be a great woman to feature on Yow Yow’s “Women Who Are Making It” series.

Q: You’ve done so much with your career already. Can you give us an entire back story on your career path and how you go to where you are today?

Kendall: Thanks! Out of college, my first job was at New York magazine, helping them build out their online fashion presence. Then I moved over to Lucky magazine as the Fashion News Editor. I wrote two sections of the magazine and covered all the up-and-coming designers, major news and rising trends. I also did stints at InStyle magazine, J.Crew and Ann Taylor LOFT. After about five years of that life, I got really inspired by the Gilt Groupe women and decided to go to business school. At MIT Sloan, I got my idea for StyleUp and participated in Y Combinator earlier this year. My life has changed drastically from a few years ago — less fashion shows and more time talking to engineers — but I absolutely love it.

Q: In November of 2012, I had read a story on Fashionista.com that you left the fashion writing industry behind to pursue your MBA at MIT Sloan. What motivated you to make this huge decision?

Kendall: Fashion was changing so quickly with the rise of blogs and new ecommerce models. I admired all these women launching amazing businesses.  Meanwhile, I had become a bit too comfortable, even complacent in my job as a fashion editor. I decided I wanted to stretch myself and saw business school as a great new adventure. 

Q: What was the transition like leaving the working world and going back into school again?

Kendall: It was certainly a bit strange at first — buying notebooks and taking midterms felt like a lifetime ago. Also being an intern the summer between your first and second years was a little odd as a 27-year-old. All that said, it was a really refreshing change of pace and a terrific environment to try out new ideas and work on my weaknesses in such a low-risk classroom situation. 

Screen Shot 2013-08-02 at 9.48.47 PM

Q: At what point was StyleUp born and where did you find the inspiration for this idea?

Kendall: In many ways, my whole life has been leading to StyleUp. From spending way too much time in shopping malls when I was young, to working as a fashion editor, to going to business school — I’ve talked to a lot of women in my life about how fashion makes them feel. I started playing around with the idea in the late winter 2012, realizing that the market was missing a platform for really actionable fashion advice — what should I wear tomorrow? I wanted to create something that just made the process a little easier for busy, modern women. StyleUp doesn’t tell you everything, but it offers personalized inspiration to make the daily process not just easier but a lot more fun. 

Q: What does a typical day look like for you?

Kendall: Like many people, there are no typical days but I do have one routine that I try to maintain: going for a jog along the river in the morning to clear my head. Then, I check in with my team to make sure no one has any roadblocks ahead of them. I’ll look over the daily metrics. I’ll meet with brand executives. I’ll chat with our members to get their feedback — one of my favorite parts! I’ll handle the company finances and budget — one of my least favorite parts! On any given day, I touch about every aspect of the business. Lately, a lot of my time has been spent on creating StyleUp shopping which launches soon. Stay tuned for that!

Q: I noticed that your team consists of you and your co-founder, but is your team much larger now?

Kendall: We’ve brought on a designer and another developer and some college interns. Overall, I love working in a small team and I like handling many different roles. I look for people who like that dynamic experience as well. We’re quite lean and scrappy, and I never want to lose that.

photo 4 (1)

Q: I’ve been receiving StyleUp daily emails for quite some time, but I am curious, what is your process for selecting an outfit for the day for the correct region depending on the weather? How far in advance are you finding these daily outfits and where are your usual sources because sometimes they come straight from street style or from celebrities?

Kendall: All of our images are tagged by a series of fashion and weather properties, and our system sorts them based on each member’s weather forecast and style preferences. We work on a day-by-day basis so we can provide the most accurate weather for every StyleUpper. I’ve learned our women love variety and see StyleUp as this fun surprise Monday-Friday, so I aim to show a great mix of inspiration images.

Q: Has StyleUp been able to collaborate with anyone yet and if so what is a collaboration that you are most proud of?

Kendall: We’re starting down the road now — stay tuned!

Q: As we all know, the road to building a startup is both rewarding and challenging. What are some challenges or obstacles that you have faced on the way to creating StyleUp?

Kendall: There are many. A major one is my lack of experience. As a first-time founder, I’ve never done a lot of the things I have to do for StyleUp, but that’s also what makes it so exciting! I try to remind myself to enjoy all this craziness and realize what a special time it is vs. letting it stress me out completely. Some days I’m more successful than others!

Daily Web 1

Q: StyleUp is based out in Mountain View, CA and the Bay Area has become one of my favorite places to visit within the last year. Can you let us in on some of your favorite spots?

Kendall: StyleUp’s HQ has been my living room for the past year, which means it’s transitioned from Cambridge, MA to Mountain View, CA to now NY, NY. I absolutely loved Mountain View — though I spent about 90% of I‘d go to the farmer’s market on the weekend, especially because the weather is usually perfect. There are cute bookstores on Castro St. — Books Inc. has a solid cookbook section — and tons of places to eat outside. Mostly, I enjoyed walking around my neighborhood with all the lemon trees, the adorable houses, the bright flowers everywhere. Perfect escape from the Cambridge winter!

Q: You’ve spent a great deal of time on the East Coast before moving to the West, what is your favorite part about this region and is there anything you are still adapting to?

Kendall: I’ve boomeranged from East Coast to West Coast and back again. I love them both, and have been so lucky to live in such great places. My favorite thing about the West Coast was how many people were starting their own companies. It’s great to be so near all these amazing startups and talk with people in all the stages of startup life. It’s such a founder-friendly ecosystem.

