Meet a Maker: Sheeso Moua
This month's Maker highlight goes to Sheeso Moua, the owner and designer of XIXOmenswear. His brand and designs are focused on originality, style and class. True to his brand, he recently launched the Hmong Flute watch, a beautifully made watch with the classic flute design. You can preorder it here.
1. What are the three qualities that got you to where you are today?
I owned a car shop for 15 years which built my confidence and taught me what hard work meant. Through that experience, I built a strong mindset which helps me today.
2. What’s the first career you dreamed of having as a kid?
I didn't have a career that I wanted to go into as a kid. I was open to whatever came.
3. What inspired you to start doing what you do now?
The bowtie was the one item that started me on this path of what I do today. About six years ago, I needed a bowtie to wear with my three-piece suit that was Hmong-inspired. Unable to find something like that, I bought paj ntaub and asked my mom to make me a bowtie out of the paj ntaub material. After seeing the end product, I knew I needed to pursue this path.
4. Where do you get your inspiration for your work?
Everything inspires my work. My people, my culture, and just the love I have for what I do. Each piece that I carry at XIXOmenswear is personally inspired, whether it's at night, or on a plane, or while out hiking. Ideas come to me all the time, and getting to put an idea into a real product gives me a lot of satisfaction.
5. Where is the most interesting place you’ve been?
I went to Japan 6 years ago, and it was my first time traveling abroad. It was a complete culture shock of how people lived. I also went during cherry blossom season and it was wonderful to be there during that time.
6. If you were home on a rainy Sunday afternoon, what movie would you most want to see on television?
I don't watch television; however, you can find me on my laptop streaming business/marketing/growth video along with motivational video.
7. What’s your favorite time of the day?
I love anytime of the day.
8. What hobby would you get into if time and money weren’t an issue?
Being in the car industry in the past, I enjoy cars so I would focus on that more. I'm also a seasonal fishermen so that would be another focus. I definitely want to travel the world as well.
9. What skill would you like to master?
I would like to master sales.
10. What are some small things that make your day better?
Spending time with my family and being around them makes my day better.
11. If you got a free check for $5,000, how would you use it?
I would use it to invest in myself.
12. Who inspires you to be better?
Myself. I'm my own competitor, and I keep my tunnel vision on my end goal.
13. What’s one thing that you are especially good at?
Eating tacos. I love tacos. There's a great hole in the wall place here in Madison, and I eat there about once a week.
14. What’s one thing that you are especially bad at?
There's a lot of things that I'm not great at, and I work on them consistently.
15. If you could compete in an Olympic sport, what would it be?
I wrestled in high school, and so if I could compete in an Olympic sport, it would definitely have to be in wrestling.
16. What’s a favorite book of yours?
My favorite book is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho. It taught me to have my clear goal, and not focus on anything else other than that goal.
17. What do you like most about where you currently live?
I live in Wisconsin now, and I like that I get the experience of all four seasons.
18. If you could live in a foreign place, where would it be?
I would love to move around, and not have a home base necessarily.
19. Knowing what you know now, what advice would you give your 18-year-old self?
I would tell myself to find a mentor.
20. What change would you like to see in the Hmong culture?
There are things that I disagree with within the Hmong culture, but it's part of the culture; therefore, I wouldn't change it. It is what it is.
21. What is your favorite thing about being Hmong?
I love the Hmong culture and it is a blessing to have been born Hmong.
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