We had the good fortune of connecting with Liza, Oanh, and Nga and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Liza, Oanh, and Nga, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
It started with the desire to encourage our country and local communities to vote in the 2020 elections. To let them know their votes and voices matter. We wanted to express our messaging in a thoughtful and modern way to bring communities together. Let others be able to amplify their voices through the clothing they wear.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We started Dear 1982 as a nod to our 80s generation. Having grown up through multiple decades we realized that we wanted to make better choices all around and help encourage others to do so. We wanted to create a brand with values that are now important to us in our late 30s – sustainability, quality, and supporting social causes. Some of us are mothers, so felt the importance of investing in good, quality clothing and wanted to print statements that matter, so we could wear our apparel with pride. It’s also important to us that we give back to our communities, to help amplify our mission. We do so by giving a portion of our sales/profits to selected non-profits that align with our values. Right now, a portion of sales from our Allies on Earth kids and womens tees will be going to AAPI Women Lead. We believe it’s important and possible for consumers to support brands that share the same values, and we inspire to be that brand. Launching an apparel brand with our first collection revolving around the November 2020 election during the pandemic has not been easy. Especially, since our shirts are meant to be worn in person and spark thoughtful conversation. We had some production delays due to covid but we had really wanted our “voting is cool” kids and adult tees to be worn in school and around the towns to encourage communities to register and vote. We decided it was important to add our black organic cotton mask to the line to help protect against covid and also give back to the community. With the profits for every mask sold, one is given to an essential worker. This has become one of our best sellers which is available in kids and adults.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
We’d definitely do a girl’s self-care staycation in Encinitas and stay at the Inn at Moonlight Beach. We’d start each morning at Ironsmith Coffee. Encinitas is a fun beach town to walk around, especially along the 101. There’s a certain point along the pedestrian path where you can look over the cliffs and watch the surfers from high above in the bright turquoise waters. A spa day is a must at Four Moons Spa and finding some peace and clarity with trips to the Self Realization Center and Botanical Gardens. There are so many photographic garden moments like Dave’s Rock Garden to stumble upon before heading to the beach. Eateries include this Filipino restaurant – Carin de Ria and The Taco Stand (there’s always a line, but worth it!).
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Our mothers! We, three founders, are the first American-born generation to Asian immigrants. Our mothers who all have different and valuable stories came here as young adults to work hard, provide a better opportunity for their future children and teach us how to strive for our goals and dream big. These honest and hardworking women would come home after a full day of work to care for their families. Seeing the sacrifices they made has shaped us to pursue a life of success, make them proud, and see their dreams fulfilled. That’s why it’s so important to us that we encourage and support our children through any dream, big or small.
photo of three founders only: Golden Days Photography