KAs@Work: Carol Han of CA Creative
KAs@Work is a new series that profiles Korean Americans and their jobs. Want to share what you do, or know of people with interesting jobs? Get in touch.
Carol Han is the founding partner of CA Creative, an editorial and social media consulting company that advises fashion and lifestyle brands on their online content. She’s also the stylish foodie blogger of Milk & Mode – the perfectly delicious blend of food and fashion. Carol took some time out of her jam-packed schedule to talk to Korean Beacon about her successful career, and how she manages it all.
Briefly (I know it’s a loaded question), what was it like growing up in Hawaii as a Korean American? Were you raised in a strict Korean household?
Growing up in Hawaii as a Korean American was pretty idyllic. As I’m sure you know, there’s a huge Asian American community in Hawaii, so there’s a lot of appreciation for Asian cultures there. My household wasn’t overly strict. My parents definitely had their standards of what they expected from me, but it was no Tiger Mom situation.
Carol, you’re an amazing role model for young, independent women. How do you juggle having a successful career, maintaining a social life with little downtime, and whipping up delicious meals at home?
I’ve always been a person who needs to have a lot going on at once so that I don’t get bored. I think my parents probably trained me to multitask at an early age–by the time I was five, I was enrolled in tap, jazz, ballet, piano, and gymnastics, and I stuck with all of it through high school. I have the most admiration for people who refuse to be pigeonholed into doing one thing and one thing only–Woody Allen, for example, is an Academy-award-winning director, an actor, and he plays in a jazz band every week! Gwyneth Paltrow–actress, singer, cookbook author, blogger, mother and wife. It’s really incredible when you see people doing so many things well, and that’s always been a goal of mine. I want to live a really interesting, full, and diverse life, and I don’t think you can do that if you’re not willing to dive in and get involved.
Speaking of your successful career, what are your daily activities at CA Creative as a founding partner?
My daily activities at CA Creative vary a lot. We have a great team right now, that I have the privilege of overseeing as we work on creating content and social media strategies for various clients. From day to day, I can be found doing any number of things: writing copy, developing social media strategy, test-driving new social media tools for clients, having new client meetings, consulting on editorial calendars, curating groups of bloggers and influencers for clients, etc. It changes all the time, which is something that I really love about working in the digital space. There’s something new and exciting to learn about every day! Plus, I get to work with some pretty amazing clients–always a plus.
I know you were quite involved in the fashion industry. As a Korean American female in the industry, did you feel to be at a disadvantage at all?
The fashion industry is one that doesn’t discriminate–there are so many inspiring, powerful women working in the industry, and a lot of Asian Americans as well. So no, I never felt at a disadvantage.
And just to circle back to food, do you like Korean food? If yes, do you cook any Korean or Korean-inspired dishes at home?
I love Korean food! My mom’s cooking is the best, I was really lucky to have grown up with her food on the table. I’m not great at making it myself quite yet, but that’s something that I definitely want to work on. I’d love to be able to make a perfect bibimbap soon.
[Photos: Mark Iantosca]