EP. 21 - Kim Phan, Omsom - Reinventing For Asian Grocery Aisle for New Generation

✅ Hey guys! Enjoy this EPIC interview w/ My good Friend, Kim Phan! Kim takes us all the way back to her early days as entrepreneur and shares with us her backstory which ultimately shaped her career and her future!🙌 Kim shares TONS of gems in this one! What is your favorite lesson from this interview?! Let us know in the comment section below!

Transcript

[00:00:00] Rish Sharma: Hey, everyone. Welcome to take care. Today's guest is Kim fan. The co-founder of home zone.

[00:00:13] Kim Phan: That's. Welcome Kim. Thank you for coming on the podcast. We're really excited to hear about your story and the story of som and thank you for being here. Yeah, absolutely. Thanks. Thanks so much for having me. I'm really excited for our conversation. I'd love to just give the audience a little bit of a backstory on yourself and then how that led to you starting.

[00:00:40] Kim Phan: So I'm with, your sister. And if you could also, I think it's a really cool thing if somebody did or is it is The name and what it means also. Yeah, for sure. I am a first generation Vietnamese American, and a daughter of refugees. And basically [00:01:00] growing up, my sister who's actually my co-founder my sister and I had never really.

[00:01:04] Kim Phan: Kind of felt seen by this kind of quote unquote ethnic aisle and mainstream grocery stores, right? You probably have been at, but it's usually this like forgotten corner in the back of the grocery store. It's a hodgepodge of all these items. And honestly, walking down, it feels like stepping back in time, the products are really old school and they're really diluted or they have like super stereotypical packages.

[00:01:29] Kim Phan: Pandas and dragons, and it's just for Vanessa. And I were like, how is this still a thing in 2020, which is what we lost the business. And it just didn't feel at all representative of the changing DNA of this country. And so we're I had spent my, previous life working in startups on the brand and community side, and Vanessa was coming from CPG consulting at Bain.

[00:01:50] Kim Phan: And we're just I think we should quit our jobs and take a shot at re-imagining this category. And so that's the thesis that we quit our jobs [00:02:00] on is how can we build a brand that really reclaims and celebrates the multitudes within Asian flavors, but also stories and communities.

[00:02:07] Kim Phan: And yeah, it was with that north star that we're like, let's take a run at this. And, Amazon was really born, from that mission. We are a proud and loud Asian food brand. And we partner with really iconic Asian chefs to craft what we call starters, which are little packets, basically think like an M and M packet.

[00:02:29] Kim Phan: But with all of the aromatic spices, seasonings, and oils that you need to cook a specific Asian dish. So all you would need to do as the customer would add in your own protein and veggies. And yeah, it's just, it's been a wild ride. We, launched in may. 2020. Oh, and then you wanted me to talk about the name.

[00:02:48] Kim Phan: Yeah. Yeah. So we had no idea what to name this business. Frankly, we didn't even know what the business has been turned out to be, but then I think once Vanessa and I really rooted [00:03:00] in this idea of proud and loud, like Amazon became our company name. Som is originated in the word stuff which in Vietnamese means roughly.

[00:03:13] Kim Phan: Like rowdy or rambunctious. It's actually a negative term to be honest, like growing up Vanessa and I would be these like loud little petulant children in the back of the car and my parents would turn around and be like, stop it. Don't be and I think we really love the idea of okay, let's reclaim that word and let's like find pride and find joy.

[00:03:36] Kim Phan: In being loud because I think for so long, especially on a bigger level, Asian Americans have been painted as being like quiet or submissive or model minority. And we just really wanted to give a middle finger to all of that. And yeah. So I'm just felt so quintessentially.

[00:03:54] Kim Phan: Both to our kind of origins as, Vietnamese American women, but also to our ethos. So yeah [00:04:00] it's, perfect. Yeah, no, I think it's, a great name, especially, I think it compliments just personally from trying the product the, all the fresh flavors and all the explosion of spices. Like the name really calm, I think compliment.

