My name is Mali Chi. I was born and raised by my Chinese father and English/European mother in a small town in Ohio. I now reside northwest of Houston. I graduated with a degree in advertising and graphic design from the Columbus College of Art & Design (CCAD) in 2001 but began my career in ’99 as an intern for an awesome shop in Columbus called Zero Base. I’ve done everything from packaging for Bath & Body Works to pharmaceutical ads for post-menopausal women to apparel graphics for big name celebrities. I’ve always enjoyed being a contract employee though and never liked the idea of someone else being the boss of me—ha! So, after my husband and I moved to Houston in 2005, I opened my own wedding stationery shop while continuing with my corporate freelance clients and designing for some of the studios in Houston from my home office.
I chose my shop name the hard way…like a lot of things I do. Let me start by saying my company name is HELLO & CO., just to be clear. But, I carried my business under a different name that I thought was brilliant (a 3 am epiphany, mind you). And then I realized that when I said the name of the company, everyone said, “what did you say? Paper & Panties?” “No, Paper & Peonies!” Let this be a lesson to all of you! So, HELLO & CO. is the name of my online stationery shop. Makes perfect sense and the name has legs. If I ever get around to branding I think it would be fun to have a campaign around the name.
Do I have a day job? Um… by most people’s standards, no. But, technically, I have a day job, an evening job and a night job, and I wear as many hats as I can fit on my head! My husband had to go back to his work in the Midwest to support us and our growing family…which includes my growing business. So, I am here holding down the fort with my 21 month old son, running a business, managing all my clients, dealing with vendors and maintaining the house and acre we live on. Yard work is for the birds! So, no one hands me my paycheck, but I am cranking 7 days a week.
The most important thing about running a business is to be cut and dry about money. Don’t be greedy—be smart. And ABSOLUTELY love love love what you do. You know, when you get into a project and are so intensely focused on it that you lose track of time and everything buzzing around you? If you are really loving your work and putting that kind of energy into it, you cannot go wrong. Also, never ever ever ever ever ever ever give up. Ever.
Pets, I have a few, actually I have an entire collection of them and my husband is starting to get concerned. Niko and Sylvi are my two stray kitties. Sylvi is from an amazing no-kill shelter called the Abandoned Animal Rescue (AAR) in Tomball, Texas. The other is from under a porch down the road. Spay and neuter your pets people! I have a 130lb. sissy French Mastiff (Dogue de Bordeaux) named Hiroshi. Hiro was a puppy no one wanted because of a leg deformity. Thankfully, he grew out of it. And I recently adopted a Pug we have named Ming. Ming is from PugHearts in Houston. Another amazing rescue organization. Sorry for the shameless plugs, but they deserve it. On behalf of Mali and myself, PLEASE spay and neuter your pets and adopt whenever possible.
You can find Mali’s company, Hello & Co. on her website or her Etsy Shop where she has a beautiful line of wedding invitations, children’s invitations, photo cards and more; you can also find her on her Facebook page under Hello & Co. Be sure to check out the slide show below to see just a few of her creations. Thank you Mali and I wish you all the best!
If you liked this article (please leave a ‘comment’ below) and want to know when I publish more personal interviews with talented artisans, or special event articles be sure to use the “SUBSCRIBE” button at the top of the page or CLICK HERE so that you will automatically be notified via e-mail whenever I publish an article (and while you’re at it, please add me as one of your ‘fav’ Examiners). AND again, please leave comments which are vital to our exposure level.
If you’re an artist/crafter and want to be interviewed contact me. I will feature you and your wonderful talents and promote your shop. “SUBSCRIBE” (above) or CLICK HERE then go to my blog where you will find the interview questionnaire. Follow the directions there and then e-mail your completed questionnaire to me, I’ll be in touch with you real soon.
Don’t forget to visit my many artisan friends at Etsy and the VA Etsy Team for your ultimate shopping pleasure.
Until next time I wish you a good day today and every day!
Remember to always “Pay IT Forward” because one good deed deserves another.
Cheers my ♥’s