It takes a special balance of tenacity, talent, and stamina to reach the 10 year anniversary of a popular lifestyle blog. Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth, who launched Honey & Silk as a post-college creative project in 2011, credits her entrepreneurial spirit to her parents, who owned the only Chinese food restaurant in a Southern, predominantly-white town when Hjelmeseth was a child. “I’ve always been exposed to their successful entrepreneurial journey and I think that subconsciously made an impact,” she explains. New York-born and North Carolina-raised, Hjelmeseth shares that her multicultural Chinese heritage (her father was raised in India and her mother in China) led to one of the most defining moments of her life. “At 12, we moved across the country to Irvine, California, a place I call my hometown because it’s where I really matured as a person,” she says. “When I walked into my first day of middle school in Irvine, I was completely culture-shocked.”
Today, she’s letting moments like this guide her next career move: “A community platform for modern Asian-American mothers and women to feel at home,” the Los Angeles-based creative shares, adding that she is also working on a Chinese-American-founded beverage company that honors womanhood. “I am very passionate about the Asian-American experience and what it means for us right now as adult Millennials as we navigate an already difficult experience literally being an adult, on top of the terrifying violence happening right now.” It’s also informed the next chapter of her life. “I am also very proud of my multicultural family,” she says. “Culture and inclusion are two of the top foundational pillars in our family and our parenting.”
Ahead, Hjelmeseth discusses her passion for Asian-American Pacific Islander representation in the media, how she navigates shopping for clean beauty products in a crowded marketplace, and how these drivers are shaping her changing career.