It’s been awhile since we, at Hmoodle, put the spotlight on fashion, but it was worth the wait. Local Twin Cities designer Zong Xiong has not only started her own fashion accessory line, but has made it shine, literally. Zong’s “Pretty Rock Girl” collection has proven to be the must have piece with your must have dress. Her unique pieces are not only beautiful in their design, but affordable at the same time.
I met Zong through her husband many years ago. I never knew that fashion was something she desired or had. She was just this girl who played volleyball and played it well. It wasn’t until she started appearing in the club scenes that I noticed that she was evolving into this fashionista. Since then, she has gone on to begin her own company and has made it a success all because of her drive, know-how, and her unbelievable creative pieces that have been worn from models, club goers, to celebrities. Pretty Girl Rock is making an impact within the fashion industry, and I feel fortunate to know the driving force and creator, Zong Xiong.
I was able to get together with the very beautiful Zong Xiong of Pretty Girl Rock to find out more about her and her company.
Hmoodle: I’m here with the Pretty Rock Girl Collection owner and designer Zong Xiong. How are you?
Zong: I’m great Ryan! Thanks for having me.
Hmoodle: We’ve known each other for quite some time now, but some of our readers may not know you. Can you give them a little background information about you as a person?
Zong: I was born in Thailand, but raised in Minnesota. I was such a tom boy growing up. I played sports all the way through high school and actually wanted to either be a teacher or lawyer, so it’s ironic that I’m a jewelry designer now. But you grow up and your interests and dreams change. After high school I attended the University of Minnesota where I obtained my bachelors in Fashion Merchandising with an emphasis in Marketing. Shortly after that, I took on corporate America for a few years before eventually venturing into my own business. I guess I’m living proof that your destiny always makes room for you.
Hmoodle: You’ve always had a great sense of style, but I never knew you had designer aspirations. Was this something you always wanted or did you recently pick it up?
Zong: I think I always had designer aspirations growing up but didn’t really embrace it until after college. Besides the jockey tom boy life style, I naturally flourished in arts and crafts too. But what sparked my interest for unique fashion definitely started at an early age. As a child, watching my father, a self taught tailor never leaving the house without a crisp press suit on made me appreciate the power of appearance which later led me to my fetish for material things, but it was my late mother who inspired me to take on “Do It Yourself” projects. Ever since I could remember she was always sewing her paj ntaub or “flower cloth”. She said sewing calmed her soul and relaxed her mind. As a little girl, I picked up sewing from her which naturally led me to making my own jewelry as a hobby and now turning it into a career. So thank God for my wonderful parents!!
Hmoodle: How did the “Pretty Rock Girl” collection come about?
Zong: In my last two years of college, I decided that I would eventually pursue a career in fashion, but I wanted to find a clear niche before jumping in. After college, I began putting things in perspective. I studied and researched the business aspect of fashion goods and realized that their were so many gaps in our current market segments that needed to be filled and technology itself made this industry more accessible to everyone. After carefully analyzing all my business ideas, I decided to launch my jewelry collection. As a young entrepreneur starting without a lot of capital, e-commerce was definitely the way to go. My goal was to capture a small piece of this multi billion dollar industry. I knew I had a very special niche because there were none like it, or if there was, they couldn’t do me. I created my collection because I felt everything in the mainstream market seemed either too saturated, too manufactured or too fabricated, with a mass produced feel. Unless you were willing to pay high ticket prices, nothing seemed to give off an exclusive custom hand made feel at a respectable price. The Pretty Rock Girl Collection was created to capture the working fashionista women like me between the ages of 18-40 who love unique jewelry, follow fashion trends, want to stay relevant, and is willing to splurge on exquisite items.
Hmoodle: How did you come up with the name?
Zong: Oh gosh, I thought about the name for a long time. I think six months prior to launching my line, I was thinking of names already. I suppose I could’ve called it Zong’s Jewelry Collection, but I didn’t like the ring of it. I wanted a name that represented me and the women I was designing for. I came up with several names but decided on Pretty Rock Girl. I felt it was perfect because it summed up my collection in a nut shell- a little bit of pretty, rock and girly all together.
Hmoodle: Where does your inspiration come from?
Zong: My inspiration comes from everywhere, anything and everyone. I love following New York, L.A., Paris, and Milan’s forecasted trends and I love the whole japanese scene as well as emerging underground trends. When designing, I consider everything from high fashion to global trends to underground fads. I enjoy creating outrageous pieces, the more ridiculous they are the more accomplish I feel.
Hmoodle: How long does a piece take to make?
Zong: It depends on how extreme and exquisite each piece is. It can take anywhere from fifteen minutes to many hours. The shoulder pad I recently made for Tila Tequila took me about twelve hours because it was all handmade from scratch. I had hand sewn the lace shoulder pad, decorated and embellished it myself. I want readers to know that all of my pieces are hand made. I don’t buy anything premade to sell and I pride myself on that. I’m really traditional as a designer. I draw out my designs, source my supplies then hand make each piece. If you own a Pretty Rock Girl Collection piece, consider it your first ever couture jewelry for a fraction of the cost.
