At Mixed Up Clothing, our mission is about more than creating gorgeous multicultural children's apparel. We're also dedicated to sharing the vibrant cultures of the world with our community and to creating a space where multicultural families and their diverse backgrounds are highlighted.
A MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDER
Growing up mixed and multicultural, I always felt different. I was African-American and Mexican-American, born on the island of Puerto Rico and later moved to the Hawaiian island of O'ahu. But even with all of the rich cultural heritage that surrounded me, I still didn't feel like I was enough. I felt like people didn't get me or I wasn't what they expected. I didn't fit into any preconceived boxes.
Fast-forward to marrying my Korean-American husband and having four beautiful children. It took me a long time to love who I was, and I didn't want my children to feel that same way. I wanted to give them every opportunity to love all of the cultures that make up who they are, so I started by creating an intentional life.
Everything that I brought into our home (music, food, language, books) were all explored through a multicultural lens. Everything we do comes from a place of celebration and showcasing their heritage and cultures.
Even with all of the effort I put in, one thing was still missing...fashion. I started sourcing fabrics and trims from all over the world and sewing them into fun, everyday pieces that my children would be proud to wear.
It was an opportunity to wear clothes that highlighted who they were and gave them a strong sense of pride. It also was an opportunity to teach them about their cultures using fashion as an inspiration.
In teaching them about who they were, I realized that others may be going through the same struggle, so I decided to turn my hobby into a business. This, in turn, is serving others and helping me to achieve my life's mission.
Mixed Up Clothing has long been about more than just children's fashion. It has become a movement of wanting to be seen and wanting accurate cultural representations of our multicultural experiences. Representation matters and I'm so excited to be a part of amplifying our diverse voices with Mixed Up Clothing.
ABOUT OUR FOUNDER + OUR STORY
Sonia Smith-Kang is a multiracial female founder based in Los Angeles, California. As a writer and public speaker, she focuses on topics around multiracial identity and parenting.
She has been featured on NBC’s Today Show as a mom entrepreneur, The Real, NPR, KPCC, HuffPost Live, CBS, and ABC News. Her design are in editorials like Latina Magazine, InTouch, Babiekins, Earnshaws, and Pregnancy & Newborn.
Sonia is a graduate of The Workshop at Macy’s, an exclusive retail vendor development program designed to give select high potential minority- and women-owned businesses the tools to better succeed and sustain growth in the retail industry.
Born in Puerto Rico to a Black father and Mexican mother, Sonia understands the ins and outs of multiracial life. As the daughter of military parents, she was afforded the opportunity to see the world and connect with communities around the globe, an experiences that has informed how she sees the world as a woman and mother. Sonia understands what it means to be multiracial.
From feelings of not being "enough" of one ethnicity or another, to blending cultures and languages, and raising kids in an increasingly multicultural world. Through her life experiences, Sonia has become determined to bridge gaps between cultures and communities.
After attending college, she became a critical care nurse (RN) and dedicated her time teaching her colleagues in the medical field how to use an intersectional approach in healthcare.
Later she would go on to marry her Korean-American husband and have children, further solidifying her commitment to raising a multicultural, multiracial and multilingual family.
She became even more aware of the artwork, books, music, and even the clothes brought into her home. She wanted everything her kids interacted with to not only instill pride, but promote cultural awareness and understanding. As the kids got older, they were placed in activities and attended events that explored all of their rich cultural heritage. But one thing was still missing.
When it came to clothing there was a limit on what was available year round. While they did have access to traditional clothing for cultural customs, ceremonies and special occasions, there were few everyday designs that could give her children the same sense of pride in between holidays.
After discussing the issue with other multicultural families, Sonia realized that there was a need and desire among parents for something more. She started working on designs and founded Mixed Up Clothing, a multicultural children's apparel company focused on highlighting the beauty and vibrant cultures of the world.
Mixed Up Clothing is more than a clothing line. It’s part of a larger cultural movement. Founder, Sonia Smith-Kang also uses her fashion brand as a vehicle to teach about diversity and inclusion. Each item of apparel showcases a unique culture and comes with a hang tag that shares information about the culture being highlighted.
At a time when the multiracial community is outpacing other populations, it's important for families of all backgrounds to see accurate representations of their culture in everyday life.
With Mixed Up Clothing, Sonia able to introduce others to the diverse cultures of the world and ignite global understanding.