Interview Questions by: Kathy Choi Lee | Answered by: Angela Harty | September, 2010
Angela Harty has been creating fun and very creative scrapbook albums and gifts. Her party items, cards and room accessories are also a big favorite of mine. Her personality surely comes out in her work. She is a true sweetheart!! Her fun & funny interview will have you laughing in your seat. So, come take a break from your busy day and come get to know Angela - the creative mind behind AJZ!
For a Limited time: Use coupon code "10%promo" towards your next AJZDelights.com purchase!
Please share a little bit of your earlier years.
I was born and raised in San Jose, CA and lived there until junior high school. My parents moved me and my younger brother down south to Torrance for a few years and then to Corona, where they now reside. After college, I wanted to venture out on my own and moved to Huntington Beach. After meeting my husband and having my son, I moved back to Corona (which I vowed never to do) to be closer to my parents. You can actually see our home from their kitchen window, so I can never say I'm not home when I am. ^-^
How was it growing up as a Korean American girl?
I could sum it up in one scenario: if you stuck me in a room full of Koreans, I would be the most uncomfortable person in there. Don't get me wrong, I was very comfortable being a Korean, but I grew up in an all Caucasian neighborhood and went to an all Caucasian school, so when I was around other Koreans, I felt like I didn't have anything in common with them. When we did move to Torrance, it was such a cultural shock for me because I wasn't used to seeing so many different ethnicities. Even in junior high school, all of my friends were of different races, except Asian. I didn't really start having any Korean friends until I hit college.
What is your favorite childhood memory?
One of my favorite childhood memories was when I was in 3rd grade, my best friend and I loved Madonna at the time and always used to go out during recess and lunch and sing and dance to her songs. Our favorite song that we would always dance and sing to was "Open your Heart" and sometimes we would perform in front of the boys we had crushes on.
Angela Harty and her family + Minnie Mouse
Tell us a little bit about being a mommy and having your own children now.
I absolutely love being Ayden's mom. I remember I was terrified when I found out I was pregnant because that meant that I had to be responsible for someone else's life besides my own. Of course over time, that eased into excitement and I couldn't wait until he came out. One of the best advices I was given was to cherish each day that I have with him and I have. I remember almost everyday that I have spent with him from the day he came home from the hospital up until now. I do have my moments just like any other mom out there when you just rather be a working mother instead of being a stay at home mom and dealing with the craziness, but its always short lived and I am very blessed that I can be at home with him during the first few years of his life. I think that when we are children, we don't quite understand the capacity of a mother's love or what it means to be a mom until you are one.
Please share a story of a special event in your life.
One of the
biggest events that have happened in my life is when I found out I was
pregnant. Before finding out, I
was getting ready for my first trip to Korea for my brother's wedding. A few days before we were to leave, I
had some of the signs that I may have been pregnant, so I took a pregnancy test
to see if I was and it came out negative.
The day of my brother's wedding, I woke up feeling nauseous and started
throwing up. Only, I was the only
one that was sick. I thought it
must have been the sushi and other foods that my brother's in-laws had cooked
for us the night before. As the
day progressed, I was feeling worse, so my mom took me to a pharmacist and he
gave me a bunch of pills and some ginseng to make me feel better. We were in Korea for 10 days and I
hated it. All the 24-hour malls
and the malls underground, I would be sweating and be so tired, plus I started
to smell everything (and I used to have the worst sense of smell) and didn't
want to eat any type of meat (and I love meat). My mom kept asking me if I was pregnant and I told her I
wasn't because the pregnancy test had said so. I was so miserable that I told myself that I would never
visit Korea again.
When I came back home and went to work, my co-workers kept telling me that I should go to a Dr. because I might be pregnant. I kept insisting that I wasn't and after 2 weeks of disagreeing with them, I finally made the appointment. Sure enough, my Dr. had told me that I was and he was guessing I was 6 weeks. I made my appointment to get the ultrasound. That day, my husband and I had received such a shock. Appeared on the screen was a full picture of a baby that was moving around with all 10 finger and 10 toes. It even waved at us! Instead of being maybe 6 weeks pregnant, I was already past my first trimester. I quickly started to think about the previous 3 months and what I have done. Celebrating my brother's wedding...in Korea...It was St. Patrick's Day; friend's birthdays...you get the idea. Exactly 40 weeks later, I had a healthy 9 lb, 2 oz baby boy. The running joke up till' now was that I was the .0001% that E.P.T. claims can be incorrect.
