9 episodes

Welcome to Vanessa Wants to Know, a podcast where you'll hear conversations that move you. Get ready to laugh, cry, and be inspired, as you listen to host Vanessa Hong talk to paradigm shifters about their wins, losses, and everything in between. 

Vanessa Wants To Know Vanessa Hong

    • Society & Culture

Welcome to Vanessa Wants to Know, a podcast where you'll hear conversations that move you. Get ready to laugh, cry, and be inspired, as you listen to host Vanessa Hong talk to paradigm shifters about their wins, losses, and everything in between. 

    Season Finale: The Many Lives of Vanessa Hong

    Season Finale: The Many Lives of Vanessa Hong

    You can pursue anything you want in life – but does it have substance? 
    My mom asked me that question when I was a child, and it really stuck with me. She understood that I was a creative person starting from childhood and would thrive in a place where I could use my natural talents and my hard-earned skills together in a creative way. The fashion industry isn’t known for its substance or emotional or intellectual depth. So, I found a way to make it substantial. 
    On today’s episode, we’re switching things up. My assistant interviews me, and no question is off-limits. I share quite a bit about my childhood and college experience, leading to my first job post-graduation. Even though I earned a degree in sciences, I knew that industry wasn’t the right fit for me. So, throughout this interview I tell my story of how I started up my first fashion blog, pursued my passions, and found my substance. 

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Michelle Lee, Editor in Chief of Allure Magazine is Changing The World Through Beauty

    Michelle Lee, Editor in Chief of Allure Magazine is Changing The World Through Beauty

    When was the last time you saw yourself in media?
    Many brands nowadays strive to find the perfect balance of “diversity and inclusion.” Sometimes, this means just checking off a “diversity” box, and for other companies, it means actually lifting up minorities’ voices and giving them a seat at the table. Michelle Lee, Editor in Chief of Allure Magazine, works to make sure everyone’s voice is being heard, and everyone’s beauty is seen.
    On today’s episode, Michelle and I discuss themes around Michelle’s early life and how that shaped her, the distinction between diversity and inclusivity, and ultimately how she is contributing to transforming the world into a place where diversity and inclusion are not just buzz words, but common practice.
    Get ready for a highly intelligent, thoughtful, and introspective conversation with one of the most inspiring women in the game.

    • 1 hr 14 min
    Jen Rubio, Co-founder of Away, on Defying Expectations, Creating Her Own Path, and Building a $1.4 Billion Dollar Company That Forever Changes the Way We Travel

    Jen Rubio, Co-founder of Away, on Defying Expectations, Creating Her Own Path, and Building a $1.4 Billion Dollar Company That Forever Changes the Way We Travel

    What does it mean to be fearless?

    For many, it’s walking into a situation, knowing that you’re supposed to be afraid of what’s to come, but pushing through anyway. For others, like Jen Rubio, being fearless is just always making the most of every decision, and not allowing the idea of "fear" stop you from following your intuition.

    On today’s episode, Jen and I discuss the success of her luggage brand Away, what it means for her, and how she got to where she is today. Specifically, I ask Jen about her personal background that created the foundation for the future that she cultivated for herself. She shares her experience of immigrating to the US at age 7, understanding what it means to be different, and how going with the flow in life can be incredibly beneficial.

    • 1 hr 10 min
    Tommy Ton's Journey From Fashion Intern to World-Renowned Street Style Photographer - and He's Just Getting Started

    Tommy Ton's Journey From Fashion Intern to World-Renowned Street Style Photographer - and He's Just Getting Started

    "Clothing is just clothing until someone decides to put it on."
    Everyone consumes fashion. The runway is an inspiration for what we end up seeing in shops. It's hard to work in the fashion industry and it's getting harder, but it’s also amazing! Tommy has had an indelible impact on the industry and how we consume and view fashion, and he's just getting started, at 35.
    On today's episode, I sit down with Tommy Ton - famed fashion street style photographer and recently turned women's wear designer. Tommy has worked for some of the biggest names in the Industry, like GQ, Lane Crawford, Louis Vuitton, and of course, we can't forget his six years of covering fashion weeks for style.com.
    Listen to Episode 4 of Vanessa Wants to Know, where Tommy and I talk about his early life, about how he discovered fashion at age 13 and the crystalizing moment while attending his first European fashion show in 2007 that helped him realize, "This is what I want to do for the rest of my life."

    • 1 hr 12 min
    From Ad Executive to Restaurateur, Nicole Ponseca is Championing Filipinos Through Food and Story

    From Ad Executive to Restaurateur, Nicole Ponseca is Championing Filipinos Through Food and Story

    "If you don’t know where you’re from, how can you get to where you want to be?"
    Knowing the “why” behind your decisions and dreams is one thing that can constantly fuel your motivation. In a society that favors familiarity, breaking new ground is no easy feat. For Nicole Ponseca, a Filipino woman that’s transforming the restaurant industry, she’s experienced first-hand what it’s like to break into new spaces.
    On today’s episode, Nicole and I discuss how she went from being an advertising executive to a successful restaurateur. Nicole’s experience is unique, being a woman of color in an industry dominated by white men. We also discuss the racial tensions that came with opening up the first Filipino restaurant in NYC, how she handled racism hurled her way, and how she’s breaking cultural boundaries and transforming the perception of Filipino culture.

    • 46 min
    Aimee Song on Finding Happiness Within

    Aimee Song on Finding Happiness Within

    We're living in such a strange moment in culture right now, because we put so much emphasis on social validation. There's a lot of pressure, but at the end of the day, social media only portrays a mere fraction of someone's life. Reflecting on her decade long career in the fashion and digital space, Aimee Song affirms that her anchor in this industry is being able to find happiness within herself.

    On today's episode, Aimee and I chat openly about her struggles with getting lost in chasing the likes, and how she has been able to rediscover her passion by prioritizing her happiness with the help of therapy, and the JOMO (Joy Of Missing Out). Aimee also talks about her upbringing, and how it shaped the strong values that have always helped her stay grounded.

    Listen as Aimee takes us through an inside look at her life, and how she has been able to stay true to her purpose, in a world that can so often lead us astray.

    • 39 min

Customer Reviews

djsarali ,

Thoughtful and Positive

Thank you Vanessa for sharing your thoughts and inspirations on this podcast. Love the idea of asian excellence and digging into what identity, purpose, growth, all mean and the crazy world we all live in. An amazing group of people that were a pleasure to hear about their personal lives, and always something relevant in each episode!

Zipnerdz ,

Surprised and Inspired

I love fashion design and was curious to learn more about people in the industry and behind the scenes. This podcast was so much more. It has so much depth, realness, and humanity I feel inspired and enriched. Not only did I learn about the lives and stories of these successful people, but also their perspective of how they are trying to find meaning in this world.

I didn't know about Vanessa much before finding this, and I have to say this is so well done I'm recommending it to all my friends, and colleagues, plus making it mandatory for the startups I mentor. If you want to learn about being an entrepreneur while caring about the world, this podcast will give you insight and examples of successful people who are current and relevant.

Thank you so much Vanessa, looking forward to season 2!

P.s. Your assistant was a great interviewer, so funny and engaging. Hope to hear more of them.

Vcoqueta ,

Inspiring

I love podcasts like these, very inspirational and moving. Gets to the point and has my attention until the end. I can’t wait for more of these!

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