[00:04:15] Kim Phan: Not only what the brand is in the brand messaging, but also the product itself and the food system. I also think it's a real slam dunk of name for the brand. Thank you so much. And so how was it, I have to ask, how was it launching a brand in the middle of the pandemic in 2020, and then also doing that with your sister as well?

[00:04:38] Kim Phan: Oh my gosh. Yeah. Ooh. I'm not going to sugar coat it, it was brutal. Like we obviously have been working on the business way before the pandemic. So it wasn't I think a lot of people like, wow, look at how look at how that worked out. All these people are cooking now and we're like, yeah, cause we planned for this.

[00:04:55] Kim Phan: No, but it was we had been working on the business [00:05:00] pretty on and off for about two years. And when shelter in place hit New York city in March of 2020 Vanessa and I were like, oh my God, We are a couple of months from launching do we hold, do we not?

[00:05:13] Kim Phan: And at the time, like a lot of our advisors were telling us to hold. They're like, look no one knows what's about to happen. A recession is coming, American wallets are constricting. Like it just doesn't make sense to launch a consumer brand right now. And when you're first time founders, and particularly like women of color who don't enjoy a lot of privilege in this space, we were like, okay these people are experts.

[00:05:35] Kim Phan: Like they know. But Vanessa and I really dug deep within ourselves and found conviction in that one, I think. Americans right now are rediscovering the joy of cooking at home. Like I'm sure you remember that time during the pandemic where your entire Instagram feed was like sourdough starters and people growing scallions.

[00:05:59] Kim Phan: That was a [00:06:00] time. And we're like, look okay. People who don't normally cook or cooking, which is cool. And maybe we can be a part of that journey, but also too, I think. A lot of folks just wanted flavors that they perhaps don't typically have access to like Asian or non-Asian. So like on the Asian side, Hey, I grew up with these flavors. I know them and I love them, but trying to get a recipe for my dad or my mom is like pulling teeth. It's Hey mom, like, how do I do this? And she's oh yeah a little bit of fish sauce. And you're like, what the heck?

[00:06:33] Kim Phan: Or like a little bit of cardamom. And you're like, okay. And then on the non-Asian side, it's I don't even know what. Go for these groceries. I don't even when I get inside that specialty store, there's six different kinds of poison sauces. And so we're like, okay, there's clearly like barrier here.

[00:06:49] Kim Phan: And especially on pile on top of that, like pandemic folks, aren't leaving the house, people aren't traveling on the subway, whatever. And so we were just like, look, I actually think [00:07:00] this is the right time. And so we made a bet and launched which was, I think in retrospect, like kind of the best decision that we could have made.

[00:07:08] Kim Phan: Folks are really, excited to buy our products, but also what we stand for as a brand. And yeah, we sold out within 72 hours of launch, which was wild. And then, yeah, it's just been this really fun. I'll be at Rocky ride ever since this. Incredible. Thank you. It hasn't been all like sunny times, but.

[00:07:32] Kim Phan: Actually you were just asking me about working with my sister I'm I think through all the ups and downs I've been so, thankful to be working with Vanessa. She's my co-founder she's my sister we're super close. Like even before Amazon, we were like best friends. And. I think in the beginning it was a little Rocky.

[00:07:50] Kim Phan: Cause I think we were trying to we've been sisters, we've been best friends. We'd been roommates, but like we hadn't been co-founders. And what was it like to work with one another in a professional capacity? And there was a [00:08:00] steep, learning curve. But now two years later I'm so, grateful.

[00:08:05] Kim Phan: We have nothing, but like immense love and trust for one another. Like I just know she has my back. People say that like being, getting, finding a co-founder is like getting into a marriage. And I think that Vanessa and I have that kind of deep bond and time together because we were basically with each other, our whole lives.

[00:08:22] Kim Phan: So I'm very, lucky. I'm also very lucky because we're really different. I think if you were super similar with similar skill sets, a sibling kind of co-founder relationship could be hard, but it's very clear how we divide the business. We have she's definitely left brain I'm right. Brain. It's just really clear how we divide responsibilities, which is, I think really great.