Q: Kendall, this year on Yow Yow! we are focusing on the life of a 20-something and being a recent post grad transitioning out of college. What advice do you have for young adults at this age and moving into the adult world?

Kendall: That’s a great focus, and one I talk about often with our college interns. Find a job that truly challenges you. You’re going to make mistakes, but absorb them all as learning moments and don’t make the same one twice. You’re about to embark on a huge learning curve so get comfortable with being uncomfortable and enjoy the ride.

Q: Kendall you have established such an accomplished career. What is next for you and StyleUp? Are there any other endeavors that you would like to pursue outside of this?

Kendall: When I was younger, I was always so eager to move up to a better job or a cooler brand. Now, I’m so happy with StyleUp, I’ll work on this forever, if I get the pleasure.

To learn more about StyleUp and to sign up, please visit the website here.

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Meet: Hollis Wong-Wear

Hollis 002

photo cred | Janae Jones

This year, our series of “Women That Are Making It” is something that I am most proud of because we are featuring strong, ambitious ladies that are running the world with their wit, talents, and knowledge. When I first heard Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ latest track “White Walls” on the radio for the first time, I had to know – who was that girl singing the catchy hook? After doing some digging, I quickly found out that not only was Hollis Wong-Wear living in Seattle, but she was also an alumni of Seattle University who was a senior when I was just a freshman! From that point on, there was no question. We needed to get Hollis on Yow Yow!

Q: I heard that you first got started in music and the arts by writing poetry. How did this come about for you and what was your inspiration behind it?

Hollis: Literature and reading have always been central to my life. I started reading at a freakishly early age and was always the girl that was posted up at the library after school. The librarian in the children’s section at the Larkspur Library by my elementary school was my homie; she saved the best and latest books for me to check out first and tear through. I was the first one in the county to check out Walk Two Moons when I was in 2nd grade, an accomplishment I have clearly not forgotten! Because I honestly felt a closer affinity to books and reading than I did to most of my peers, I have always identified as a writer first and foremost. The necessary solitude of a writer mirrored the isolation I felt as a kid.

I grew up in the Bay Area and my life was fundamentally changed by an organization called Youth Speaks, which organized poetry slams and spoken word performances and showcased immensely powerful young poets and famous poets on the same stage. It ignited me. I felt empowered to write my own story and perform it in a raw way – I had always been theatrical. I left the theater behind to pursue performing my own words, and because of it, grew into a performer and writer who saw community and social justice as my catalysts and centers. Performing spoken word poetry as a young person is the foundation of my identity and work as a writer. 

Q: From poetry, how did that lead you into music? Is this the direction you always thought you would head in? Did you have any other career aspirations that you saw for yourself?

Hollis: I sang a lot in choirs growing up and have always loved music, but didn’t feel like I had a true talent for it. My mom attempted to cultivate me as a pianist and failed miserably; I didn’t have the passion or the discipline to be anything better than a competent beginner.

I only started doing my own music when a girl I had met through Youth Speaks in Seattle, Madeleine Clifford, and I became fast friends, bonded by our shared biracial experience, love of hip hop, and ferocious politics. We looked around and saw an absence of women like us making music we wanted to listen to. So we decided to do it ourselves. We parlayed our poetry into rap fluidly, and performed as Canary Sing for five years. We were bold, political, lyrically deft and a lot of fun. Performing with my best friend made the plunge into music much more manageable as we learned how to make music and navigate the music scene together. Both of us are unsure of whether we would have ever made that leap without our friendship to enable it.

I still have tons of other career aspirations that I still entertain: professor, novelist, education policy specialist, music video producer, public radio producer… I didn’t know exactly what I wanted to be, but I knew I wanted to be creative and make a difference. I still hope that, even as I continue to place more and more of my eggs in the music basket. 

Q: You graduated from Seattle University when I was just a freshman. Being in a music-centered city like Seattle and even more so a neighborhood like Capitol Hill, did that help your involvement with music at all? Did you spend your weekends frequenting Neumos or the Showbox? On a typically weekend at college, where would we have found you?

Hollis: Going to school straddled between Capitol Hill and the Central District was a huge part of my education – learning the history and the culture and the tension of Seattle, growing a rich network of artists and community members, and being in an urban environment. I went to see hip-hop shows at Neumos and Chop Suey regularly, and wrote in writing circles and read at open mics at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. I was a serious student during college so you could find me in the library quite frequently, but I was also always off campus: freestyling in the back seat of a friend’s car driving through Lake City or on Maddy’s back porch in the Central District; eating late night treats in the International District; studying at cafes on the Ave. 

photo cred | Seattle Peach

Q: You’re producing music videos for Macklemore, running operations for Blue Scholars, and at the same time are recording music, yourself. What does a typical day look like for you?

Hollis: There’s no such thing as a typical day for me! I am a nomad. I typically wake up at 9 AM and start immediately with e-mails, then will go off to do a variety of things: meetings, recording sessions, work sessions, poetry meet-ups. I also tutor high school students for SAT/ACT test prep and general enrichment, so there’s some of those sessions sprinkled in there. I’m anywhere from Beacon Hill to Capitol Hill to Greenlake to West Seattle. Over the last couple of months, I have made sure that I am in the studio working both on my solo material and The Flavr Blue’s new music every week for a significant amount of time. 

Q: How did you get hooked up with Macklemore and the Blue Scholars?

