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Life & Work with Christina Sun

Today we’d like to introduce you to Christina Sun.

Hi Christina, thanks for sharing your story with us. To start, maybe you can tell our readers some of your backstory.
Sunchild began as a collaborative project between me and my dad almost 10 years ago. He encouraged me to follow my dreams and then joined the ride. We did almost everything together, from building the website, to meetings with designers. Our shop name, Sunchild, is a tribute to my dad, because without him, it wouldn’t exist.

Fast forward a couple years, I moved forward with Sunchild on my own and it has continued to be a wild ride. It’s my full time job and I’m constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be in a situation where I’m doing something I love and it’s able to support me and my family. People often ask me how I’m still here after 10 years and how I reached this level of success. Starting a shop is fun, but keeping it going is a very tough thing to do. It takes a lot of hard work, especially when the going gets tough. If I had to narrow it down to a few things, it’s – 1) providing above and beyond customer service and store policies (it differentiates you from other shops selling similar items, and you’re able to build lasting relationships with loyal customers), 2) working really hard including acting quickly and being organized (don’t sit on ideas, new products, emails, invoices), 3) being genuine (we’ve never bought any Instagram followers, every single follower is real, and our Instagram feed is not stocked full of professional model photos – it’s a lot of selfies and photos my husband snaps on my iPhone, all of which have become what customers love about Sunchild), and 4) staying true to your values (our shop partners with independent designers who share our commitment to ethical and sustainable manufacturing practices, with the majority being female designers).

I’m sure you wouldn’t say it’s been obstacle free, but so far would you say the journey have been a fairly smooth road?
There have definitely been struggles. Through the years, we’ve understood our purpose more and more. We’ve become a shop where customers can find ethically and sustainably made lifestyle products, even though we didn’t start this way. As we learned about the fashion industry’s waste and unsafe practices, we were compelled to support independent designers who held the same values as us.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
We are a Women’s and Kid’s online retail shop. We believe each product our customer adds to their collection should be special, timeless, and worth keeping for years to come. We focus on stocking ethically and sustainably made pieces, and our aesthetic is minimal and unfussy. We only add designers that fit our values and aesthetic, which include hard to find styles and designers. We started as a Women’s shop in 2012, and recently added Kid’s clothing and accessories once I became a mom in 2020.

Risk taking is a topic that people have widely differing views on – we’d love to hear your thoughts.
I only take calculated risks, and that’s always been my nature. Some of our earliest designers were brought on as a risk for Sunchild, but have turned out to be our longest lasting designer relationships because our customers can’t get enough of their pieces. In 2018, we created our own line, and it only had one piece. It was a very scary and daunting endeavor because I’m a shop owner, not a designer. I love finding special designers that fit our shop’s values and aesthetic, and creating a unique shopping experience for our customers. I wanted to learn what goes into creating a piece, so I put myself in my designers’ shoes. It was tough, and took a year to create one piece. I was so proud of that one piece and still wear it to this day, but by the end, I realized that I am very much a shop owner and not a designer. Learning the process and seeing firsthand all the blood, sweat, tears, and money that go into creating one-piece has made me in awe and appreciate my designers that much more.

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