We had the good fortune of connecting with Sandy Pham and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Sandy, where are your from? We’d love to hear about how your background has played a role in who you are today?
Sometime during the 1990s, my parents fled Vietnam by boat after the intense aftermath of the Vietnam war. During this journey of escaping the war-torn country, they were rescued, ended up in Singapore, then the Phillippines, and eventually ended up immigrating to Los Angeles, specifically the San Gabriel Valley.
And that’s where I come in. I was born and raised in San Gabriel Valley, which is just east of Los Angeles. Unless you grew up in Southern California, or have relatives who live there, you most likely don’t know where it is. I like to tell people that aren’t familiar with this area that it’s where all of the best Asian food in LA is at haha.
In my immediate household, I grew up in a family who were conservative (Catholic), traditional, and also risk-averse. While their hopes and dreams were for me to become a doctor, I was never interested. Instead, I wanted to go against the grain- a rebel you could say and create a path of my own. I was always drawn to the arts (photography, music, media, film), and would eventually end up in this field.
Growing up as the only female child in my family, with parents who were conservative, it was tough. Anyone who knows traditional Asian parents know that our parents don’t have conversations with us, like most parents in Western societies do. Our parents also weren’t taught to express feelings and emotions, as they believed that was a sign of weakness. “Do as you are told” they would often say, which furthermore made me even more compelled to not listen to them.
Because I couldn’t ask my parents for help, I had to teach myself most skills in life, or go elsewhere to find answers to the questions I had. Most of the skills I have to this day, I either taught myself, found answers on the Internet, or I figured out who to ask to get those answers.
As a result, I learned how to problem solve. It is single-handedly one of the most valuable and useful skills I have cultivated to this day, and continues to serve me well as an entrepreneur who faces new challenges every single day.
And because I didn’t grow up in an environment of entrepreneurs, the road to becoming one has been an extreme learning curve, but it’s definitely possible to do it, and extremely rewarding as well. Follow your heart and never give up!
What should our readers know about your business?
I created Social Medusa Media, a social media marketing agency, with a mission to help businesses and brands tell their story and grow. While we are focused on food & beverage, and lifestyle brands, our expertise and services are applicable to any industry.
What ultimately sets us apart is the dedication we have for our clients’ success and the work that we do. We work with people and brands that we believe in, which makes the tough parts, and there were TONS during the pandemic, much easier and enjoyable to do. As a result, we have been growing at a steady pace, and currently have a waitlist for taking on new clients- as we don’t want to scale too rapidly and make the work that we do suffer.
The first year was definitely not easy at all, as most entrepreneurs will tell you, but rewarding? 100%. There were numerous times where I wanted to give up, but remembering why I started is what kept me going. And of course, at the end of the day, making impactful work with people and brands that you love and believe in is worth it.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
First we would start off in Culver City. It’s central to all of the main attractions in LA, which makes it the best spot to start off in!
Culver City also has an up and coming tech and restaurant scene in LA, with a downtown area that has welcomed tons of new restaurants, cafes, and shops in the last year.
We’d check out Downtown Culver City, grab some homemade bubble tea at Latea Lounge, and hang at The Culver Steps, where we can sit, relax, and people watch. Then we’d head over to Citizen Public Market to grab some delicious fried chicken (Go Go Bird by Brandon Kida or Pizzette by Nancy Silverton) and chat with the welcoming founders of the businesses here.
Next, we’d head over to Koreatown / Downtown LA, for some authentic Korean Food such as Quarters Korean BBQ, or get some All you can eat korean bbq. Downtown LA also has some great bars to check out as well so anything goes!
For a Sunday, we gotta check out Smorgasburg, where there are lots of incredible food vendors to satisfy any craving.
Of course, you can’t come to LA and not check out the beach! Year-round, the beaches are a must-visit. I like Manhattan Beach, Santa Monica, Venice, Pacific Palisades- they are all great. After that, head over to Mel’s Drive-In, a must visit diner with great food and milkshakes that has become an integral part of Los Angeles culture.
Did I also mention that I run a fried chicken blog on Instagram? Hit me up and I’ll take you on a fried chicken tour!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I want to dedicate this shoutout to my clients and business partners. For recognizing my passion in helping businesses and brands tell their stories, taking a chance on me, and teaching me how to become a better individual and business person every single day. And of course, everyone who has been following our journey and believing in the work that we do. Thank you.
Other: Fried chicken blog: https://www.instagram.com/mothercluckerrr/