Hollis: I met Blue Scholars through an Isangmahal poetry open mic where Geo and I were the featured performers. I was so nervous; I knew every syllable of their self-titled LP and was hugely inspired by their music. Geo was hella nice and I felt so cool that he remembered who I was a week later when they headlined Quadstock. We ended up hanging out two summers later in New York City and I was friends with Geo and Saba ever since. When they changed up their management to handle it themselves, they hired me to do coordination and communications, which allowed me to quit my non-profit communications job and essentially freelance full-time. It’s been 3 years since that happened.

I met Macklemore through my friend Gabriel Teodros and Khingz, who were huge early supporters of Canary Sing. Canary Sing actually opened for Macklemore at a show at Chop Suey in 2007 or 2008 (we’d then open for him again at Showbox in 2011). But I didn’t really get to know him until he, Ryan Lewis, Zia Mohajerjasbi and I worked tirelessly for months on the “WING$” song and video. It was such a huge process and learning experience for all of us, and I became really close with all of the guys through that. It was great in particular to grow a friendship and a creative relationship with Ben, who I consider one of my closest friends. 

Q: At 25, not many people can say that they’ve performed on stage with mainstream acts like Macklemore and Ryan Lewis in front of thousands? What is that like? Is it something that felt natural to you or did it take some getting used to?

Hollis: I feel grateful that in my young life as a performer I’ve gotten to perform on some pretty impressive stages that have made it so that performing, say, on the main stage of the Gorge for Sasquatch isn’t a harrowing experience. At 19, Maddy and I performed at the Apollo Theater in Harlem for Brave New Voices, the national youth poetry slam; we performed in front of over a thousand opening for Saul Williams two years later. Performance has always felt natural to me, and more than anything, it’s confidence and comfort on-stage that makes a performance truly great. As long as I know exactly what I’m doing on stage, I feel good. If anything, I need to combat my overly analytical, totally lucid mind, and appreciate and take in the experience that so many performers wish they had. It’s a crazy lucky thing that I’ve been able to perform on the stages that I have and hopefully will continue to in the future. 

photo cred | Janae Jones

Q: Tell us about The Flavr Blue. How did you guys get together? How long have you been performing with each other? This summer, fans can catch you at Capitol Hill Block Party and Bumbershoot. How does it feel to be performing at two of Seattle’s major music festivals?

Hollis: The Flavr Blue was originally a duo—my bandmates Lace and Parker—and they invited me into the studio to sing on the last song of their debut EP. The studio happens to be in the house where my boyfriend lives, so I was frequently on the couch right outside. We made that song, “In My Dream,” and suddenly the debut EP of a duo became the first half of a debut LP from a trio. Right away there was a natural chemistry between the three of us: they were heavy into production and experimenting with vocals, and I was interested in writing solid, fun pop music after having recorded hip-hop and acoustic R&B for years. It was a musical departure for all of us, and we realized that the three of us had a great synergy to make The Flavr Blue a thing. That was two years ago. And we’re still growing and learning so much.

It feels like a great accomplishment and a huge challenge to perform at Block Party and Bumbershoot. It’s my first time performing on music stages at both festivals, and they’re the big ones for local bands: Neumos stage and Fischer Green. We are determined to put on a spectacular show and it’s definitely pushing the limits of what we’ve done in the past. I’ve learned a lot about live show production in the last half-year and look forward to growing the experience of The Flavr Blue as more performance opportunities emerge. 

Q: Should the audience expect any surprises from your set at all?

Hollis: We’re performing four completely new songs with surprising instrumentation, and we’re working on a really stunning visual show. Hopefully it all translates! We’ve felt so grateful for the support we’ve received thus far. 

Q: I hear you are originally from the Bay Area. San Francisco is becoming a fast favorite for me after Seattle of course. Can you let us in on some of your favorite spots?

Hollis: Oh man! Too many awesome places in the Bay Area; hard to say what my favorite spots are. I’d say one of the most underrated neighborhoods and one that shaped my teenage years was the inner Richmond and Clement Street. Burma Superstar, Genki crepes, Green Apple Books, and King of Thai Noodle II were all regular haunts of mine. My favorite venue in the Bay is probably the New Parish in Oakland. 

Q: How does your family feel about the career path? Are you all a musically talented bunch as well?

Hollis: My family is very supportive of now, although it was definitely an adjustment for my parents during college that their academically motivated, for-sure-headed-for-grad-school daughter was making hip-hop music. My mom in particular has always wanted for me to go to grad school and be educated and successful, but over the last year both of my parents have recognized that the work I’m doing is groundwork for a veritable career; that I’m not a drugged up deadbeat just because I’m pursuing music as a vocation. It was a gratifying moment to invite them to see me perform with Macklemore and Ryan Lewis at the Fillmore in SF, then invite them again two weeks later while I was tour managing the Blue Scholars for their winter tour.

We are not a particularly musical family honestly. I’m the only person in my immediate and extended family on both sides that’s pursuing music as a career. 

photo cred | Artists For Artists

Q: You mentioned to me that you are currently based in Seattle (since you’re not touring) what are you most looking forward to this summer in the city?

Hollis: Sun and work! I am so busy. But this nice weather has been really great and allowed me to relax in between tasks much better :) It will be really cool to be at Seattle’s two biggest festivals as a performer and a fan.

Q: 2013 has been an incredible year for you and we’re only halfway done! If there is one accomplishment that you are most proud of so far, what has it been?

