Meet A Maker: Cynthia Yongvang

Cynthia Yongvang™ is a social enterprise based in Seattle, WA that makes bold fashion accessories and home décor products from their own textiles inspired by cultures around the world.

1. What are there three qualities that got you to where you are today?
Passion, creativity, and commitment
2. What's the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?

As a kid, I was already drawn to the arts and wanted to become a fashion designer after I graduated from high school when we were still living in France but then we moved to the US and I thought I should get a more practical job so went on to college for a paralegal degree.

3. What inspired you to start doing what you do now?

I started my company, Cynthia Yongvang™, because of my love of textiles. There are so much beauty, history and cultural meaning behind many textiles around the world and that’s why I was inspired to design my own textile fabrics by giving it a more modern look but still honoring their history and/or culture.

4. Where do you get your inspiration for your work?

I was always inspired by arts and cultures around the world including our Hmong culture and textiles. I find them fascinating, especially how each culture cultivated and had kept their culture alive through designs and textiles. 

5. Where is the most interesting place you've been?

Singapore because for a small country they were able to fuse together innovation and diversity of heritages and culture. 

6. If you were home on a rainy Sunday afternoon, what movie would you most want to see on television?

Gone With The Wind because it reminds me that no matter what is wrong with your life today, there is always tomorrow to start over again.

7. What's your favorite time of the day?

My favorite time of the day is in the afternoon when I feel like I have more energy to tackle anything.

8. What hobby would you get into if time and money weren't an issue?

Traveling to every country to see if I can find the most amazing textiles that nobody wants anymore and start my own collection of textiles from around the world.

9. What skill would you like to master?

Since I now have my own business, it’s important that I also master photography so that I can better highlight my products.  

10. What are some small things that make your day better?

Having coffee at one of my favorite coffee places or watching the sunset from the beach with my dog and husband. 

11. If you got a free check for $5,000, how would you use it?

I will add that to the Hmong Impact Giving Circle’s fund so that we can grant more money to the Hmong community.  

12. Who inspires you to be better?

We only get to live one life and also our best life so people I meet along the way who share their life experience, their success, and their struggles, inspired me to a better person every day.

13. What's one thing that you are exceptionally good at?

I am good at listening to people and seeing their potential when they can’t.

14. What's one thing that you are epically bad at?

I could never be a housekeeper because I am so bad at cleaning a house!

15. If you could compete in an Olympic sport, what would it be?

It would have to be figure skating because there is so much grace in their performance.

16. What's a favorite book of yours?

I have read many books about self-empowerment but its meaning didn’t click for me until I read Daring Greatly and The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown.

17. What do you like most about where you currently live?

Washington offers so many opportunities including access to an innovative community, support for women business owners and mild weather in the winter and beautiful summers.

18. If you could live in a foreign place, where would it be?

I would live in Singapore.

19. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?

I will tell her that life is always uncertain and not to wait for the perfect time to pursue her passion. 

20. What change would you like to see in the Hmong culture?

I would like to see more gender equality so we can empower both our daughters and sons to be the best they can be regardless of their gender. 

21. What is your favorite thing about being Hmong?

Our hospitality when we have guests and our tight-knit community where we can count on each other when there is a need.  

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