The truth is I Instagram binged on Anna's Instagram feed one day. I am not entirely sure how I came across her feed -- but I loved what I saw. I sent her a DM, and here we are today. Anna is a truly genuine person who has a contagious passion for her career. She's a mom, a wife and a hardworking Girl on the Rise. She started in freelance design and has grown her career since. Read on to indulge in her story and then her work. I'm excited to introduce you to Anna.
Lauren Elizabeth: Tell us who you are.
Anna Quach: I was born and raised in Los Angeles with my two extremely hard-working parents and sisters. Our house was always full of loud talking, home-cooked meals, and kids running around - and I loved every moment of it. I went off to college at UCLA, and to be honest, still didn’t know what I wanted to do. I initially thought I wanted to go into the Entertainment industry, but after numerous internships, I found that wasn’t the route for me. After graduating, I found a job as an Assistant Art Buyer for Z Gallerie and was able to gain experience in retail and merchandising. After five years, I decided to move to Italy with my soon-to-be husband where we eventually built a life and had two amazing kids. During my ten years there, I was able to pursue my dream of owning my own company, which also opened the doors to designing art for major retailers. Fast forward to the present, and we made the big move back to the U.S. to raise our kids here and to advance our careers. I am currently a small business owner, graphic artist, wife, and mommy.
LE: 10 years ago you started creating beautiful wedding invitations as a freelance designer. How did you decide to do freelance work?
AQ: I decided to do freelance work ten years ago because I was living in a small town in Italy and none of the local jobs appealed to me. I always wanted to have my own business and do something creative, so starting my online invitations shop seemed like the right move. I had tons of newly-freed time and the endless possibilities of the internet at my fingertips.
LE: Now your work is available for all on Etsy. How has it changed your business?
AQ: Selling my designs on Etsy was one of the best business moves I made because it gave me exposure to the world-wide-web that I couldn’t have achieved on my own. My business became much more established and recognized and soon enough, many of my clients were returning to me for new projects and events.
LE: It’s awesome to see your designs in the home design sections of major retailers. How did you achieve that level of success?
AQ: I received an amazing opportunity to design for a publisher after a year of running my own business. How it works is that I submit designs to them and from there they present them to major retailers to be selected to be sold in their stores' nation and worldwide. What’s it like seeing my art in a retailer? Can you imagine a little girl discovering a unicorn? Well, it’s even bigger and better than that! I am so grateful for this opportunity and every time I see my art, it is like the first time every time. I always have to take a picture of the art on the shelves and sometimes I even take a selfie with it just to commemorate the moment and feel grateful and blessed for every piece that was selected. It will never get old and I will always be humbled by this opportunity.
LE: Congratulations on the success!!! What’s one of your favorite pieces?
AQ: One of my favorite pieces is my Vision Board that was placed in Home Goods. I think it really speaks to us “girls on the rise.” It’s modern and chic, but also functional and empowering. I have always been a true believer that if you put it down in writing, you make yourself more accountable and it will be more likely you will achieve it. That was what I had in mind when I started designing these vision boards, and I hope they are as helpful to everyone who uses them as they are to me.
LE: Tell us about your breaking glass moment.
AQ: I think my breaking glass moment was about a year ago when I received one of my sales reports for my art in stores and the number had jumped up significantly. I felt like I finally reached the top of a mountain that I was climbing for so long. That was the moment where I realized that I finally reached my dream of doing what I love and making a difference in my own little way in this world. Nonetheless, it is a constant hustle and I think I will be continuously climbing that mountain, but that’s also the sweet challenge of it all. We shouldn’t limit ourselves and always reach higher because the sky is the limit.
LE: What's your daily routine like?
AQ: My daily routine is nothing less than hectic. I wake up, get the kids ready for school, take them to school, run errands and then try to squeeze in as much work as I can before I have to pick them up. Then it is homework, dinner, showers, and most importantly, family time. Once I put them to bed, I try to get more of my designing done when I have no interruptions.
LE: What is the best piece of advice you've received?
AQ: The best piece of advice I have probably received is that failures are part of life. If you don’t fail, you don’t learn from your failures. If you don’t learn, you will never change or grow. When you own your own business, you wear so many hats. You are the owner of the company, the bookkeeper, the marketing department, the quality control department, the IT department, and the list goes on and on. It’s not long before you realize you aren’t good at all these things. You are spread thin and have to do the best you can. The beginning is difficult, and such a learning curve and you encounter failures and mistakes. However, from each and every one of them, you learn, you change, you improve and progress.
LE: What is your favorite quote and why?
AQ: One of my favorite quotes is “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I feel this is so powerful and applies to everyone because this world is hard. Hard, trying, scary, disappointing, and unpredictable. But, there is a lot of good as well. If you focus on what you love and live with good values, you can be someone who adds a little more kindness into the world. I truly believe that your positivity is contagious. If you create a happier life for yourself and everyone around you, it will have a domino effect. As you “pay it forward,” you will make others want to be better people too. That’s why I feel so blessed to be able to create inspirational art that I hope people will see and put in their homes, not only to inspire them but to bring hope and joy into their lives as well.
LE: What advice would you give to a Girl on the Rise?
AQ: Never give up. When the going gets tough, you get tougher because these obstacles were placed in front of you for a reason. These obstacles were meant to help you grow. The only road is forward, however bumpy it may be, and if you work hard and stay true to yourself, good things will come to you.
LE: What's your favorite thing to do when you’re off the clock?
AQ: Walk down every single aisle of Target by myself. You might think I am kidding, but it truly is therapeutic and relaxing! But besides that, listening to music, watching my favorite shows, looking at Pinterest, and above all, spending time with my family.
I'm not sure about all of you, but my wallet is ready to go! You've shown us how dedication and passion can propel a career and open up opportunities. Love your vision board, as it is perfect for anyone who is looking to map out their dreams. Thank you for sharing your story with us and showing us that Girls on the Rise can break glass.