Hollis: Thanks so much. It’s hard to pinpoint. My bandmates frequently make fun of me for being “unimpressed” and “uninterested” while I move through my life. Sometimes I think I overcompensate for the potentially overwhelming amount of things going on by being super level-headed and not getting particularly excited about what’s going on in my sphere. But weird things will pop out at me sometimes. Like when I saw that the Billboard Awards had nominated “Thrift Shop” as a video of the year, and I was like… “I produced that! Holy shit!” Or when I was going on about how intense and stressful my summer was going to be, a friend of mine said, “So, you’re basically performing in every major music festival in the Seattle region this summer.” And I was like, “Oh shit. Yes. This is basically my dream come true I think.” 

I’m actually extremely proud that “Same Love” by Macklemore & Ryan Lewis featuring my friend Mary Lambert is on the verge of going platinum and has become a watermark for the year of progress on gay rights that we’ve had. It was a gorgeous union for me of my musical spheres and my poetic past, as I met Mary as a youth poet in Youth Speaks and was able to introduce her for her feature on that song. I am immensely gratified by that collaboration and the fact that a young queer musician and spoken word artist whose work has touched me greatly has broken into the mainstream. So dope. 

Q: Hollis, this year on Yow Yow! we are focusing on the life of a 20-something and being a recent post grad transitioning out of college. What advice do you have for young adults our age and moving into the adult world?  /// In a city like Seattle, teenagers are always trying to break into the music industry whether it is on the performing or the booking side. I started booking when I was still in high school for the Kirkland Teen Center and I wouldn’t have gotten there if it weren’t for the adults already involved in music helping me get my foot in the door. What advice do you have for people who aspire to work in the industry?

Hollis: I think we’re in an amazing time to be a young person. More than growing a career in one path, it’s more about growing your capacity, particularly in the creative sectors. In music, success is equal parts artistry and entrepreneurship, which means we have to be original, inspired, and savvy in order to prevail. It’s a great challenge. I also encourage all young people to have purpose in their work – a drive and a passion, but also a motivation larger than self. No matter what your focus is professionally, there is always a way to connect it to a larger cause, to be aware of how what you do in the world can either silence or empower people with less opportunity. All people are capable of teaching and of learning constantly. It’s easy for us to be isolated in the age of social media even though there is an illusion of immediate connectedness, and to be instantaneous experts because we have the latest technology or we can Wiki really fast. Truly great work takes time to cultivate, and humility, and thoughtfulness, and exertion. There’s no replacement for it.

There’s also no need to rush. Working with intention is way better than hurrying down a road you didn’t want to go down. I used to think that I was too old at 22, 24, even 26 to be an emerging artist; if it was supposed to happen for me to be well-known or successful, it would have happened already. Not true. I’m so glad that I’m the age I am now, with the self-knowledge that I possess, where I can really focus on the work I have to do. It took me those years out of college to try new things and struggle financially and fail gloriously and build the relationships that now have proved fruitful for me as an artist and a human being.

I facilitated a panel conversation and Jake One, arguably Seattle’s most renowned hip hop producer, had an amazing insight that spoke to me greatly. He attributes the success to the relationships he forged in his early years as an artist with people who were just as earnest and ambitious as he was. As his career grew, their careers grew; they grew together, probably exponentially so. We are nobody without our people, our networks, and the genuine relationships we form with our peers that aspire and inspire to new levels of greatness. It’s better to not look so high into the stratosphere and get disheartened by the gulf between where you are and where and who you want to be ideally, and instead look at ground level at who is doing the work and has the passion and fire you have, and let those people push you up. 

photo cred | Ashley Genevieve

Q: At this point, what is next for you? You’ve accomplished so much coming out of college already with your multiple projects. Are there any solo projects in the works or things going on outside of music that you are pursuing?

Hollis: I appreciate that even though I feel like I’m really at the beginning of what I hope to do. I am working on a solo EP and honing what my individual sound is like. I am grateful to be working with my friend Budo, an amazing producer, on that end. The Flavr Blue’s new EP is something I’m also really excited to release to the public. It will be kind of crazy to see what happens when the video for “White Walls” is released to the masses. I’m not really sure what’s in the cards for me, but I definitely feel like it’s now or never, ya know? I’m working hard to be ready for whatever comes my way. 

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Sunday Routine

photo cred | Sunday Routine

Nothing excites me more than when I have the opportunity to stumble upon a new and refreshing blog. Our former  Yow Yow! interviewee Molly Young was recently featured on Sunday Routine – a blog that gives us a peek into the Sunday routine of New Yorkers – and of course we had to feature it.

Check out her post here.

Tagged , , , , , ,

Molly Young Profiles Zac Efron

The other day, Yow Yow! had the wonderful opportunity to interview the lovely freelance writer Molly Young and today she revealed to us all today that she had actually just done a recent profile on actor Zac Efron for Elle. Molly is notorious for her profiles and since I’ve never shared with you all any of her pieces before, I thought now was a better time than any. 

Check out her profile on our former Disney heartthrob here

Tagged , , , ,

Meet: SuChin Pak

893435_10151526421565742_1142452942_o

I am so thrilled to introduce Yow Yow’s latest interview today featuring the lovely and inspiring SuChin Pak. Readers, here at Yow Yow! we love our MTV. For those of you who have been with us for awhile, you probably remember me interviewing Liz Lee, former Real World-er Chet Cannon, and the boys of The Buried Life previously. It has always been my goal to highlight interesting characters in these interviews and to feature individuals who were accomplishing great things in their lives. We took a break from interviews for a year, but I am so excited to bring them back and start a new series of interviews surrounding strong and successful women that I look up to! With that said, let’s just get into it.