[00:08:43] Kim Phan: Yeah, that sounds like it's a really, great relationship. I think I've personally, we may, in my own experience have started businesses with family members and it's hard to, it's hard to translate professionalizing the relationship. And so it's all about establishing [00:09:00] communication boundaries, but like you said, like there's nothing like having a family member that you're close to that has your back unconditionally.

[00:09:07] Kim Phan: And you just know that to your core And so I think that there's a real saving grace there. So I just curious to go into the product itself and say if somebody looks on your website and chooses to buy the sampler you have all these various product dishes for various scenarios.

[00:09:24] Kim Phan: How'd you guys go about selecting kind of what dishes from what country and what cuisine what was that process like? Yeah, for sure. So we launched in may of last year with the Southeast Asian line. So Vietnamese Thai and Filipino dishes and chef partnerships. And that was on super consciously, I think on one hand.

[00:09:49] Kim Phan: I think as a business, we stand to reclaim and celebrate the multitudes in Asian cuisine. And I think on this. There's a lot of, I [00:10:00] think Americans are really familiar with east Asian cuisines and I that's a reflection of immigration patterns and, all of that like Chinese, Korean and Japanese I think is a lot more familiar to folks and perhaps like Vietnamese time Filipino.

[00:10:13] Kim Phan: And so we wanted to. Go to market with a fresh, perhaps like new kind of flavor profiles and cuisines that folks perhaps haven't really cooked at home as much. And also frankly, like perhaps a little bit, selfishly Vanessa and I are Vietnamese, we grew up on Southeast Asian flavors.

[00:10:30] Kim Phan: And so it just, it felt like really close to home and really like where our heart is rooted. Yeah, again, like a lot of our advisors were like, Hey, like, why wouldn't you do the the dishes that everybody knows, like you'll face less education barrier. But for us it was like, Hey, like one like our roots.

[00:10:47] Kim Phan: But to also I think it actually signals to the world who we are because we've made an intentional decision to not go with the obvious and even with our. Kind of the dishes that we [00:11:00] chose within all of our cuisines. We didn't go for the most obvious, like it could have been so obvious to do like a tie starter that with pad Thai.

[00:11:07] Kim Phan: But I think we wanted to show like another dish, another kind of regional dish that Americans could get really excited about, but perhaps isn't like the quote unquote, like most Googled, and so it was all a really intentional choice to like in many ways, communicate our value.

[00:11:26] Kim Phan: And then our next line, which was launched in October of last year is our east Asian line. So we did a Korean, a Japanese and a Chinese dish with another new set of tastemakers with what we call our chef partners. But again, like not the most obvious dishes, but dishes that we love and that we eat a lot personally, honestly.

[00:11:48] Kim Phan: And that our chef partners. Can really get behind and build something beautiful with us. Yeah, I would say it's like kind of an intersection of like personal interest slash like a reflection of our own values, but also [00:12:00] very real realities of building a product. Of does this dish make sense?

[00:12:04] Kim Phan: Does our tastemaker have, they created a dish like this before? Is it, does it sell in our restaurants? And then also what works with our format of being in this kind of packet. So it was like across those inputs that I think we came to what in front.

[00:12:21] Kim Phan: Thank you for going through that. And just curious if you are, when you pick, let's just take, for example, the lob guy that you guys have as a, did you guys start with a particular recipe working with the tastemaker or was it like a different approach and then you took that recipe and you try to formalize it or was it a different process to get to that point. Just curious for more specifics. Yeah. It was a super, it's a super, super collaborative process. We work with our tastemakers, like literally end to end. So they're there from let's decide the dish all the way [00:13:00] through, like, how would you market this?

[00:13:03] Kim Phan: What are the, stories that people need to know about these dishes? So for example, with the lob, actually, when we first approached the fish cheeks brothers, we were actually pitching them on pad key Mao, actually a kind of a noodle sauce, but then we actually learned oh, Hey. For this dish to be done, right?

