"There's nothing noble in being superior to your fellow man; true nobility is being superior to your former self."
This month's we are getting inspired by this amazing woman who not only works at a trade association, blogs, but also supports education, cares about sustainability and many more!
Tell us a little bit about yourself and what do you do?
Hi, I'm Deborah and I'm a blogger at Coffee, Prose and Pretty Clothes! I live in Washington, DC but I was born in California. My parents are from South Korea originally (and I speak fluent Korean!) In college, I studied Public Communications with a focus on political communications and upon graduating, I landed my first job on a presidential political campaign. I've been talking non-stop about advocacy and politics ever since!
I work at a trade association here in Washington, DC in an advocacy setting. Specifically, I do research and project management for regulatory advocacy. In layman's terms, I work with lobbyists to get things done in Washington for members of my association!
How's your typical day at work looks like?
My days are pretty different depending on what issue I'm working on but generally, I come into work early, like, around 8 am after my morning run. I work in an open office plan but I usually am not in the office all day, I tend to run to meetings or seminars in DC usually with regulatory agencies like the US Department of the Treasury. I don't have a real "clock-out" time as sometimes I have to attend dinners and such but I do have a rule to not respond to work emails once I'm home.
What do you do in your free time?
I am a blogger - I love fashion and photography which are things I don't really get to work with at all during my day job so I value the time I get to work on it. I also am an avid yogi - I primarily practice vinyasa yoga about three or four times a week. Also, I'm a bibliophile - I'm constantly reading something or listening to an audiobook!
What's the next big thing you want to accomplish?
I'd really like to nail a forearm stand in yoga! I know that doesn't sound like a huge accomplishment but it's hard haha! My other big goal is to learn how to code and build a website of my own from the ground up. I currently use Squarespace for my blog but I'd like to self-host someday and build the site from scratch.
What do you wish you were better at?
This may sound silly but I really wish I could bake. I'm pretty good at cooking but baking? I always end up messing something up. It's too exact a science and an art! I love watching The Great British Bake Off and I'm always in awe of the creations by the contestants! My best friend is an amazing baker and she baked her own wedding cake! I'm so jealous!
Have you done any volunteering? And what charities do you think are the most worthwhile?
I volunteer as an English teacher in my area. I started tutoring in college when I learned about a voluntary position helping our immigrant facilities workers pass their citizenship tests and such. It was such fun I continued doing it when I could after I graduated. My boyfriend also used to work for a non-profit called "Global Campaign for Education-US" and they promoted the right to education for all with an emphasis on girls' education both at home and abroad. Education and learning charities and non-profits are the ones I'm most passionate about. I know that I wouldn't be where I am if I didn't have a family or a community behind me that supported my education and I want everyone to be able to have access to it.
Are there any facts you learned that caused you to change the way you live your life?
Late last year, I watched The True Cost on Netflix. It's a documentary on the fashion industry and how there are so many displaced women in the world who are making our fast fashion clothes for sometimes only pennies a day in abusive and dangerous conditions. I started delving more into the world of ethical fashion which led to my obsession with sustainable fashion and because of this, I started a one-year shopping ban. I am currently not shopping for anything new for the entirety of 2019. I am allowed to replace things (such as toilet paper, holey socks, etc.) but I'm trying to get into the mindset that I don't need more things to be happy and I especially don't need things that come at the cost of the environment and made in such appalling conditions.
Who's the most inspiring person for you and why?
My maternal great-grandmother is one of the most inspiring people in my life. She raised my grandmother as a single mom after her husband died during a time in Korea when that was not considered socially acceptable. She didn't care what the neighbors said! She also had a sizeable inheritance from her family and her late husband and she turned down all-male suitors after her husband died because she wanted to maintain her financial independence and Korean laws at the time would have forced her to cede control of her money to her husband if she remarried. What a boss!
What is the best thing that happened to you this week/month?
I visited California this month to celebrate my boyfriend's grandparents' 60th anniversary! We went to San Luis Obispo (which I had never been to prior to this trip) which is a gorgeous city!
What's in your MILLENNY bag?
I'm obsessed with my MILLENNY bag and I use it almost every day! It's my primary work bag so my laptop is always in there, along with my bullet journal, pen case, and phone charger. I also keep my Hydroflask water bottle in there too! I keep my Smart Trip metro card in one of the inside pockets and I have on average 3 lip products in the side pocket. In the back pocket, I keep receipts (that I should probably throw out now... oops!)