The woman behind Charme Studio: all the gritty details
Clients: “Tell me about yourself. Where is your family from? Did you always know you would be doing nails? Does your family live around here?”
Me: “Well… where should I start?”
Clients: “At the beginning!”
So here it goes… ladies and gentleman, buckle up for the wild ride of my life! I assure you it is full of ups and downs, twists and turns, and in the end, a wonderfully exciting tale of how the daughter of immigrants found her passion despite the haters -- you won’t believe who was hating on me! -- and built a business on positivity that I’m TOTALLY proud of. I struggle with ADHD, I have zero contact with my family (including my 14 half brothers and sisters), and I’m the woman I am today because of it all! Learn all about me in this 2 part series… you won’t want to miss it!
Let’s start at the beginning… like before I even came into existence. My dad was in the Vietnam War (you know, the one where Americans were there helping but we lost…) and he was eventually captured by the Viet Cong (for 7 years!) When he was finally released he gathered some of my brothers and other village people and they got on a boat -- that my dad was actually captaining -- to escape Vietnam. After being stranded for 3 days in the middle of the ocean, an American ship rescued my dad and co. and brought them to a refugee camp in Singapore. At some point -- don’t ask me how because I’m not entirely clear myself -- they were sponsored and came to America (Manhattan, Kansas to be exact.) 10 years later, my dad and mom -- both people who escaped Vietnam by boat, were put into refugee camps, and later were sponsored to America -- met as neighbors in Manhattan, and as they say the rest was history. Mom and dad got married, I was born, and one month later we moved to Kent, Washington. If you think the city choices are odd… I’m totally with you! We had no money and no family in WA. We lived out of a motel for weeks before we were able to get any government assistance. In fact I’ve been told that the Pacific Northwest Summer was so hot that year, my mom would take me to Safeway and walk up and down the freezer aisle just to cool me off.
Growing up my mom and dad each worked 2 - 3 jobs; they hoped to provide a better life for their family… well specifically for me. You see, I was the first child born in America and therefore there was a LOT of pressure on me to be successful. Not the, “I’m happy therefore I’m successful” type of success, more like the “I’m a doctor so I’m successful” type of success. BIG DIFFERENCE. Not to say doctor’s can’t be happy! That profession just wasn’t for me! I took ESL classes to learn English and of course I watched TV and observed my classmates in hopes of improving my English… but I simply hated school. I didn’t just hate it, I legitimately sucked at it. High school was an especially crappy time for me (pardon my French) because I had some real pieces of work as teachers. I mean who tells a kid that they’re STUPID, APATHETIC, and LAZY?! Truth be told, I wasn’t any of those things; I just couldn’t learn the way I was being taught and I was bored… so INCREDIBLY bored.
I avoided being in class by getting “work credits” which counted for my elective credits… and most importantly, kept me as far away from school as possible. When graduation came, my teachers were shocked I was even able to graduate seeing as they rarely saw me and when they did… well let’s just say I wasn’t the best student. I graduated with a 1.8 GPA… I know, tisk tisk right? But I just said I would graduate… not say I’d do it with a 4.0! By the way, I do not recommend handling school in the way I did… but its my journey to share. As you can probably guess… college was also a snooze for me. Seriously school was SO boring. I would literally fall asleep in classes. Then one day, I was watching TV and a commercial came on about ADHD, “Do you have a difficult time focusing? Do you get bored easily?” etc. etc. “Well then you might have ADHD.” I can’t remember all of the questions but I know I answered yes to every single one of them…
Read my next post to find out: how I was diagnosed, the series of jobs I held before working in a popular nail salon in Tacoma, how I came to open Charme Studio, who those haters in my life are, my future goals, and what ADHD means in my life today! Stay tuned…