Summer is vastly coming to end, but we found a new Hmoodle girl that can brighten the gloomiest of Autumn’s cold days. She is Duasone Yang. She’s part fashion designer, part business owner, part student, and one hundred percent beautiful. Not only is she pleasing to the eyes, but she has an intoxicating personality that makes her that much more attractive.
When I talked to her it was evident that this was a woman constantly on the move in the hopes of bettering herself and her life. She is the girl that likes to experience life and all it has to offer. She has dabbled in fashion design, but also plans on pursuing a career in pharmacy. Quite the difference in career paths, but shows how versatile she is.
I really enjoyed this interview with Duasone, and I think our Hmoodle readers will too. She definitely has a lot to say, but it made for a great interview. Enjoy!
Ryan: I’m here with the newest Hmoodle Girl, Duasone Yang. Congratulations on being selected!
Duasone: Well thank you for the consideration and opportunity.
Ryan: Lets first start off with the beginning. Where were you born and raised?
Duasone: I was born in the state of Michigan also known as the “Mitten”, but Detroit to be exact. I lived there up until the end of my fifth grade year and then my parents decided to move us to the countryside in Imlay Cityto be closer to my father’s work place. It was definitely a big change for us from living into a suburban area to living in the middle of nowhere. Also, at the time we were the only Asian family living in this small town. Then after two years of comfort ability, my parents decided to moveus back to be closer to family and into the suburbs of Warren, Michigan where I finished eigth grade, and my high school years up to my early twenties.When I grew up in Detroit there was mainly a black community and a small group of Hmong and Laos. In Imlay city, the community was mainly made up of whites and a small population of Hispanics, whereas Warren was a mixture of everything, sort of like a “melting pot” and I loved it! I have to say that growing up in Detroit to Imlay City to living in Warren really opened me up to other cultures and learning to accept different individuals for who they are.
Ryan: Sounds like you had an interesting youth. What were you like as a youth?
Duasone: In school as a child I was very shy andI kept to myself for the most part, but at home I was very imaginative and creative, always playing dress-up with my mom’s clothes and got in trouble most of the time. I was also a tomboy, but as I got older I realized I wanted to break free from my shell and shine a little. So, I became more involved in school. I joined clubs and sports; I was president of our AsianClub, member of the National Honor Society, member of the Spanish Club, J.V and Varsity cheerleader, ran track, a distance runner, was Homecoming Princess my Senior year, was involved in talent shows, and hosted multi-culture events. I seriously wanted to do everything even if I wasn’t good at it, but many of the activities had conflicting schedules so I couldn’t do it all, but for the most part I was able to grow and learn from my experiences to better myself academically and socially as a person and keep me focus on my goals. Even now I continue to take on projects more than I can handle.
Ryan: What is your favorite childhood memory?
Duasone: For some reason I can only remember my least favorite childhood memories. I recall an incident when I was in elementary and school had just ended. I scanned for my mom’s tan mini-van and when I spotted it, I ran towards the car with such excitement to be heading home for the day. As I’m running across the muddy grass, I noticedthis taller middle school kid looking at the corner of his eyes as he ran by me and tripped me. All I can recall was falling flat on my face and thinking, “Oh my gosh, this is so embarrassing!” I quickly got up and could barely see through my eyes, but I knew that everyone was looking at me. As I arrived to the carI was completely covered in mud and in tears, but mainly I think my ego was more hurt. My mom was furious and demanded that we go to the principal’s office to report this incident. I was already so embarrassed. I kept trying to persuade my mom to go home and forget about it, but of course a mad parent she was, she was determined to get justice and was not letting it go. So my mom stormed into the school dragging me along and we spoke with the principal. Of course nothing could have been done, but then again I don’t recall my mother’s conversation with the principal. I do know one thing though; if I saw him today I would probably be able to point him out. Ido have to say that I have had a few, well, many embarrassing moments as a child and maybe just recently too. I’m pretty clumsy most of the time. I tend to trip over obstacles that are right in front of me, miss a step walking down the stairs because I’m distracted by what’s on television, or here’s my favorite, texting while walking and completely missing the edge of the curb and falling face forward onto the cement. Good times I tell you, but I can always look back and laugh at these moments or laugh during the moment.