[00:13:20] Kim Phan: Paki Mt. Needs to be super saucy and with the kind of restrictions that we have on our kind of product format, like it just wouldn't do justice to the dish. And we learned that through working with chat and own because they're like, Hey, look, it's just going to be really hard and it's not going to be very good.

[00:13:34] Kim Phan: Like what, why don't we try this dish? And then over time Very hand-in-hand with them. Did multiple iterations of the lop recipe. They gave us a ton of feedback. We literally came to them with Hey, here are the six different peppers that we can use. And they're like, Nope, none of these go and find me a Thai Chile, which is very different from perhaps the more commercially available Chinese and Korean alternatives.

[00:13:57] Kim Phan: And again, though, Our [00:14:00] north star as a brand is to cultural integrity. And so we very much welcome that. Even if it means it's like going to be a stickier process, it means like net like a better product. Super, super collaborative, oftentimes the headache. And I say that with so much love in my heart for our, tastemakers when you work with chefs, like their bar super high, as it should be like they're making food at a very kind of small batch For you diners versus what we're trying to do is like at a larger commercial scale and, how do we balance that?

[00:14:33] Kim Phan: It's a really interesting kind of R and D challenge and I'm so, glad that Vanessa's my co-founder, because she's been the one driving that she's infinitely more strategic and analytical and, detailed than I am. And which is why she's, really great at running that with our chef. That sounds like such a really, fun process.

[00:14:56] Kim Phan: I couldn't imagine trying various different types and how much fun [00:15:00] that must've been to try the various dishes. There's a lot of fun. I'm actually doing some taste testing later tonight after we write out. So I like to say I eat and cook for a living, which is so much fun.

[00:15:14] Kim Phan: You must be like a very popular friend among all of your friends. Then I'm like, come over and test this. I dropped them off on your stoop. Let me know. Since he has talked about how much success you had with the launch and kind of selling out within a short period of time, maybe you can walk through the audience any entrepreneurs out there, or people looking to follow and yours and your sister's footsteps.

[00:15:40] Kim Phan: Maybe you could walk through to how you went about that launch process to. To to sell out your product early on. Yeah, for sure. What are you curious about in particular? There's so many things I could talk about, but is it like the kind of the brand and marketing side of things?

[00:15:58] Kim Phan: Yeah, I would say the brand and [00:16:00] marketing side, I think that's, the thing. I think thing. I think resonated most with me is how much the community first is such a big part of the brand. And so maybe we can talk about how how that helped with the launch of the brand.

[00:16:16] Kim Phan: Yeah, for sure. So again, I wish it was like I had this like sexy, clean answer for you, but to be honest, it was a lot of us behind the scenes like scrambling. Pre pandemic pre-launch we were like, okay, we're a food brand. We're really very much rooted in our community.

[00:16:35] Kim Phan: And so much of food is in person, so we had all these grand ideas to do these like little like dinners and pop-ups and little kind of activations throughout the nation, just to get people like literally physically tasting the food. Cause I think that's a big part of like how people fall in love with food.

[00:16:50] Kim Phan: And so the pandemic hit and we're like, oh my gosh, like all of that has to go out the window. And so at the time it was myself and my marketing director and. [00:17:00] We were just like, oh shoot, like how, do we get people like to understand what we are and understand these flavors and understand what we stand for when we can't physically put these things in front of them.

[00:17:09] Kim Phan: And that was like a really, big challenge that we didn't have a perfect answer for honestly. But I think what kept us like grounded throughout, like all of that was just being really, clear about who we are, who we build for and what we stand for. So I think a mistake that a lot of brands make when they go to market is they try and be for everyone.

[00:17:35] Kim Phan: And I think for us, Just being who we are, like my entire team is POC. Largely like I'm a queer woman of color we're daughters of refugees. Like we know first and foremost that we are first and second gen Asian-Americans and we exist first and foremost for first and second gen Asian-Americans.

[00:17:53] Kim Phan: That is the perspective that we center around. That is the voice that we use in all of our [00:18:00] content across email, across social. That is the perspective from which we build some of our kind of like big content pieces. And so we're just like, let's just do that. Let's do what we know.

