Meet Trang of Xinh & Co a truly beautiful mama inside and out. "Spreading the love of natural baskets made in her hometown". Get to know this mama and then check out her shop!
Tell us a Little about yourself, your family and your business.
Currently, I carry Handmade Fair Trade Seagrass baskets woven by makers in Southern Vietnam, who live near where I grew up. I design and attach the pom poms myself (with a lot of help from my family).
What did you do before starting Xinh & Co. ?
"Xinh" translates to cute & pretty in Vietnamese; not the kind of beauty that is striking and bold, but a more subtle, quiet beauty that requires observance and presence to fully understand. It goes perfectly well with my love for handmade and designs; those lovely little imperfections.
What inspired you to start your own business and how did you start it?
Motherhood came very unexpectedly for me. With that comes inexperience and a great learning curve. I had no idea that I wanted to stay at home with my baby; I had no idea that the career I was in wasn't really a great fit for me and my lifestyle. It took me a long time to make peace with that decision and move on. Then I returned to my roots of how I grew up. My parents built their own business from nothing and became successful in a country not known for small business success. That fueled the decision to start my own. It took a long time for me to figure out what kind of business I would like to have now that I have all the choices in the world. We visited my family in Vietnam and I found these amazing handmade baskets in a handmade boutique. The journey of sourcing them straight from the makers was long and tough, but worth it. It turned out they are made only an hour away from where I grew up. Then one day at a time, working late at night, Xinh & Co. was born.
Is there a specific tool you use that makes managing a business easier?
The Quickbooks app provides the convenience for me to add any quick expenses on the go, so I don't have everything piling up until tax season.
What were some of the learning curves of just starting out?
Building a following on Social media is very new to me.
What's it like being a business owner and mom, how do you schedule both?
My company is still very small, so I still can manage both roles pretty well 90% of the time. I hope to be able to make enough income in the future to have childcare for a couple of days a week so that I can focus on the business. Otherwise, I love that my toddler plays while I work. I think it's important for her to see me work. She sometimes says "Mom, I like your business a lot" and that always gives me a boost!
What has been your greatest lesson in business and motherhood?
It's ok to say no and provide an alternative. I'm always afraid to make people mad, but it's good to have boundaries. And I've found that people (and my toddler) really support and respect that.
Do you have any advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?
I'm still very new to being a small business owner, but from an accounting perspective, keeping your books organized from the beginning will save you so much time later on.
What does a “normal” day in your home look like?
Since my daughter is small and we are in a huge transition in life (My Husband and I are each starting our businesses and we just moved across the country)! Our days are very different, but hopefully, we'll have a good schedule soon.
Besides business and your family, do you have any hobbies you love to enjoy (when you have the time)?
I love sewing and knitting. Knitting especially nowadays. It forces me to calm down and it eases my anxiety. Oh did I mention? I love handmade!!!
I myself am a huge coffee lover, but if coffees not your thing, do you have a particular favorite type of drink?
Tea all the way for me here. Just bought some tea blends from Mountain Rose Herbs. One is called "Blossoms of Health" that I got for me and then I got one called "Quiet Child" for my Daughter. I drank half a cup of the quiet child this afternoon and fell asleep...it works mamas!
Who has been an inspiration to you in your life and why?
My incredible Mom. Although my Dad has a keen social ability...she has the vision, discipline, and tenacity needed to keep the family business afloat and thriving.
If you could travel anywhere or do anything in the world what would that be?
My dream recently is to go to Oaxaca to learn about weaving and natural dyeing. I really want to weave a rug out of naturally dyed Churro wool (Ambitious, I know)
If your children learn one thing from you what would you wish that to be?
I'm hoping to model her compassion (for self and others). I've got to walk the talk right?
Any other comments or advice you would like to share?
Thank you, husband, for proofreading ;) Love you!!!!
Thank you Trang for giving us a little behind the scene of Xinh & Co.!