Ryan: Its good that you can laugh at those moments now. Lets fast forward a bit. In your bio you mentioned that you pursued fashion design at one time. What intrigued you the most about that?
Duasone: When I was a child I loved sketching, patterns, and colors,and I loved playing with my Barbie dolls and dressing them up. I enjoyed every aspect of it and that led me to want to pursue fashion design, but as I went through school I realized that there was so much more to what I loved and it wasn’t just the designing part, but the styling part of fashion was what intrigued me most. It was the creativity behind it and the inspiration of an overall look on a final product of pieces being well put together. Anyone who truly loves or is passionate about something they enjoy can understand that feeling of inspiration I’m talking about. I am someone who is easily inspired and I tend to see the beauty in everything. So not only was I inspired by the little things put together, I wanted to inspire others as well.Designing and especially styling allowed me to be creative and to express my love for fashion.
Ryan: How would you describe your designs?
Duasone: When I start designing I usually am inspired by a certain theme, or an occurrence in life and that’s where my creativity would come about. My designs tend to be for the young females who are trendy and fashion forward, a woman who takes pride in who she is, and knows what she wants and how to have fun and expresses herself to be different. The styles of my designs are usually modern, but with a classic, vintage feel.
Ryan: You have since moved on from that to trying to obtain a degree in biology. That is quite the one-eighty. What brought on that change?
Duasone: Well, like most people you grow up and become an adult, so I decided that I needed something that I could fall back on financially for the long haul.
Ryan: If you obtain that degree what would you use it towards?
Duasone: I plan on using that degree to get into pharmacy school and obviously become a pharmacist.
Ryan: Pharmacy school sounds interesting. What makes you want to be a pharmacist?
Duasone: Well, as I stated in my answer before, being financially stable are one of the reasons, but I also want my parents to be proud of me. Like most parents they want their kids to become doctors, but I for one thing hate needles or blood so this is the closest thin and although I know my parents are proud and will always support whatever career choice I decide, I too want to be proud of myself for accomplishing something I would never expected myself to be doing.
Ryan: You seem to be a very busy girl. What do you do with your free time?
Duasone: I actually enjoy being busy; I think it keeps me sane for the most part. I crave the excitement of multi-tasking and at times my best work comes from being worked under pressure. So besides keeping my hands tied up with my usual day to day stuff, I definitely enjoy watching movies. I believe that is one of the things I love to do most during my spare time. I usually like to drag or make my younger brothers go with me, but without any of my siblings here in Minnesota I tend to watch movies by myself and that’s something I’ve become accustom to. I mean don’t get me wrong I love having other people’s company, but sometimes I like to do things by myself because I get things done a lot quicker. I also love to eat and try new foods at different places and at times I’m really critical on customer service too, especially when I’m dining in. I think that’s where my years of experience as a waitress kick in. I have recently started a little floral business on the side “Pocket Full of Posies.” I love being able to use and explore my creativity to its full potential. Other than that, I also like to volunteer my time to tutor young kids. I have volunteered tutoring 4th and 5th grade students at Jackson Elementary in St. Paul through Hmong Youth Pride in 2009, which I hope to get back to doing before the end of the year.
Ryan: Can you tell us a bit about your business?
Duasone: Pocket Full of Posies is a small floral business I startedin the beginning of this year. I work directly from home here in Minnesota, but I am willing to travel. I specialize in weddings and special events such as: prom, funeral designs, floral arrangements for events and gatherings, large or small, contemporary and traditional arrangements. I can also help with all aspects of party planning and decorating.
Every event is different having a specific theme, color scheme or are held at interesting and extraordinary places. All aspects are taken into consideration and are carefully selected which are uniquely designed for each special occasion. If there are any questions or interests in my work, please feel free to contact me or check out my sites listed below. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Pocket-Full-of-Posies/125109314237035 http://www.wix.com/duasoneyang/pocketfullofposies
Ryan: Hopefully our readers will check that out. Now I know that you were in the Miss Hmong American Pageant in 2010. How was that experience.