[00:18:11] Kim Phan: Let's be really, clear about who we are. And even if that doesn't work, like we'll have been true to ourselves throughout this journey. And so when we launched we didn't try to go down the route of travel the world with these foods or We welcome all. We do welcome all, but we were like, Hey, kick down the door.

[00:18:33] Kim Phan: We're Asian-American and we are unapologetically. So we are proud a lot about the things that we care about. We are first a culture brand before we are product brand, take it or leave it. And I think like having such a strong stance right out the gate really enabled us to cut through the noise and gain like this and build this incredible community of other Asian Americans who I'm.

[00:18:57] Kim Phan: And privileged that they feel seen by our [00:19:00] work like just the fact that like we sent her. Hey, like we're not going to talk about this. Oh, here's this like exotic dish. Like it's not like these are really for a lot of American families. This is everyday home eating.

[00:19:14] Kim Phan: And so we, we didn't make it this travel the world, here's this exotic thing, but really just this is damn good food. And you're going to here for the ride and learn. And also along the way, learn about this Asian American identity, learn that it's not monolithic learn about some of the issues that our community faces.

[00:19:31] Kim Phan: I think being larger than just, Hey, here are these like rip and poor starters to help you make food and more, we're an Asian American brand that will help you engage with and rethink this identity on a multitude of levels, like yes, with food, but also in conversation and dialogue in content, all of that, I think that was what helped us cut through all the noise.

[00:19:52] Kim Phan: So like it's not a clean answer, but it's just being really clear about who we are, what we stand for and then building everything around that [00:20:00] ethos of product. Yeah, no, I think yes, like you said I think it's the simplicity of just knowing who your audience is and what your company is about the trip brought that attraction and cut through all the noise.

[00:20:12] Kim Phan: And I think you're right. A lot of brands now, they don't know their correct positioning or their audience. And so they get watered down in the noise. So yeah exactly, And so what, do you feel when now let's take it on a further you launched what's the feeling like when a customer receives that product after making the purchase and buying into the brand what's that feeling you want them to feel?

[00:20:40] Kim Phan: Post-purchase I think that's we've talked a lot about pre-purchase kind of activities and getting buy in to the brand, but what's that post-purchase feeling you're looking for that customer to experience with the brand now. Yeah, that's such a great question. I think for [00:21:00] for our Asian community, regardless of what kind of nationality I would hope that folks feel seen.

[00:21:08] Kim Phan: I try to say a word from the I, try to stay away from this word represented because I think. Not always perfect. And we're definitely not trying to be representative of entire countries, cuisines and cultures, but I would hope that the intentionality and the care that Vanessa and I and our team puts into all these little details can make folks feel seen and feel proud that like a brand like this can exist, that isn't centered around whiteness.

[00:21:34] Kim Phan: Like, I would hope that's how they feel. And then for non-Asian folks, I hope it's like per like curiosity. And like excitement. So I think hopefully we are like, step one or two or three of a multi-step journey of cool. Nah, like you love these Asian flavors.

[00:21:52] Kim Phan: That's awesome. But maybe you want to engage with Amazon on our social about issues beyond like just food, right? Like we actually [00:22:00] literally had a post the other week called there's no such thing as perfect representation and I think that's something that I would love our non-Asian communities to think about is like, how can I, and get educated on issues that affect all sorts of BiPAP communities and how can I be equipped with the words, with the knowledge, with the resources to be a better advocate now?

[00:22:21] Kim Phan: And I think that that's like a long-term goal I'm not diluting myself into thinking, buy our products, be an ally. But I think it's hopefully like a beginning or near the beginning of someone's journey or mid to end of their journey. Like I just hope that it drives curiosity to keep going and bringing in bringing these issues and flavors and topics into your life intentionally.