Q: You currently hold a number of roles such as working with DailyCandy and Hester Street Fair not to mention being a newlywed and a new mother. Congratulations, by the way! If you could give yourself an official job title, what would it be?

SuChin: Can I have 2 titles?!?!  I’m the Chief Correspondent for DailyCandy and Co-founder/Curator of Hester Street Fair.

Q: What does a day in the life of SuChin Pak look like?

SuChin: Because I juggle so many different projects, every day is a rotation of either DailyCandy, Hester or other stories I’m pitching.  I get up in the morning and spend some time with my son and then the rest of the day is spent on the computer and conference calls mostly.  I’m usually putting together a story for one of my video series on DailyCandy.  Currently Coveting is a weekly video series where I talk about the things I’m most obsessed with that week; 5 Questions is another video franchise on DailyCandy where I interview someone I really admire in fashion, film or pop culture; I have a regular interview column on DailyCandy Kids talking to mom-preneurs who are successful at juggling everything and then I do segments for The Today Show, E! News, Access Hollywood and other press outlets for DailyCandy.  There’s a lot of researching involved which because DailyCandy is all about food, fashion and fun…is a pretty sweet deal!  Hester Street Fair is launching our 4th season on April 27 in New York, so right now, it’s crazy time!  We’re combing through the best vendors, putting together the roster for the season and generally brainstorming fun ideas and events we can do at the market.  We are also launching our 2nd season of Hester Nights which is a weekly nighttime food market at the Eventi Hotel in Midtown, Manhattan.  PHEW!  Plus of course, I have a new baby and somewhere in there I try to stay in touch with friends…oh and I’m traveling back and forth between NY and LA every month….now that I’m thinking about it, I should probably slow down!!

Q: You started the Hester Street Fair a few years ago, can you tell us more about this and why it is so important to you?

SuChin: The Hester Street Fair is an outdoor specialty goods and artisanal food market in the Lower East Side of New York.  3 friends (including my brother, Suhyun) and I started this project in 2010 because we were passionate about our Lower East Side community and wanted a space where people could gather, connect and have fun!  We have always been obsessed with flea markets and as the number of markets started to dwindle in the city, we really wanted to revive this idea of connecting people to the products and food they buy in a real personal way.  It’s become a launching pad for small businesses—a sort of testing ground for new ideas and new entrepreneurs.  We had no idea that it was going to turn into such a passion project for so many other people.  My whole career, whether it’s on camera or with this market has always been about giving people a platform to express their passions.  It doesn’t matter if I’m interviewing a band about their new music or talking to a cool designer for DailyCandy or helping a new business launch with their first product at Hester Street Fair…the mission is the same—to give other people a chance to pursue their passion in life.

photo cred | NY Mag

Q: Hester Street Fair will open again at the end of the month. Are you doing anything differently than in past years? What can we expect?

SuChin: We focus on getting the best vendors, the best products, the best food possible every year at Hester.  We only have 65 slots, so you can imagine there are a lot more who apply that don’t fit for one reason or another.  The market is different every week because we try hard to rotate in as many new vendors as possible.  So, we strive to be a “different” market every week!!  Expect more ethnic street foods, expect more curated vintage and handmade and we also have a lot of natural beauty stuff in the line up as well this year.

Q: SuChin, you first got your breakout start through MTV. How did you feel about being the Asian face of the network? Was there any pressure tied to that and did you know that you would become such a role model?

SuChin: I never feel pressure because I’m Asian American because there’s nothing contrived about that identity…I am who I am and all of my experiences are filtered through that lens of being a child of immigrant parents.  As far as role model….I just try to do what I love with integrity and intelligence…sometimes I’m better at it than other days, but if that’s something that’s inspiring to someone else, than I feel honored.

Q: Through MTV, we had a chance to see you in a number of roles – not just reporting the news. We saw you in the series My Life (Translated), working with Teen Mom, True Life, and even during election season in the past. You have always been an advocate for young adults and you have seen them tackle some hard issues. What is the most important lesson that you have learned through these experiences and what advice do you have to offer young adults as they graduate college and enter the real world?

SuChin: More than anything, I’m passionate about young people and the choices they make, the lives they lead and how to support them.  I think the best advice is to be open to everything.  Be open to new experiences, people, opportunities, projects….the more out of your lane it is, the better.  One, you never know where these roads will take you.  I don’t know how many times “random” events have come around to bring me work.  Secondly, getting good at thinking on your feet, growing and expanding your limits is a muscle that you should develop early on while you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.  Later on, you’ll be too afraid to take chances if you don’t do it early on.  Everything, every person, every moment is an opportunity to learn something which will be of use to you immediately or years from now.  If you welcome life that way, then there are no failures, there are no wrong decisions…challenges are opportunities to learn.  And one more thing…at the end of the day, let it go and start the next day fresh.  Whatever mistakes you made, whatever success you had, learn from it and then let it go.  Don’t get stuck on the past, approach each day with a blank slate.

mtvvjs

Q: Since you worked with MTV for so long, you must have impeccable music taste. Tell us who you’re listening to these days.

SuChin: I have horrible musical tastes.  Ironically, I had never even seen MTV until after I got the job.  My parents, like so many other immigrant parents believed that “paying” for television was sacrilegious.  I love pop music.  Bruno Mars, Mackelmore, Jay-Z…it’s about as mainstream as it gets.

