Hello Friends! We're so excited to share with you the East/West x Hello Kitty and Friends Collection. But first, meet Erin Han the owner and designer of East/West! Learn more about what inspired her to start her small business and find out how to start being clothing conscious *hint* you can start by owning a piece from the supercute East/West x Hello Kitty and Friends collection - shop the styles here.
Hello Erin, can you introduce yourself and tell us what you do?
My name is Erin Han and I am the owner, operator and designer behind East/West Shop located in the Chinatown neighborhood near downtown Los Angeles.
What inspired you to start your own business and tell us more about East/West?
When I was a teenager I worked at Goodwill and was one of the only kids in my school wearing vintage at the time. I mention this because my interest in finding and repurposing things that are out there is something I’ve been into for a very long time. After being a clothing designer for 11 years and working in the fashion industry, I started East/West Shop to show people how retail could be different - how we could look at vintage as valuable as something made new. I want to show how there are SO many ways we could re-use and re-purpose all the materials already out there. We use our store as a place of education to interact with the community and to have the conversation of “how was your shirt made”. We believe that if we’re aware of what we’re buying we can inspire others to make more solid choices that will create a healthier future for the apparel industry.
As part of our “Small Business, Big Smile” campaign, tell us about the inspiration behind the East/West x Hello Kitty and Friends collection and what piece was your favorite to create?
We are so excited to be a part of this campaign! As a small business we are excited to share our message about being clothing conscious and excited to collaborate with Hello Kitty and Friends by continuing the celebration of their 60th anniversary. For this collection, the denim pieces were my favorite to create. I love to see how the patch-working comes together at the end! I feel proud of these as well as our small mending patches.