[00:22:44] Kim Phan: Yeah, I think it's, I think it's curiosity. Yeah, that's a very admirable goal to break down, break breakdown. Think it's the best. What, how, I guess the best way to say this is like, how, if, I don't [00:23:00] know if you will watch Anthony Bourdain when he had shows, but like how he would just travel to various places and through conversation, through having a meal, it sparked a better understanding among both internal communities, but also in cultures, but also.

[00:23:15] Kim Phan: Cross-cultural and so I, I get what you're feeling what you're trying to do. And I think it's, really speaks to the moment we're in right now. What is next for, hometown? What do you guys look to do look looking for new products or is it to get to retail? What's the next, step that you guys are aiming as a target now that you guys have launched?

[00:23:38] Kim Phan: Yeah, for sure. So we are releasing I don't know if you saw, but we actually just dropped a collaboration with Disney. So Disney has its first Southeast Asian princess. The, film was called Ryan the last dragon. And so yeah, we dropped like a limited edition product with them, which is so, cool.[00:24:00]

[00:24:00] Kim Phan: And like again, something that we feel deeply and we care deeply about, which is like showing the multitudes and stories. And so to have a Southeast Asian princess that Vanessa and I desperately probably wanted when we were five is, really cool to be a part of that historic moment. So that just came out and then.

[00:24:20] Kim Phan: In later in the spring, we have a starter actually with pepper Teagan. So Chrissy Teagan's long, which is really cool. And she's, amazing. She has an incredible cookbook, but what I'm really excited about with this starter is that it will be one of the first products of its kind that proudly features MSG as an initial.

[00:24:41] Kim Phan: Like for so long, so much of the dialogue around MSG has been like, it's bad. It gives you migraines. And frankly, a lot of that. Anti MSG sentiment has been rooted in really bad science and frankly like anti-Chinese and phobia. And so we just really [00:25:00] wanted to, again, reclaim the narrative around this ingredient that has been maligned for so long.

[00:25:05] Kim Phan: And it actually showed folks that one, not only is it like a hundred percent safe, it's also damn delicious. And we're going to bring it into your home with one of our starters. So that one I'm super, super excited about because I think, yes, it's a new product, but it's also, again, Storytelling and, sharing Sharing a narrative that we personally care a lot about as founders.

[00:25:28] Kim Phan: So that's, I'm super, super stoked for that. And then, yeah, beyond that we're a startup, so we're still definitely going, like figuring it out as we go. But I think our end game is to eventually get into brick and mortar for sure. That's where 90 plus percent of grocery decisions are still made.

[00:25:44] Kim Phan: But I think right now, like we're focused very much on direct to consumer. We want to get continue to stay close with our community and just. Get that kind of one-to-one relationship. But yeah, like world's our oyster, there is no shortage of Asian dishes and [00:26:00] cuisines that we can celebrate with our awesome tastemakers.

[00:26:05] Kim Phan: It could go anyway. It's very bright future for definitely. And And so one last question about but your, company's journey what's been the greatest growth opera, a growth opportunity for you as an individual, as a founder over this period of time to launch and post-launch.

[00:26:32] Kim Phan: Oh, my gosh. Ooh. There's not just one. I don't know. You're a founder. You've been one as well. Like I just feel like constantly being a founder is just like having your ego reckoned. Which is like a really good thing. It's a really good thing, but I I'm like a pretty confident little creature.

[00:26:51] Kim Phan: And then I became a founder and I was like, oh my God, there's so many things I don't know, or that I'm not the best at. And, so I just feel like my biggest growth opportunity is [00:27:00] like reckoning with my ego. Like I think my ego used to be in the room a lot more when I was making decisions. When I thought about like how people would interpret things now.

[00:27:09] Kim Phan: Nope. Get out of here. I need to figure out how to like, make the best decision. And oftentimes 99% of the time, it means me not doing something or finding someone who's smarter and better at me than in these things. So that's probably the biggest growth oppor like growth opportunity is just, yeah, like learning how to get my ego out of the.