Q: There is a common stereotype among Asian immigrant parents that their children are meant to grow up to be doctors, lawyers, or engineers. How did your parents support your career and did you always know that you wanted to go into journalism?

SuChin: My parents didn’t support my career at first.  To be honest none of us knew until MTV, that this was even going to be a career for me.  This is the thing I always say, and maybe it’s not an opinion that you may agree with…but if you have a passion for something in life that goes against your parents’ wishes, standing your ground with them will be the first challenge that you’ll have to overcome.  If you can’t stand up to your parents on how you want to live your life, then standing up to your boss, your colleagues, the world is going to be a long uphill battle.  You don’t need their approval, but you can earn their respect.  Maybe not today, but once they see that you are working hard at something every day, they will learn to respect you.

Q: You were recently hired on as a correspondent for DailyCandy. This role is very different from what you have been used to working with television and being in a fast-paced environment with live news. What do you love most about this new role?

SuChin: I love that I get to be creative every day and to create every day.  The DailyCandy team and I come up with a fun idea and then it’s in production.  The wait time for approvals edits, etc., in TV time moves so much slower than life online.  I love that I get to cover fashion, food and young emerging talent.  I also love working for a company that’s mostly run by women for women.  There’s something incredibly nurturing and empowering about that.

Q: Since you are working for a blog like Daily Candy, do you have any favorite blogs that you like to read on your own time and if so what are they?

SuChin:

  • Food52.com
  • Smittenkitchen.com
  • Svpply.com
  • Ofakind.com
  • Huffingtonpost.com
  • Ohjoy.blogs.com
  • Pocketmonsterd.com
  • Newness.com
  • Thechrisellefactor.com
  • Manrepeller.com
  • Grubstreet.com
  • Dailygrommet.com

Q: You have got all of these projects under your belt  – how did these projects all come about? Are these things you always dreamed of doing or did they happen organically?

SuChin: It always happens organically through people I know or worked with.  There has only been one time in my life that I got a job just out of an audition.  DailyCandy happened because of Hester Street Fair.  They loved the curation and the idea that we were supporting emerging talent which is basically DailyCandy on a bigger scale.  It just goes to show you, if you follow your passions, even if it seems a little off your path, it will come full circle.  And of course be nice to everyone you work with…!

photo cred | I Am KoreAm

Q: SuChin, you have been an inspiring role model to me ever since I was 11 years old and seeing you on MTV News. I’d love to have a career like yours. What advice do you have to give for young adults like myself hoping to follow in your footsteps?

SuChin: There’s a whole world out there waiting to hear your stories.  You don’t have to wait for a big network to find you…you can launch your career from your laptop.  If you want to write, write!  If you want to be in front of the camera, start filming and posting videos!  If you want to direct films, go ahead and start now!  Learning your craft every day, practicing and critiquing yourself is the best way to get really good at what you love to do, so when the opportunity comes your way, you’ll be ready to take it on.

Q: Well SuChin, you’ve done almost everything! What’s next for you?

SuChin: I have no idea…but I can’t wait!

To learn more about the Hester Street Fair – visit their official website here.

@suchinpak

@hesterstfair

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yow Yow’s Yearly Recap

4 years. Can you believe it? It’s surreal to me that I’ve kept Yow Yow! going for this long, but at the same time having Yow Yow! is also kind of like my very own personal diary. It’s kind of cool! I get to look back on some bad writing, some bad photos (or photos that are no longer photos) and some really embarrassing moments in history.

At the same time, I’ve also had the opportunity to witness AMAZING things in history. This year, Yow Yow! didn’t change much, but I did. I graduated from college y’all! As a small child, that day seems so far away – light years away! I’ve got my degree. I found myself a big girl job. I fled from Seattle – never thought that would happen either, but it had to someday. 2012 was good to me and 2013 (I hope) will be even better for us – me and Yow Yow!

So let’s get to the numbers, shall we?

Stats from 2011 will be on the right and italicized while stats from 2012 will be left and bold.

750,119 total visits to Yow Yow! – – – – – – – – – – -  1,128,873+ (since the day isn’t over yet and this does not include up until New Year’s Eve) total visits to Yow Yow!

*In just 2012, there were 377,996+ visits to Yow Yow!

5,510 Posts, 1,153 Comments 8,763 Tags – – – – – – – – – - 7,067 Posts 2,187 Comments 10,229Tags (cumulative)

Top Post of 2012 – “Hipster Disney Princesses In Real Life” – 43,998

Top Post Written in 2012 – “Hipster Disney Princesses In Real Life” – 43,998

Busiest Month in Terms of Views – January 2011 (31,761 views) – – – – – – – — October 2012 (49,821 views)

Average Visits Per Day – February 20122 (1,060 views) – – – – -  – – – - October 2012 (1,607 views)

*Busiest Day – October 5, 2010 (4,239 views)

Credits + References

Worked with

  • Vue Society
  • Colangelo PR – Kusmi Tea
  • Downtown Seattle Association
  • Fashion’s Night Out
  • City Arts Fest
  • Ziibra
  • all my friends who collaborated for guest posts

Festivals Covered

  • Capitol Hill Block Party
  • Bumbershoot

*We hit 1 million hits y’all!

*And I finally got to meet one of my interviewees in person – Miss Euna Kho (Bearbot)

*Yow Yow! also participated in the blackout back in January for SOPA

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Yow Yow’s Yearly Recap

This year, the statistics behind Yow Yow! have served as a great resource for me in deciding which direction to take the blog. The stats may not have been as high as they were last year, but regardless the blog is still trucking on and you know what? I’m proud of what it’s become after three years. I’m still enjoying writing for it and if you guys are still enjoying the content – then that’s all that matters to me.

