Orchid is like a producer with hijulez. She's behind product descriptions, our tagline (Compassionately Made Clothing), the website navigation, and item names! She's also a dancer, and the best person to have a coffee date with. Learn more about her at orchid-chen.com.
Orchid wearing a hijulez Tiger Tiger thrifted jean jacket in LA
1. If you were a snack food, what type would you be and why?
The kind of snack food that I am is... chocolate almonds. First, there's enough for everybody. Next, it's soft on the outside, and kinda hard and crispy on the inside. I just love them. I could eat a whole bag of them all at once.
I'm actually very bad with snacks. I am snacking, like 6 times a day. Non stop.
2. What do you do?
I love interviewing people. It's like people watching, but more intense. My passion is the art and science behind expressing ideas. I think journalists are heroes.
I also love ballet. I did it until I was 13 and it really grounded me. I started to get back into it about 5 years ago, and I'm back at the pre-professional advanced level I was at before. I'm no good— that is I could never perform or be on any professional level— but there's something about the tradition that keeps me coming back. It's a philosophy. And you spend years and years just perfecting things, yet you'll still discover that you don't even know the art form at all. Like you've been doing it wrong the entire time, your whole life, and you discover that 20 years in.
3. What was it like being named after a flower?
A lot of people actually can't pronounce it.
I've been called Orchard, Okee, O-chit, Morgan...
I love it when people smile and give me a compliments when I'm at Starbucks. Strangers start smiling for no good reason other than the fact that my dad named me Orchid (after a direct translation from 蘭 Lan, one of the characters in my Chinese name, which means Orchid).
I used to hate it, because it felt like a lot of responsibility to have a unique name. Now, I really appreciate that my dad put so much thought and time into naming me and my siblings. He always wanted us to be special. Which is really nice, even if it's a lot of pressure.
4. What do you think the world needs more of?
I think the world is missing... tradition. We seem to have lost a lot of tradition, with all the rapid changes brought by technology.
I am actually really into technology and systems. Not holding out on what the world has to offer right now. But I do feel like when we know where we come from, we are actually creating a better future, too.
Being an immigrant to a young country like Canada there have been times when I really miss the feeling that you can see what your ancestors were up to, all around you, in the space, food, language, and grumpy old people.
5. Do you have a favourite piece of clothing? Why do you love it?
I love summer, and kinda hate layering. So I love their freedom and elegance.
I also have a secret stash of clothes I've pilfered from the women who preceded me—my aunt, my grandma, my mom. And I take them out and wear them sometimes, because I want to feel what it was like when those types of fabrics were in fashion. They're so much more modest, but also sometimes daring. My mom wore 2-piece dresses with swooshy skirts. I like how they say a lot with the pattern and cut, but say very little at the same time.
They're so comfortable.
5. What is something you're hopeful about?
I hope that people will find love and be very, very happy. True love looks past all the shallow stuff.