What are some places you love taking your son?
Anyone who knows us will tell you that it's Disneyland. My husband and I are Disney fanatics and try to go at least once a week. My son, who is only 2 1/2 already knows where all of his favorite rides are in the park and loves to find them on the map as well. I just recently took him to this new Korean kids cafe called The Little Prince. That is probably my newest favorite place to take him, only because there are other people that are watching him for me while I can sit down and have ice coffees with my girlfriends.
What are your hopes and desires for your son?
I want my son to be healthy, happy and be successful at whatever path he chooses.
What did you study / major in during your college years - which school?
I graduated from the University of CA, Riverside with a BA in Business and Sociology Administrative Studies with a concentration in Marketing.
How did you decide on taking on this new career - AJZ Delights?
actually the support and encouragement from my husband that began this new
adventure in my life. He has
always and still is, my personal cheerleader. When I was in high school and college, I had accumulated so
many papers, stickers and stamps that were just sitting in a box; I really
didn't know what to do with them.
When I was on maternity leave, I made my first 2 scrapbooking layouts
for my mom. It was going to be a
gift to her once Ayden was born.
Instead of doing more of the traditional 12x12 scrapbooks, I started
searching online for more of a unique way to put pictures in and that's when I discovered
word albums. When I went back to
work, I would buy the already pre-cut ones that were sold in stores and gave
them as gifts to my co-workers.
Then one day, people started to ask me to make the albums for them and
that they would pay me. So, I
started selling them at work.
During all this, I kept thinking how I could go one step further and
have them more personalized and I found a way to have them cut into any words
that I wanted with a more thicker and sturdier chipboard than what were sold in
Photo of AJZ Delights at a Crafts Fair
My husband was so impressed by my creativity that he suggested that I try to sell to the public as well. He gave me the idea of participating in craft fairs and boutiques. I remember my very first one in December of 2008. Ayden had just barely turned one and because my husband didn't want me to go alone, they both came with me to my very first holiday boutique. It was such a bust because no one showed up. It was the first time that the organizer coordinated such an event that I remember telling my husband that if this is what boutiques are like, forget about it. Then I had my 2nd one a week later and it was such a success, that I continued to do them throughout 2009. I was often invited to other shows because it was always something that they haven't seen before. As any vendor knows, it's really hard to be at those kind of shows due to such long hours and having a husband work on weekends with a baby at home. I eventually got a website running and now I do all my business online.
What kinds of items do you create and sell?
Personalized chipboard word albums, hanging decor, block letters, cards and other altered gifts.
Where can we find your products?
What are some of the perks when working in your field?
I'm able to do the thing I love the most, while staying home with my son and make a little $ while doing it. When I used to do craft fairs and boutiques, seeing people's faces when they come to my table would fill me with joy because it's always something they haven't seen before and is very unique. One of the best and funniest comments I've ever heard from a customer about my books were that they looked like scrapbooks on crack. I took that as a huge compliment.
What is your most favorite item that you sell?
My favorite item that I sell is the custom word albums. I love how each and every book is different from the ones I've made before, if not better. I always like to see what types of themes or ideas customers come up with and are also fun for me to see where I can go with it. I get excited when I get a word book order because I get to sit in the middle of my scrapbooking room and just coordinate papers together and go through all the different embellishments. A lot of people say my room looks like a mini Michael's because of all the paper that I have. I also look forward to the shopping, whether it be at the scrapbook store or online.
What is your favorite Korean food?
I would have to say kalbi and hobak jigae.
What was the most delicious thing you've ever eaten? Where was it?
There are 2, both in Aruba on our honeymoon. One was a Brazilian BBQ restaurant and the other was a steakhouse. Would definitely go back just for the food.
What is your favorite Movie? Color? Restaurant?
I love all movies with John Cusack in it. Favorite color is pink. Favorite restaurant would have to be Cheesecake Factory.
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?
I'm hoping that I am healthy, happy and with my family. Doesn't matter where we are as long as we're together.
Thank you so much Angela, for sharing your life with us!!
For a Limited time: Use coupon code "10%promo" towards your next AJZDelights.com purchase!