Stats from 2010 will be on the right and italicized while stats from 2011 will be left and bold.

465,007 total visits to Yow Yow! – - – - – - – - – - -  750,119+ (since the day isn’t over yet and this does not include tomorrow) total visits to Yow Yow!

*In just 2011, there were 285,112 visits to Yow Yow!

3,538 Posts, 1,163 Comments 6,534 Tags – - – - – - – - – - 5,510 Posts 1,523 Comments 8,763 Tags (cumulative)

Top Post of 2011 – “Meet: Cathy Nguyen” – 18,460

Top Post Written in 2011 – “Elizabeth Taylor Dies of Congestive Heart Failure” – 3,592

Busiest Month in Terms of Views – December 2011 (31,200 views) – - – - – - – — January 2011 (31,761 views)

Average Visits Per Day – December 2010 (1,018 views) – - – - -  – - – - February 2011 (1,060 views)

*Busiest Day – October 5, 2010 (4,239 views)

Interviews Conducted With:

Actor Chris Smith

MTV reality series star Liz Lee

Duncan Penn and Ben Nemtin from The Buried Life

Credits + References

Worked with St. Martin’s Press
Worked with Teen Vogue
Worked with Clean & Clear
Worked with Knock Knock gifts

Featured by Q13 FOX News

Referenced by Outside Lands Music Festival

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Meet: The Buried Life

photo by Jamie Cary

In 2009, I was just about ready to give up on my MTV and throw in the towel for good. Frustrated by a successful season of guidos and guiedettes, I had lost any hope that I had in the network to bring in shows that would speak to my generation. What I wanted to see was real people sparking motivation and inspiration among young adults my age. As a sophomore in college back then, I felt comfortable in my routine of going to class, going to my job, and writing for this blog, but is that all that makes up a life? That’s not all I wanted to make up MY life.  Life is too short. It’s too short to do the things you hate because you have to. It’s too short to not take the risks on things that you want to do. Are we using our time wisely? That is essentially what The Buried Life is all about.

The four guys from Victoria, BC made up their list of 100 things they wanted to do before they died and after doing so, I imagine that they just shrugged their shoulders and asked, “Why not?” The guys have crossed off 75% of their list and have added more items expanding their list past 100. I have to also note that their list includes things like: “Crash a party at the Playboy mansion,” “Play basketball with President Obama,” and Deliver a baby” among other things. And guess what? They’ve done it. They have traveled through Canada and America in a purple bus named Penelope crossing things off their list, but their project isn’t just for them. Every time they achieve something from their list, they help another person cross something off of theirs.

Having the opportunity  to interview The Buried Life  guys was something that I have wanted for Yow Yow! even before the show had aired. I was blown away by their project and have a great deal respect for them and what their doing. Spending the day with them when they were here at Seattle University is an experience that I will never forget. They are the type of guys that you would want as your friends and they are exactly the same in real life as they are on their television series. Below is the transcribed interview that I had with Buried Life cast members Ben Nemtin and Duncan Penn, which originally started as just audio using my FlipCam until the guys decided that they wanted to film each other back and forth answering the questions. If you’re wondering why the camera’s so jerky and the footage is so raw – that’s why! It’s cause it wasn’t planned. From the interview you’ll learn who is the messiest to live with, what the guys would be doing if they weren’t pursuing The Buried Life and what is in store for them next.

courtesy: MTV

Q: First off, I’d like to welcome you to our campus and thank you guys so much for being here!

Ben: Thank you.

Duncan:  Thanks for having us.

Q: It’s been almost two years since we were first introduced to you by MTV and the project has definitely been going on for much longer than that. What did this journey look like before you guys had the television series in terms of funding, transportation and support from your family and friends?

Ben: I would say that it’s changed in terms of exposure, but we try to keep it as close to how we started as humanely possible. We made a commitment to each other when we started the show that we were going to do our best not to change anything and so we’ve had to keep each other in check, but we have the same crew. We’re in control of the show. We edit it and we choose the music and we hire everybody. We’re really lucky to be able to do all of that. Our mantra is that we make stuff that we think our friends would like and that’s what we’ve always done and so that’s what we try to stick to.

Q: You guys are obviously pretty close friends, but close friends or best friends don’t always make the best roommates. Was it tough to be on the road for so long? Did you guys ever get on each other’s nerves?

Duncan: Well, Jonnie and I are brothers, but we’re all like brothers and we fight like brothers. It’s actually unbelievable how well we do get along, I would say considering we lived in the back of a bus for so long. Dave’s really messy – as you can imagine, but we get along very well. That’s the thing – you know – we weren’t best friends coming into this. We met very serendipitously and have become very close and have been through a lot of big ups and huge downs together… in the trenches.

Q: I imagine sometimes this journey has to be difficult. I mean you’re meeting strangers along the way and everyone has a story to tell and sometimes those stories are really difficult to grasp and there are so many backgrounds – some emotional, like Sam. At the end of the day, what makes it all worth it for you?

Ben: I think what makes it worth it is just seeing the response and the impact it has on people that we’ll never meet – random emails from someone saying things like, “I was suicidal and I saw the show and now I’m not.” You get one of those and that makes it all sort of worth it. Also, we’re doing everything we’ve ever wanted to do. This kind of project has turned into our lives and that’s something that’s just really really cool.