[00:27:28] Kim Phan: Yep. I think that's yeah, that's really important as a founder for sure. It's it's they say starting a business is the best self-improvement plan you can ever go on. So it's yeah definitely, Great. So just moving on to our final set of questions What is, there any particular routines morning routines and rituals that you do as a company or as for yourself that helps you [00:28:00] keep motivated and keep coming hard every day into your work?

[00:28:09] Kim Phan: Honestly, there is none. That's probably definitely something I could like better formalize. I would say like little I'm always hydrated. I will say that's like the one thing I like really keep myself accountable to is like constantly, drinking water, which I feel like has, is key.

[00:28:29] Kim Phan: I've been starting to get a little bit better about just going on walks throughout the day like that. I think that kind of keeps me motivated is just like new inputs into my brain. But there's no one clear morning routine, honestly, it just get out of bed listen to the news a little bit, make myself a cup of tea, but there's nothing.

[00:28:49] Kim Phan: Yeah. There's no, I wish there was like a nicer answer and whatever's true for you is what we're looking for. What [00:29:00] does take that into another step? What does self care mean to you? As a founder? Ooh, that's a great question. Yeah. It's interesting because self-care has become this bastardized kind of capitalism took it, and then it became this really. The, it became like an industry. So for me, I think I returned to perhaps like a more holistic place when I think about self care. But basically when I think about self care, it's like, what can I do to set myself up where I can enter into work or a relationship or whatever, a meeting and come into that and make decisions from a place of abundance.

[00:29:46] Kim Phan: I think that's really, the main thing is if I walk into any situation coming from a place of scarcity, I just feel like I make really short term decisions. I'm like, oh, like I don't have, I don't have enough time. I don't have enough money. I don't have enough whatever that is. [00:30:00] And then I end up making like the, had decisions that optimize for the short term.

[00:30:04] Kim Phan: So yeah. It's like giving myself the mental space to feel grounded in myself. So that often means. Knowing that I have time to just breathe and. Spend, honestly, putting pen to paper in my mole skin is like the quickest way for me to center. I've love writing. A lot of my job requires copywriting and being basically like the voice of our brand.

[00:30:31] Kim Phan: And so self care to me is like making sure that I have the time to like foster that, that I continuously get. Like new and fresh inputs. So I recently started going to museums like every other weekend, like nothing I'm not looking at CPG exhibits, I'm not looking at packaging exhibits. I'm literally just going to being like, okay, what can this abstractionist art like inspire within me and maybe nothing, but it'll just be like a new input that I have in my body and my soul.

[00:30:59] Kim Phan: So [00:31:00] yeah, it's just, it's honestly just making sure that I have. It doesn't have to be like an exercise routine. It doesn't have to be like a food that I eat. It's literally just like giving myself space to breathe, like to ruminate on things that aren't Amazon. Thank you for sharing that. Oh my gosh.

[00:31:18] Kim Phan: I've haven't had to reflect on that. So thank you so much for mine. What we're trying to do here is on the podcast is to give a full holistic picture of people from challenges that they're facing to the what, they're, what they're, the experts are Changemakers on. And then also as an individual, how do they move on from day to day?

[00:31:39] Kim Phan: That's the angle we're trying to go. And so thank you for, sharing that with us. Just two more questions. What is your favorite new product that you've tried recently? Oh my gosh. Okay. I love chili oil. I'm like freaking obsessed with [00:32:00] chili oil. I put it on probably every meal that I have.

[00:32:03] Kim Phan: And I really have always been such a big fan of boon sauce. It's like a Thai chili oil based in LA, but they recently came out with a like Thai, Japanese chili oil called Benito and it's so, good. I'm like I stand boon sauce so hard in this latest. Like product drop they had is, really good.

[00:32:26] Kim Phan: So I'd say that's what I've been like really obsessed with. As of late, I gotta check that out. boondocks.com. We love them. And then let's just finish with a final question. If you could have a dinner party with three people dead or alive, who would you choose and why? Oh, that's so hard. Okay. I have to ask this.

[00:32:50] Kim Phan: This is so type it with me now, are we picking these guests based on will they be interacting with one another or is it literally just blue sky, [00:33:00] Kim? Who do you want to pick the brain of. Yeah, great insight. Cause everybody takes it easily a different way. And you're the first person who asked that question.

