Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth

In celebration of AAPI Month, we sat down with Chinese-American creative and mother, Stephanie Liu Hjelmeseth, who shared the importance of self-love and how her heritage has played a role in who she is today. A champion for female empowerment, she talks to us about what motivated her to start her own blog. She has built an incredible platform and shines light on the female voices within the AAPI community that have inspired her.

How has your cultural background influenced the woman you are today?
I am proudly Chinese-American. My identity is defined by my traditional Chinese upbringing spliced with my American exposure and influence as a first-generation child in a southern state. Family has and always will be my priority in life, so I value balance and time dedicated to people I love over everything else.

What influences your personal style and lifestyle?
My mom taught me poise and elegance, as well as the value of dressing well to feel like your best self. From there you can conquer anything.

What makes you feel confident?
The love that surrounds me. 

If you could give your younger self any advice based on everything you know now, what would it be?
Take time to get to know yourself and be in love with who you are. You’ll discover many versions of yourself that you’ll love immensely and learn to love patiently. But always, always give yourself the chance to love you.

What is your biggest fashion indulgence?
Vintage couture dresses. 

Which A.L.C. piece do you think is a must-have wardrobe staple that should be in every woman’s closet?
An A.L.C. dress like the Alexandria Cotton Midi Dress is so flattering on the body and great for so many occasions. Every A.L.C. dress is designed to highlight the beauty of femininity and they do it so well. 

What inspires you the most about A.L.C. and our mission?
Every one of us has the ability to be confident; sometimes it takes the right clothing piece to bring that out. I love that A.L.C.’s designs celebrate the joy of being a woman.

What inspired you to launch Honey & Silk?
I’m a person of nurture and I find comfort and solace in writing. I started my blog Honey & Silk in 2011 to be a kind voice and an online friend to those who shared the same interests in fashion, food, and beauty. 

What do you feel the fashion industry is doing particularly well right now?
The industry is listening and responding to pleas for change around inclusivity and diversity, sustainability practices, and ethical production. Every little step counts. 

What is your personal philosophy when it comes to fashion?
Fashion needs to bring you joy and confidence. Whatever you try on, if it doesn’t instantly light up your eyes and make your heart sing, put it back where you found it!

Where do you see AAPI representation in fashion going in the next couple of years?
I hope to see more Asian-American designers. Our identity as a culturally-mixed generation is so unique and there are stories to be told through fashion. 

Are there any female leaders (family or prominent figure) in particular who you've admired for their candidness or behind-the-scenes actions to raise awareness about AAPI history month?
I am always inspired by my dear friends Jing of Fly By Jing and Amy of Tower 28 Beauty for being incredible role models for AAPI women; they raise awareness and give back to the community all year round. 

What creative mediums (podcasts, artworks, books, etc.) are you currently loving that are by AAPI voices?
I love the author Cathy Park Hong and the podcast Feeling Asian.

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