Welcome back to part two of today’s April Kickoff post and the first of our Meet and Greet Series. The April Kit Origins celebrates our Anniversary and some of you may know that Clique Kits was founded by and is operated by a team of girl bosses. We call our headquarters the leadership team and we span four different states, two countries, and have two major oceans between us!
Not only do we run the Clique, we are in the Clique, which is why we really want you to get to know us personally. A while back as part of our Designer in the Spotlight series we introduced you to our Graphic Design team, Lacey Gasper and Inna Moreva, and you know and love our amazing Varsity Design Team. Today, and over the next two months, we will give you a closer look at the rest of the leadership team
Gia Lau, Creative Director
Hi, I’m Gia! This is me at CHA at the Maggie Holmes booth. I am the Clique Kits Creative Director. Wait…WTF is that? I am the person whose job it is to ask the question, “WTF?” all day in our leadership chat. Ha Ha! April Fools!
As the Creative Director (CD) I like to say I am always in the lead, but never in the spotlight. I do have another day job, and a crazy hectic life as a mom to six kids still at home. But my creative credentials probably derive from my undergraduate years at Brown University with its sister art program at Rhode Island School of Design. I loved to take not only studio classes, but art history classes covering modern art, design, and fashion. I live in Hawaii now, but I grew up in New York, and my mother had an eye for interior design and fashion after doing some fashion modeling and dancing. She had even traveled to Europe on tour before she got married to my Dad. My Dad became a dentist to support all of us, but his real love was drawing/illustration. He also learned carpentry from his father. You might say design, arts, and crafts are in blood and are my passion. Reading about, obsessing about, and playing creatively are how I spend my down time, and my “me time.” Like many creatives, even though I am comfortable with close friends to let my hair down so to speak, I am a TOTAL introvert. So being CD is the perfect fit for me.
What is My Role?
As the CD, my main job is bring together the overarching vision, brand, and design strategy for the company. While allowing us to grow and maintain flexibility, I make sure we are always true to our mission. I live, breathe, and dream about planning your kits. You might be wondering what this looks like day to day. Here are just a few things I do!
- Trend Prediction: I am like the meteorologist of scrapbooking trends. The hardest part is taking them back to the team, where my job is to sell them. I have to be like a bad tele-evangelist sometimes. Or on a good day, I am like Don Draper on Mad Men. Minus the alcoholism. And womanizing. I could tell you about the time I tried to tell my team that we should include a paper with pineapples on it with one our kits. Mind you, this was probably about 12 months before the pineapple craze hit. Or the time I tried explaining that kawaii stationery was making a comeback and people were going to use all kinds of cute stickers and stuff to decorate their planners. I was literally laughed out of the (chat) room. (Did I mention that one of my job qualifications is having a very thick skin?)
- Team building: Like a movie director or a stage choreographer, the designers, like the actors or dancers get all the credit when everything goes well! And when it doesn’t work out, well yeah, blame me. I pride myself on my awesomeness for selecting the team members I surround myself with and work with. My mind is always thinking of ways to promote them and showcase their talents. I think that the trick is to develop jobs for people based on what their goals, talents, and desires are, not look for people who are a good fit for a certain job. Why not? That is essentially what we do at Clique Kits. If someone is a fantastic person to work with, we are more than happy to design a job around them and what they love to do, within reason of course. Breaking boundaries and thinking outside the box is what I do! I often post behind the scenes pics of my sketches, mood board ideas, and lots of other shenanigans on my Instagram feed @giaaloha. I hope you will follow me!
- Curator and Purveyor of Kit Products: As CD I spend a lot of time thinking about planning kits. But as a mom and a girl boss, I also spend a lot of time thinking about leaving the world and planet a better place for my children, and breaking with conventional ways of doing business that no longer seem to work for us. Our company values and business practices are very important to me, and the messages we send by how we treat others has to resonate with the vision I have talked about.
I love to support small businesses, especially those started by women creatives like ourselves! I love family owned companies who value customer service and integrity over the almighty dollar. I love the concept of fair trade which has been developed for certain commodities such as coffee, and which is increasing in the arts and crafts markets to ensure that people, especially women supporting families in developing countries can earn a living wage for their work and not be exploited by greedy corporations. I love indie artists and makers who follow their dreams and commit to doing what they love, offering unique products that cannot be mass produced!
The past two years have truly been an incredible journey for us at Clique Kits. I truly want to hear from you, answer any questions you may have, and welcome you to the Clique!
April 1, 2016 at 5:20 pm
It is so awesome to get to know you better, Gia!! I know all of you ladies work very hard behind the scenes to make everything run so smoothly. Thanks for all that you do and Happy Anniversary!!!
April 2, 2016 at 12:29 am
Thanks so much Kim- thanks for always being such an active member of our community- we love you !!
April 1, 2016 at 6:59 pm
I love your post Gia. You are such a great woman. You and I are very much alike. I just wish we lived closer. 🙂 🙂
April 2, 2016 at 12:36 am
Whose afraid of flying now huh? Huh? Next we have to get you to Hawaii and I will come and visit you soon! You have developed the position of DT leader into everything I hoped and I know what your goals are for this year- can’t wait to see them blossom! ❤️❤️❤️
April 1, 2016 at 10:24 pm
I enjoyed this Gia! Wishing you all continued success!
April 2, 2016 at 12:30 am
Thanks Lynn! You have been a great scrappy friend from back in the day- it’s so great that we can all stay in touch on line!
April 2, 2016 at 12:27 am
I love Your post Gia, you’re a special girl boss!
April 2, 2016 at 12:38 am
Thanks so much Angela! It has been great meeting you and sharing with you online and seeing your blog debut- I adore it- you are so talented ! 😍
April 5, 2016 at 10:13 pm
I loved reading more about you, Gia!
April 8, 2016 at 11:20 pm
Great post Gia! Amazing girl boss and a tons of fun and creativity! What an adventure this has been! I look forward to another amazing year! xoxo
April 28, 2016 at 11:39 am
Loved reading this, Gia! You are such a hoot! haha! Love love this 🙂