FULL: What does an average day look like for you?
MC: I try my best to wake up early. 8 o’clock is my favourite time to wake up. I go through my morning routine, have my granola bowl, and get to work. I usually plan out what I have to do for the day the night before. I work until lunch time, eat a quick lunch, and then work again until 6 o’clock. I work pretty long days, and sometimes it’s challenging to stay focused — it’s easy to get distracted by snacks. My boyfriend moved in, and that’s made things easier. He works eight to six, and when he comes home, it’s time to stop working. It gives me a nice structure.
FULL: How do you feel about lists? Are you good at finishing them?
MC: I love lists. I’m pretty ambitious, but I’m not harsh on myself. I just tell myself to do my best. Sometimes I start worrying about all the things I should be doing, but the other half of my brain goes, “Do what you can. That’s literally all you can do.”
FULL: What kinds of creative things did you do as a kid?
MC: I was an only child, so I kept myself occupied with crafts. When I was in the third grade, I made sketches of houses. My mom would take me to show homes, and I’d look at the blueprints, then design my dream home. I also loved drawing clothes and shoes. I never designed jewelry as a kid, but I loved designing.
FULL: You’ve been doing this for awhile, so I’m curious what parts of it are still exciting and new for you. What are you focused on right now?
MC: I love styling shoots and putting them together. My first shoot was with Meg Kroeker. We collaborated on a tapestry for it, and spent a lot of time together. It was a special experience. With the last few shoots, I’ve been experimenting with taking my own photos. I’m trying to learn how to use my camera better, how to create an image. It’s kind of a new hobby for me. I’m also trying to show more diversity in photos. Growing up, I saw one type of beauty a lot, and that’s something I want to challenge through the work I do.
As a kid, I was one of the few Asian people at my school. It wasn’t until years later that I realized how much it affected me not to be surrounded by people of my own culture. Lunches were the most apparent. My mom would pack me sushi or leftovers from home, and people would comment. I just wanted fruit snacks and white bread sandwiches. I spent a long time putting my culture to the side, but I’m trying to embrace it more.
FULL: You talked about being inspired by your studies in Classics in your early collections, do you feel inspired by your Asian culture as well?
MC: Not yet, but it’s something I want to explore.
I’m mostly trying to trust my instincts and my taste. I want to keep my sense of style and artistic integrity. There’s definitely days when I’m designing and I feel confused about where to go. I didn’t do a spring collection this year, because I wasn’t sure what direction to go in, and I wanted to learn more skills. That’s the beauty of running your own business. If you have the ideas, do it, if you don’t have them right now, you can’t force it.
I’m always trying to learn more skills. Right now I’m working on wax carving. I’m lucky that I know people who know a lot about jewelry. I learn from them, and the internet is a really cool resource. I don’t like to start a new aspect until I’ve done everything I can with one skill, but I’m excited to be expanding my skills.