What is your role in Hathorway?
As a one-woman business, I touch everything at Hathorway. From product design, packaging design, marketing, managing social media and ecommerce sites to running our events and tradeshows; and I absolutely love it! I love that it gives me a chance to learn different things and a renaissance (wo)man.
While I claim to be a one-woman business, I am absolutely blessed with a supportive husband, who jumps in to help during nights and weekends when needed; he usually helps with logistics and shipping and usually keeps me company during my events and shows.
Tell us about Hathorway values
AWhen I started this business, I knew I wanted to build a thoughtful brand -- a brand that focuses on mindful consumerism and conscious fashion and one that sweat every little detail. After a lot of time and consideration, I narrowed it down to 4 key values:
The wearer matters - We believe good design respects the wearer by offering practical, comfortable, and versatile pieces. We believe in giving our wearers the confidence and the enjoyment so they look good and feel good.
The designs matter - We believe good design respects the design itself. We build for long-lasting quality and timeless aesthetics. When we respect the design, we’re creating items that are not just trendy — they have a longer, sustainable lifespan that doesn’t easily end up in the landfill.
The makers matter - We believe good design respects the makers and artisans through fair trade. We work with suppliers who treat their makers with care, with fair wages and safe working environments. We believe great products come from empowered and supported people.
The earth matters - We believe good design respects our earth by being mindful about the environmental impact throughout the product’s lifecycle. We thoughtfully select materials and pursue processes that contribute to the preservation of our environment.
Read more about our ethos here: https://hathorway.com/pages/our-ethos
What is your favorite Hathorway product and why?
Among all of our Hathorway pieces, my all time favorite piece is our Saigon Geometric Buffalo Horn Earrings. Its cascading geometric shapes create a whimsical, yet sophisticated silhouette that instantly makes an effortlessly statement.
Where are Hathorway products made?
Just outside of Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam, resides several villages historically known for their artisanal crafts. One ancient village in particular, Thuy Ung, has been known for making handcrafted goods from ethically-sourced water buffalo horns for over 400 years. As you walk down the road and peek through the houses, there are piles of horn tubes in the front yards waiting to be turned into salad forks, spoons, bowls, combs, and jewelry.
Hathorway has proudly teamed up with one artisan family from Thuy Ung to create our very own horn pieces. The family works from the comfort of their own home, which gives them the flexibility to manage their own time and activities, such as raising kids, cooking dinner, and managing household errands.
I would send the family our final design drawings and specifications, and the family then creates the horn pieces through a handful of heirloom techniques. Once the horn pieces are completed, I then hand-select the individual pieces and assemble the final product using 16K gold-plated brass from Seoul, South Korea in my home office in Redwood City, California to ensure the utmost quality.
Because of this, I like to say that our jewelry is a product of a worldwide collaboration since it took a group of talented individuals and artisans with unique resources from all around the world to make our Hathorway items.
Tell us something you’ve learned in your sustainable fashion journey that was a surprise to you
Since starting this sustainable fashion journey, I’ve learned a lot of things. But one of the things that was a surprise to me was how consumers are evolving. People don’t just want to buy pretty jewelry because there are SO many options out there in this day and age that they want to make a conscious decision. People want to know the story behind the products. They want to know how it’s made, where it’s made, who made it, what was the inspiration for it; they really want to connect with the actual piece and know that a lot of thought and love was put into their purchase.
Where is your favorite place to be and why?
Vietnam is one of my favorite places and I still have yet to explore it all. Starting this business has given me a chance to visit it every year to reconnect with my culture through experiencing the traditions, the food, the places, the people and their craftsmanship. One of the most charming places in Vietnam is an ancient town a few hours away from the capital, called Hoi An.
It’s known for its unique blend of Japanese and Chinese architecture because it was a trading port that dates back from the 15th through the 19th century. It was so charming that it was agreed that this town was to remain untouched during the Vietnam War. Aside from Vietnam, being home with my family is by far my favorite place to be.