Hmoodle: Do you have another job? If so, how do you find the time to do “Pretty Rock Girl”?
Zong: Besides running my little company full time I also have two part time jobs too. Finding time for the Pretty Rock Girl Collection takes a lot of focus, self discipline and determination. I average about four to five hours of sleep a day, but it’s definitely worth it. I hope to work hard now so I can enjoy life later on. I’m extremely blessed to have such a supportive family and three wonderful assistants who help me out on a regular basis. I would not have gone this far without all of their support.
Hmoodle: How would you describe your designs?
Zong: Most of my pieces have a larger than life personality and I wouldn’t have it any other way. My goal has always been to create eclectic contemporary collectables pieces that have a slight cabaret feel to it. I think every girl and their fancy can relate it to- it’s a little punk rock, fun, girlie, elegant, edgy, sexy, vibrant, classy,exquisite and sophisticated all at the same time with an exclusive custom quality appeal.
Hmoodle: So, you make alot of custom pieces as well?
Zong: Yes I do. About a half of my customers request custom orders, but as I mentioned before all my pieces are based off of original custom designs by me and I don’t sell anything that I don’t make myself. So when a client comes to me and puts a custom order in they can feel confident that no one else will have an identical piece.
Hmoodle: Your product has made its way into the hands of celebrities. How did that come about?
Zong: When I started the company one of my goals was to generate mutual friendships with celebrities as a way to build and expand my network. Celebs are some of the most influential people in the world and they have a huge fan base. With the right relationship, they can help promote you in many ways. My celebrity fans really enjoy my line of work. I’ve been told numerous times that my custom pieces are unique and red carpet appropriate.
Hmoodle: That’s quite the compliment. If you could see one of your pieces on any person, who would that be and why?
Zong: Oh wow. There are so many people that I would love to see my pieces on, but based off of my current designs and styles- I would love love love to see Nikki Minaj rocking some Pretty Rock Girl swag. Her out of this world personality fits well with my outrageous avant-garde pieces. I’m crossing my fingers that we’ll cross paths soon.
Hmoodle: Let’s hope that happens soon. Where do you hope to take the brand in the next few years?
Zong: At this point, I’m letting God lead me!! I trust that he has my best intentions at heart, but I hope to be well established as a company in a few years. I would love to set up shop in Los Angeles and New York then maybe go internationally to Japan or Korea eventually. It would be a dream come true to see my accessories grace red carpet events. I’m really excited to work hard and see how things turn out.
Hmoodle: Where can our readers find your product?
Zong: My website is prettyrockgirlcollection.com
They can follow me on my Facebook fanpage at http://www.facebook.com/prettyrockgirlcollectioninc
They can inquire about orders by emailing [email protected]
My other online store is www.prettyrockgirl.etsy.com
please follow my blog at www.prettyrockgirlcollection.tumblr.com
and follow me on twitter at www.twitter.com/prettyrockgirlc
Besides being extremely fortunate to work with so many talented people so far, I’m always looking to collaborate with models, artists, designers, MUA’s (Make Up Artists), hairstylists & photographers. Please contact me thru email. I’m also expanding my line to small boutique shops. so If you are a owner of a salon shop, nail shop, bridal shop or specialty shop and would like to carry PRG items in your accessory department please contact me for wholesale opportunities. My direct email is [email protected].
Hmoodle: I think this is great place to end. Do you have any last words for our readers?
Zong: First of all, I want to thank you Ryan for having me. I also want to thank my friends, family and my fans for their everlasting love and support! It means the world to me.
I’ll leave you day dreamers with a great quote from the late Steve Jobs. He is one of my sources of inspiration. He said, “Your time is limited, don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma, which is living the result of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinion drowned your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition, they somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary”. Like many who took a hobby and turned it into a career, the most frustrating part, I think, is determining the outcome of your success. Many times, so many fail because they got side tracked. Through their struggles they lost focus and took the easy way out. My experience so far is nothing short of that. I struggle, sacrifice and side track like everyone else but what motivates me to stay focus everyday is knowing that I’m one step closer to realizing my dream. So follow your heart, if God put a dream in your heart, it’s because you are the only one that can accomplish it. You’ll know you’re doing something right when unexpected doors open for you even when you don’t knock. I hope to look back one day and say, wow I’ve come a long way! Remember the saying in one of the old Apple commercials, it said: “The people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world are the ones who do.” I hope you plan to leave a legacy behind. God bless.
Not only is Zong a creative spark plug, but a well spoken business women. It’s no wonder she has been a success. I look forward to watching her rise and accomplish the goals she has set out for herself, as well as Pretty Rock Girl. I highly recommend you all to check out one of many sites to obtain one of your own, one of kind Pretty Girl Rock accessories. I know it would make a great gift as well. Maybe a great accessory to your Hmoodle Ball dress?
I want to thank Zong for taking the time out of her busy schedule. I hope you were still able to find some time to sleep after working with us here at Hmoodle. Good luck to your bright future in the fashion world.
Photos by: Andrew L. Xiong