Tuesday, January 3, 2012

An Interview with Mai & Tiffany

Tell us a little bit more about your dream of being a ninja.
When I was younger, I was hooked on kung fu movies! I thought that if I became a ninja, I could fly amongst the trees and throw fireballs. I was bummed when I found out that it was not real and thought maybe I could act in those movies. It wouldn't be the same though. Anyhow, I'm glad I started Ruche instead!

Have you always wanted to own your own boutique?
I've always wanted to have my own business and I wasn't sure what exactly. I was a web programmer by trade, but I just couldn't see myself doing that for the rest of my life. I love being creative and I wanted to do something where I could use my creativity to the fullest. I considered opening a little cafe as an alternative, but that was such a big risk so it always fell thru. I started selling items on ebay for extra cash and it slowly lead into the creation of Ruche. As a web programmer, creating an ecommerce website vs a brick and mortar was a no-brainer.

What do you love most about your career?
I love everything about my career. Ruche has been a dream come true for both me and Josh. Although there are times when it can be highly stressful, I've never questioned my love for running Ruche. I love our creative meetings and being able to put our visions into life -- everything from features, photoshoots, products, graphics, design and everything else that makes Ruche what it is today.

What are you most excited about for 2012? Any plans or resolutions?
2012 is a big year for Ruche. In 2011, we relaunched our site in hopes to prepare us for our big plans in 2012. We have a few big launches and surprises that we are all SUPER excited about! As for my personal plans, I finally got my personal twitter account going! Come follow me if you'd like: http://twitter.com/MaiOlivo. And the most important plan is... Josh and I are planning for a little Ruche baby this year! :) We worked hard in 2011 to build our Ruche family and now that we are both in our 30s, it's time to start our own family. 

Favorite Ruche Project?
I must say that the paper trees from our Sparkling Soiree lookbook were the highlight of the year. I was inspired by a small newspaper tree and simply told Josh, "I want to make gigantic trees out of paper." The engineer in him didn't hesitate to build a base for a 9 ft tree; he loves to take off his CFO hat once in a while to play arts and crafts. The "Homemade Holiday" guide was another one of my favorites too. I absolutely loved having our customers contribute and I get so excited when I see photos from others who were inspired by Ruche and recreated our projects.


You're a human calendar. How do you do it?
Haha well, I used to work as a production coordinator for 4 years and it involved remembering TONS of deadlines and dates. Forgetting one small thing could've resulted in delaying production (and getting in trouble with clients) so I forced myself to remember all the dates by looking at my production calendar religiously. Now it's become a habit and I can't seem to shut my brain off; I'm constantly thinking of due dates and what needs to get done... it's the first thing I think of when I wake up, and the last before I fall asleep. 

What is the most fulfilling element of your career?
The most fulfilling aspect of my career is actually being able to say "I love my job." I know it's something very few people get to say or think and I feel lucky and blessed that I get to wake up every morning smiling and happy to go to work. It's not just the cool projects I get to work on, or doing a job that a lot of girls dream of... it's about being part of a family that Mai and Josh have created and growing that family into something we can all be proud of. I can look back to my first days at Ruche (I was their second employee) and reflect on how much it has grown since then. Being able to say that I had a small part in that is beyond words. 

What are you most excited about for 2012? Any plans or resolutions?
I'm excited for all the big plans we have for Ruche for 2012... which I can't reveal yet. :) While it's incredibly exciting to be a part of a growing company (and I love it!), my resolution for 2012 is to learn how to balance work and my personal life. With all the plans we have going for work, it's definitely not going to be easy to work on my resolution, but I promised Pebbles (my puppy) that I will try my very very best.

Favorite Ruche lookbook?
For sentimental reasons, I would have to say Autumn Bell and Her Story are my favorites because it was the first time I got to work on a Ruche Lookbook shoot. We went to Boston and it was so much fun seeing all the scenic areas that I wouldn't normally visit. Since it was my first shoot, I was VERY nervous and a bit overwhelmed, but overall I was super super excited. I still remember our last photograph of the day: the sun was setting and we had to get the final shot, but we were lost and couldn't find the beach location we were supposed to be. We thought we weren't going to make it, but just as the sun was just over the horizon, we found the location and we frantically ran out to get the shot. Fun fact: the last few pages of the beach scenes from "Her Story" were all taken in the span of 5-10 minutes!



Dzung said...

congratulations to you! thanks for sharing; your story and how you started ruche is so inspiring. good luck and i can't wait to see more great products from ruche in 2012.

Nancy Bakker said...

I think you are all so lucky to have what many of us agree is the perfect job! Congratulations on all your success!

Anastasia said...

this series is great - love reading about creative woman!! thanks!!