Thursday, March 16, 2017

Interviewing with Kay Kay: Tag

Earlier, I had the pleasure of interviewing Nikki SooHoo. In that article, I stated that I had another interview with SooHoo coming your way and here it is! Today, SooHoo discusses her heartwarming project called Tag. Disclaimer: You may shed a few tears if you are as emotional as I am.

Kay Kay’s Way: How would you describe Tag?

SooHoo: Tag is a passion project I started to ignite a movement of spreading more positivity in the world. My goal was to show people that simple random acts of kindness (like the act of gifting your small bracelet to someone else) can cause a ripple effect of goodness. Usually, when someone does something nice for you, it lifts up your spirit and makes you more likely to do something nice for someone else. Tag was all about starting that movement so that we could raise everyone’s vibration to a more loving, happy, and positive space.

Kay Kay’s Way: How did you come up with the name Tag?

SooHoo: One of my best friends, Angelia Trinidad, who also happens to be the genius behind the super awesome company, Passion Planner, was helping me brainstorm names for my project. We came up with Tag because we thought it fit well with the saying “Pass the Tag,” and “Tag you’re it,” and hashtags that are used on social media since all of those elements are incorporated into the project. The point is to tag someone that you want to spread love and kindness too. After you tag the person, you then pass on a bracelet to them, use the hashtag engraved on the back of the bracelet to stay in touch with the person who gave it to you, and then pass the tag to someone new so the cycle continues.

Kay Kay’s Way: What was the hardest part about creating Tag?

SooHoo: The hardest part about creating Tag was manufacturing the bracelets. I had a very clear vision of how I wanted them to be made and I only wanted to make them with wax nylon string. However, it seemed that this material was only found in Spain and various countries in Latin America. I had gone to manufacturing companies in China and in India and paid hundreds of dollars to have them send me prototypes. However,  none of the business I went to could make them correctly or with the material I wanted. I was about to give up because I didn’t want to make bracelets that I was not in love with. Eventually, one of my friends recommended that I go to Venice Boardwalk, where a bunch of artisans line the street with their artwork and craftsmanship. I ended up finding this amazing lady named Yuka (who I came to find out was homeless at the time) and she had a towel rolled out with about twenty bracelets made of the exact string I was looking for and they were tied the exact way I wanted my bracelets tied. She was a blessing sent from the skies. Had I not met her, I most likely would have given up on the project. However, I ended up being able to commission her to make me 2000 bracelets over the course of the year. I was able to pay her such a nice commission that she was able to return to Mexico City with her then two-year-old son, settle into a home, and open up her own shop.

Kay Kay’s Way: Where do you see yourself and Tag in the next five years?

SooHoo: I hope to continue to speak at schools and events. I also hope to continue gifting bracelets to people who are positively impacting their community. I hope that these people will use this bracelet as an additional tool to help them to continue spreading goodness. I also want to start to produce larger events help other non-profits find more volunteers, raise more money, and get more publicity so more people know how they can help. I love helping people grow to their fullest potential and I hope that with Tag, I can inspire people to become better people.

Kay Kay’s Way: What made you want to create Tag?

SooHoo: I used to wear bracelets all the time and it would start a lot of great conversations with strangers. They would ask me about my bracelets and where they could get them. I just loved that interaction so most times I would just end up offering them one of my bracelets. I made new friends and was able to do something nice for someone that would put a smile on their face. Just that simple act of giving seemed to make a pretty impactful difference in some people’s day. Then one day, the favor was returned to me and someone passed me a bracelet. I thought it was so crazy that someone did to me what I do for people all the time! I then realized how cool it would be to be able to stay connected with the people who were gifting bracelets to one another. Therefore, I created my own bracelet with a unique hashtag engraved on the back so people could log that special hashtag on social media and others would be able to find them and stay connected.

Kay Kay’s Way: What advice would you give to future entrepreneurs?

SooHoo: Surround yourself with other entrepreneurs while you are trying to get your business on its feet because it is nice to be motivated by the people around you. They don’t have to be your business partner, but you guys can feed off of each other’s energies and bounce ideas off of each other. It also reminds you that you aren’t a weirdo. When the rest of your friends are sitting at desk jobs from nine to five and you are the only one working at the cafe from ten to midnight, you may start to feel left out. You might also start to feel weird or uncomfortable because everyone is doing something else. Therefore, you should surround yourself with people who are trying to do something like you. Also, surround yourself with people who would choose to work on a social media campaign at two in the morning rather than be coming home from the club. Lastly, surround yourself with likeminded people and it will help you become more of what you aspire to be.

Kay Kay’s Way: How did you get started opening TAG?

SooHoo: I spent a lot of time creating presentations, business plans, and hashing out ideas with my other friends who were also inspiring entrepreneurs. I talked with a lot of people that I admired or looked up to and asked them to give me advice about my project. I realized that the best way for me to keep motivated was to continue telling people about my idea and what I was working on because it made me feel like I had to get it done. In addition, it always helped spark new ideas to help me make it better.Finally, I created a plan of action for what I wanted and needed to get done and then I just hustled to figure out how to do it.

Kay Kay’s Way: How was it like to be on Oxygen’s show, Quit Your Day Job?

SooHoo: It was an interesting experience being on a reality TV show. I probably will never do it again because I am not a fan of how unrealistic it actually is. Producers are trying to get a good story so they try and prompt you with questions so they can get you to say certain phrases and words and then go into the editing room and create the story they want. I went on the show in hopes of getting mentorship because I didn’t actually need money for my project. However, I wanted to know how to introduce my project to as many people as possible. I found out that even though they say they are going to help, they don’t really mean it. So, I was a little bummed that I didn’t come away with any real help or mentorship. On the bright side, I am grateful that the reality TV show pushed me to take my project to the next level. I don’t regret the experience, but I definitely learned what I like and don’t like to do.

Special Thanks to SooHoo for being so amazing and for allowing me the opportunity to interview her! Never forget to #PASSTHETAG!!!!!!

All photos are the property of Tag

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