Duasone: The Miss Hmong American Pageant was probably one of my most memorable experiences. This was an opportunity for me to do something I never imagined or even pictured myself doing. Honestly, I can’t write in Hmong, barely read it, and my speaking ability is a seven out of ten, ten being really good. If anything it was more “Hmonglish”, so that was the most challenging part for me. Although my Hmong was not top-notch, I didn’t let that stand in the way of still trying. I am also a strong believer in the Hmong culture and how it distinguishes us from other race. I wanted to understand more about the culture and not so much where the Hmong people originated from, but the way of life for the Hmong people, how we carry ourselves in the public eye, how you help one another through the hardships and the good times and that is one of my most proudest moments of being a Hmong person is when things go bad or great you can count on family to help, even those you don’t know, but they know who your parents are or who your grandparents are and it continues on to the next generation.
This experience was an opportunity to also learn from these young men and women in the pageant and to see where the Hmong culture was headed. I believe that although we are still Hmong, we do live in the United States of America, but that doesn’t mean we forget who we are, where we came from, or our cultural background. If we can’t learn to adapt or allow room for change to better us as a race we’ll never grow as a community. So,of course this opportunity also allowed me to have a better understanding and appreciation for our language and our culture. The pageant was a great learning experience for me and I recommend every Hmong girl should participate in the pageant at least once in their life, because it definitely is a great opportunity to meet new people and to see how much more you can grow as a person. Joining the pageant meant more to me than winning a title or a crown. I went out there unprepared, humiliated myself, had fun with it, and was able to still walk away with my head held high, so if anything I won the best experience I could ask for and no one could ever take that away from me.
Ryan: You’ve done a lot in your life thus far. What are some things you want to accomplish, as well as experience in the future?
Duasone: I wouldn’t say I have done a whole lot, but I feel that I am finally starting tolive my life the way I should. I still feel that I have so much more to do and so much more to accomplish before I decide to settle down or start a family. I willlike to continue my education in Pharmacy;I think this is more of a personal goal to say I did it. I also will like to continue to still do the things I love and enjoy.I definitely want to get back into fashion designing and styling. I crave for the thrill of the whole process from start to finish. It is a part of me that I will forever love. Hair styling is also something I love as well, but have never pursued it wanting to accomplish other things, but I eventually will. I plan to be more involve and being active in the community and helping the less fortunate. As well as spending more time with our youth to help tutor and be a mentor to help them grow as individuals. I definitely have to follow my dreams and enjoy the things I love, the things that make me happy, and hope that others will enjoy and appreciate it too. I want to make a difference, not only to be inspired, but to inspire others.
Ryan: Sounds like you have a plan. We want to wish you the best of luck. Do you have any last words for our readers?
Duasone: Sometimes there will come a moment in your life where you’ve lost focus and lose sight of the little things that inspires and motivates you, but never give up and continue to believe in yourself and believe and trust in God. Also don’t be afraid to share your stories whether it’s good or bad. It is an incredible feeling when you meet people along the way and hear their stories and how they have overcome the struggles and the triumphs; it is inspiring and uplifting and I truly love and appreciate these people for their strength to never give up. It is amazingly beautiful! With that said, I would love to thank Hmoodle for this opportunity to voice myself. Thank you for those who have taken the time to read my interview and getting to know me better. I thank God for showing and guiding me through my trials and tribulations and never giving up on me even when I have lost my way. I thank my family and friends for always being there, especially big thanks to my best friend and younger sister Gowhnou for always being someone I could turn to, trust, and inspiration as well asmy older brother Winner for always encouraging me and believing in me, and to my two younger brothers: Power and Leader for being there to always vent to when needed and to keep me laughing for the bad and good times. I thank my parents who have continued to support me in all my decisions, especially my father. He is my hero and an excellent father where his strength is making me stronger.
As you can see this is a woman who will not slow down for anyone or anything. She may not succeed at everything she does, but she isn’t afraid to take the risk, which to me is a grate trait to have. The sky is the limit for Duasone.
I want to once again congratulate Duasone on being selected as a Hmoodle Girl. We definitely got a great one!