Q: You guys obviously have great taste in music –

Duncan: Obviously.

Q:  You were at Capitol Hill Block Party and you choose your own music for your show. Are there any up and coming bands that you would recommend for Quadstock?

Duncan: Yeah, Tupac. It’s just this up and coming band – a lot of urban stuff.

Ben: I really like The Tallest Man on Earth? He sounds exactly like Bob Dylan.

Q: This isn’t your first college tour, but I want to know what motivated you guys to have this college tour in the first place?

Duncan:  You know what? We’ve been speaking at schools and universities from the very beginning. Ben and I – when we were first starting out – used to go speak to ESL classes at the local university for 40 bucks just to make some money and to talk about the project. But for us, the speaking part is really rewarding because it’s a chance to kind of talk…television is a very one-sided conversation – and going and meeting the people and actually asking the question, “What do you want to do before you die?” is a way to have a conversation and meet the people who are watching the show and are interested in the project. It’s been really rewarding to make those connections.

Q: Before you guys started this project, you were all students and you all had jobs, but if you weren’t doing The Buried Life, what would you be doing?

Ben: Oh that’s a good question! If we weren’t doing The Buried Life

Duncan: I’d be an astronaut. Maybe an astronaut cowboy.

Q: Can you describe what that is?

Duncan: Yeah, it’s basically an astronaut. You seen cowboy movies?

Q: Uh…a couple.

Duncan: It’s basically like cowboys on the moon, but you’re an astronaut and you’re mostly just doing lassos in zero gravity. Full time.

Ben: And I would be something like nuclear physicist or a brain surgeon, uh something that uses a portion of my abilities, you know?

Duncan: A rocket sociologist.

Ben: A rocket scientist

Duncan: You’d be into rocket scientry.

Ben: Rocket surgery and stuff like that – and such.

Q: I noticed that the most recent item checked off your list was #116 Design a Shoe. It looks like you guys are expanding pass 100 so what does this mean? Have you already completed your 100 things off your list? Are you guys going to 200 now?

Duncan: That’s a good question; I’ve had a lot of people ask. The thing about the list is that it’s not necessarily about the 100 things. Things drop off the list; we add things to the list. It’s always been about going after the things that you’re truly passionate about so we’re always adding things to the list. Design a shoe was very exciting for us and that idea spawned from seeing the little kids walking around in their LA Gear’s that light up and being like, ‘Why can’t adults have sick light up shoes?’ and that is why we made those.

Q: In what ways has this experience affected the way you look at life today?

Ben:  How is th- you mean The Buried Life?

Q: Yeah.

Ben:  I think it’s totally changed our perspective. I mean – it’s change my perspective. The fact that you can just do whatever it is you want to do. There’s really nothing that you can’t do. If you work hard enough and you want it bad enough, you make it happen.

Q: I learned yesterday some kind of disappointing news that MTV would not be renewing your third season. What were your reactions to that and what plans do you have for The Buried Life in the future with or without MTV?

Ben: Good question. Well, we’ve been talking with MTV about it for awhile and we didn’t really want to make the same show again. And so we actually just signed a deal today with them to develop a new series so that’s why Dave and Jonnie are in Vancouver right now – they’re filming. Basically that happened today and we’re working with them to kind of reformat it and play with some stuff.  So I mean, yeah, we’re not going anywhere. But it’s good because The Buried Life has always been stepping it up and going the next level so that’s what it is for us – it’s like what’s the next level for the show and that’s what we’re working on right now.

Q: Great, I’m glad to hear it. I have no doubt in your guys’ success and I think you guys are going to continue to do great things and inspire people all over the world.

Ben and Duncan: Thank you

Q:  Are you still in contact with the people you’ve helped along your way?

Duncan: We’ve actually made some really close friends over the whole thing and it’s been a privilege to be a part of a lot of those stories – talking about Sam and Laban tonight. After the episode was finished, we had the privilege of watching their relationship as it kind of fostered. It’s funny, we just did four speaking engagements and we had somebody that was in the episode in each one of them – somebody that we had helped so we’re always seeing them and it’s pretty cool. And Ben’s really close with Lexi – who he helped in –

Ben: Minnesota

Duncan: Minnesota. Rochester, Minnesota.

Q: What was that one about again?

Ben: She wanted to make it okay for it to talk about depression in her hometown. And I met this rock and I helped the rock and we still – I’m in contact with it all the time.

Duncan: Yeah, the rock really wanted to rock and roll and so Ben uh –

Ben: …gave it a little nudge

Duncan: …gave it a little roll. It’s a true story.

*****

Thank you so much Ben and Duncan! We can’t wait to see what you guys do next and we hope to see you very soon!

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Start the Clock

The act of transcribing the 11 minute interview with The Buried Life guys has begun.

Started at 10:47

Taking a break at 11:28

Only have gotten through 6 minutes and 38 seconds of the interview.

This ish don’t come easy y’all.

Tagged , , ,

John West on Spotify

I don’t like the idea of writing a post and then forgetting about it once it’s published. One of the things I love most about my jobs/projects and even writing for this blog is having the opportunity to check in with some of the people that I’ve worked with in the past. I like to hear when others are doing new things and making progress because it’s the same thing we all go through. It’s exciting!

So the one update I have for you today comes from a former Yow Yow! interviewee named John West. His entire first album can now be streamed on Spotify! It’s one of my favorites and makes for  a great study sesh soundtrack.

Tagged , , , , ,
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,712 other followers