MEET A MAKER: JENNIFER LOR
Meet Jennifer Lor - the maker of the greeting cards in our shop. Her line of greeting cards are designed and printed in her current hometown of beautiful Portland. Her exuberance for her Hmong heritage is contagious, and we are excited to see what she creates next! Scroll down to read our interview with her.
1. What are the three qualities that got you to where you are today?
The three qualities that have helped me the most are: motivation, curiosity, and compassion.
2. What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
I’ve always wanted to be a school teacher and teach art!
3. What inspired you to start doing what you do now?
After I completed my bachelor’s degree, I felt that I was in need of another 5-year plan. I am the kind of person that needs to have consist goals, dreams, and/or something to work towards. After I was done with school, I had much more free time on my hand. I decided to start painting and drawing again. Creating art brings me so much joy. In September 2018, I decided to create an Instagram account (Art.by.Jenn.l) for my art work and see if people would like them enough to buy them. Baby steps and small successes led me to have my very first booth at the Oregon Hmong New Year. It was such a successful event and I learned so much. Now I’m hoping to keep expanding my small art business. It’s never too late to dream big and make it a reality.
4. Where do you get your inspiration for your work?
My inspiration comes from the beautiful Hmong clothes and Hmong embroidery designs. I am also inspired by two of my cultures, American & Hmong. I wanted my art to capture the best of both worlds. I’m also inspired by women in leadership roles that have built their own businesses. I want to keep improving my work and keep producing quality art.
5. Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
The most interesting place I’ve been is the Mission San Xavier del Bac in Tucson, Arizona. Mission San Xavier del Bac is a historic Spanish Catholic mission located about 10 miles south of downtown Tucson, Arizona, on the Tohono O'odham Nation San Xavier Indian Reservation.
6. If you were home on a rainy Sunday afternoon, what movie would you most want to see on television?
Dirty Dancing! Or something on Netflix.
7. What’s your favorite time of the day?
Early evenings because it’s the perfect time to unwind and relax. I love going on walks in the summer during the early evenings and smelling the fresh cut grass. 😊
8. What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
I would devote more time into my art and home décor. I’m constantly moving furniture around my house to set a certain mood… more inviting, more cozy, relaxing, etc.
9. What skill would you like to master?
I would like to master the art of cooking! Also always improving and working on my painting skills.
10. What are some small things that make your day better?
When my friends or family sends me small text messages to check-in or see how my day’s going. Receiving wild flowers.
11. If you got a free check for $5,000, how would you use it?
I would put it towards my student loans.
12. Who inspires you to be better?
My fiancé, Stephen, my former teachers, my mom and sisters, Michelle Obama, and Sophia Bush.
13. What’s one thing that you are exceptionally good at?
I’m exceptionally good at being creative. I love to express myself through painting, drawing, crafting, photography, designing. My family and friends have always told me that I have an eye for art.
14. What’s one thing that you are epically bad at?
Sometimes it’s very hard to give myself more credit or give myself some grace.
15. If you could compete in an Olympic sport, what would it be?
I’m terrible at sports, but if I can pick any Olympic sport, I would love to compete in figure skating or swimming.
16. What’s a favorite book of yours?
I love the book “The Giving Tree” by Shel Silverstein.
17. What do you like most about where you currently live?
It’s a nice place where I get to call my own. It’s small but homey and I get to decorate anyway I like. It’s a rental now but I can’t wait to buy my very first home.
18. If you could live in a foreign place, where would it be?
I haven’t travel much but I would love to live in Australia, Europe, or parts of Canada.
19. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
I would tell her not to worry so much about the details/small things - that life has a way of figuring things out and things will fall into place. To trust the process of life more. And stop doubting her abilities to do great things.
20. What change would you like to see in the Hmong culture?
I would love to see the Hmong culture be more accepting of other ethnicity, cultures, and beliefs. To love each other more and have less judgement towards each other. Also to not shame anyone who cannot speak Hmong or write Hmong properly. I would like to see Hmong people help educate each other and keep the culture alive in a friendly manner. I would like Hmong people to empower each other and not bash on each other so heavily. Mocking someone for the way they speak Hmong is not going to benefit anyone. If anything, the person will most likely shut down and shy away from speaking Hmong. Sometimes the culture norm may come off as rude or racist and I would like to focus on improving this issue.
21. What is your favorite thing about being Hmong?
I love being Hmong because it gives me a story. Being Hmong is a big part of my identity and it makes me feel unique. It’s beautiful to have a culture so full of traditions. I love the traditional clothes, the homemade food dishes, and the colorful art. I love how the culture puts a lot of stress on “being a family” and how family comes first before anything else. Growing up I never really appreciated the lesson. But now that I’m older, I’m happy that my parents taught my sibling and I to love each other and to be a close family. Being Hmong makes me feel grounded and I look forward to passing some of the traditions down to my future children.