Crafted by: Alice Yoo of Skylar Yoo
Fellow artist and typography lover, Alice Yoo combined her passions to create a brand that promotes women empowerment through bold messages on tees. When I heard her story, her ideas and mission immediately resonated with me. She kindly sent me a tee of my own to rock, and I have to say it’s now one of my wardrobe staples! The text “Fear-less girl” has two meanings for me – a positive statement that I am in fact FEARLESS, but also a reminder to just - fear LESS. I started this blog series to inspire others to take risks and to show that success doesn’t come overnight. It comes with hard work, passion, and dedication, and I hope you find some inspiration and comfort in Alice's story too.
What inspired you to start your own venture? After founding the art and culture blog My Modern Met and being the editor-in-chief of it for seven years, I developed a love for the arts. I stumbled into the art of hand lettering through Instagram and after the Women's March happened in 2017, I felt compelled to make beautifully designed statement shirts that empower and inspire women to be bold. Our top selling shirt is Girls to the Front, I think that one resonated with a lots of women because they felt as though the time has finally come for them to stand up and let their voices be heard.
What made you take the leap/how did you get to where you are today? My background in running My Modern Met, helped me to work with hand different letterers around the world in finding the right style for each powerful phrase. I love exposing people to new, talented artists and I love the way hand lettering can transform ordinary words into powerful statements.
When did you know that this job/career was for you or realized a past job wasn’t working for you? I went through a mental breakdown a about three years ago while running My Modern Met. I was overworked and my heart just wasn't in the place anymore. I wanted to seek something greater, something bigger than myself. Growing up, I was the shy introvert type with a bad case of social anxiety. The shirts I make are for bold girls and women, I want them to feel proud and empowered by declaring they're a "Feminist" or a "Fearless Girl."
How has social media affected your business? We receive a majority of our sales through Instagram. Working with Instagram influencers has been a new learning experience for me. For our target market, women ages 18-45, Instagram is the best place to showcase our products.
What's your unofficial business motto/a quote or saying that you live by? Very simply it's "Be Bold." We encourage women to dream big, to create a life they love and to take on challenges head on.
Word of advice for anyone looking to pursue a similar career: Start by figuring out your exact target market. Research what other companies are doing. Find the best social media platforms that will help you spread the word. And, of course, have a kick-ass product that people will love and remember you by. Also, in your About section, share your story. People want to know the person behind the brand they're buying from. I've disclosed that I'm bipolar both on skylaryoo.com and my blog adventuresofyoo.com. Even though the readership on my blog isn't high, I get random emails telling me how much they were touched by my boldness in speaking out about mental health.
The best piece of advice you have ever received: Oh, there are so many but here are my top three. They're quotes I've collected over the years. "Replace fear of the unknown with with curiosity and adventure." "Fear is a friend of exceptional people." and "Whether you think you can or you think you can't, you are right."
What is your favorite tee in your collection? I have to say three. Girls to the Front, Fearless Girt and Grit. (These are also our top three sellers.)
In the rare moments where you're not being a total #girlboss what are some things you love to do in your spare time? I take family vacations, I'm a voracious reader, a love being outdoors so I go on lots of hikes, and I love photography.