[00:33:11] Kim Phan: But yeah. So in this case I would say let's keep it as though everybody's at the same table. Oh my God. Okay. So then they have to speak the same language

[00:33:24] Kim Phan: we can create. We can create a circumstance where it's like the universal translator, like it star Trek, whatever.

[00:33:35] Kim Phan: Oh my gosh. That is so, hard. Okay. First free to call it. One of my biggest inspirations. I went to the, yeah, the museum of Frida Kahlo in Mexico city, and I think it genuinely changed my life so profound. So ahead of our time. Someone who deeply inspires me. Yeah. Yes, absolutely. [00:34:00] Second would be lady Gaga.

[00:34:03] Kim Phan: I just I've been long, like a little monster. She just inspires me with her creativity and perspective. I, her artistry is incredible, performer, and I just feel like she could be someone that I could talk to for a very long time. Just super curious about how our brain works. Oh, geez. Ooh.

[00:34:26] Kim Phan: And the third would be Stanley. I'm a big, Marvel nerd. I feel like I became a really big fan of like universes and Marvel was the first one that really showed me that I could be a nerd about universes. It was like Harry Potter star wars, but it was really first and foremost Marvel.

[00:34:49] Kim Phan: And yeah, I just, I wish that I could have met him when he was alive. So yeah, it's gonna be the weirdest. Dinner party. I don't know if they'll have anything to talk about [00:35:00] artistry. Lot of are all artists in their own, so they can talk about the process of creating art and resonating with large audience, because all of them have massive audiences.

[00:35:14] Kim Phan: And so how to translate your artists, rambling advances. Oh, that's a great, I had never pulled that thread through. Yeah, you're right. That's. Yeah, it's their creativity and artistry. Thank you for reflecting that. Oh, happy day. Just since you mentioned Stanley and and MCU what's the favorite character?

[00:35:35] Kim Phan: Oh my gosh. This is so hard. Okay. Quick aside. I'm a big MCU nerd. In fact, like I'm a part of this, like I don't even know league where we basically get together, obviously pre COVID. We went to every single midnight premiere we dress up. We literally do. Like Xcel rankings of like our favorite character antihero villain movie, like it gets super nerdy.

[00:35:59] Kim Phan: [00:36:00] They're my best friends. So yeah, this is a very like hotly contested conversations in question. But I'd have to say iron man. Only, because I, love that he's like a real human. And that it's like through, I don't know. I just think there's something really, quite special about, Tony stark and him going from this kind of like Playboy capitalist to the full kind of arc of him stepping into realizing like the privilege of his power and how he can do good and the responsibilities.

[00:36:38] Kim Phan: I think it's a really interesting, like moral tension that I see in that character. And yeah, it's really hard because I'd say like my second favorite is probably black Panther, but iron man yet. I like have so many iron men t-shirts cause I'm a dork. I just, yeah. I love this, like man and metal like tension.

[00:36:56] Kim Phan: And so yeah, I iron man, let's Robert Downey Jr. Who, doesn't [00:37:00] want to say? You can't go wrong. You can't go wrong. So this has been a real pleasure to have you on, the podcast. If you want to catch up with you. Where can they connect? Hell? Yeah. So we are on Instagram at, som and then obviously you can learn more about our products and buy our delicious starters@amazon.com.

[00:37:22] Kim Phan: And then if you're curious, Learn more about me or say, hi you can find me@kimfam.org, which has all of my social or directly on Instagram at Kim T a underscore T fam. Just my middle, initial of my last name. But yeah, I'm super I, I love like hearing from everyone. So if you have any questions or anything like that I'm super and open.

[00:37:46] Kim Phan: All right. We'll put all that in the show notes and it was a real pleasure to have you on the podcast. Yeah. Thank you so much. This was so fun. I really appreciate the opportunity to reflect on things that I don't really get the chance to think about. So thank you. [00:38:00] Thank you.


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