Where are you from originally and how long have you lived in Houston?
I have been born and raised in Houston and have lived here all my life. I’m a proud Houstonian! I grew up in Cypress, got my BA in Accounting at the University of Houston, and a proud Alumni of Goldman Sachs 10,000 Small Business.
Child(ren) and Age(s)?
One thing people would be surprised to know about you…
I started my first business at 22 and now I own more than 10 businesses and have been a firm believer of diversifying your income!
Favorite local activities to do in Houston?
I love to eat! Houston is such a great city for that. We are a melting pot of all cultures and I love the fact there are little pockets of neighborhoods throughout the city to get different cuisines. Long point for great Korean, Hilcroft for Indian, Bellaire for Chinese & Vietnamese, & our best New American restaurants in the Loop. My top ten restaurants right now are Eunice, Kata Robata, M.A.D, Killen’s Heights, Jenivis Seafood Shoppe, Bori Bori, Street Food Thai Market, Goode Company Seafood, and Chung Wang BBQ.
Outside of eating I love taking the kids outdoors. Absolutely love the remodel with Memorial Park & visiting the Eastern Glades not to mention Levy Park & Hermann Park. Our museum district is phenomenal & the children’s museum is a great spot for them. I’ve never spent so much time outdoors until I had the kids.
Are you involved in a business venture, a local organization, a creative endeavor, or in the corporate world?
One of the most proudest concepts I’m working on is called Saigon Hustle. My first restaurant was a quaint little house I converted to serve causal Vietnamese food. I had a good 3-year run there. I have always wanted to circle back and launch another Vietnamese concept. This one is special because we will focus on a “quick-service styled drive-thru” and hope to expand this concept nationwide. My goal is to get this to 50 units in a very short-time frame. Our first location is slated to open in Garden Oaks located at 3323 Ella Blvd Houston, TX 77018. We absolutely fell in love with the area and especially the corner of where our building is at. We have converted an older gas station into a drive-thru. Our soft-opening date is slated for October 18, 2021. Follow us on IG @saigonhustle
How has the Houston community been instrumental in getting you to where you are now?
We have true southern hospitality. I feel that in every neighborhood any of my businesses are in there is a true sense of community and support. I wouldn’t be where I am today without all the loyal customers throughout the years. This is why I love what I do. I love seeing familiar faces and developing relationships.
What is the best advice for juggling mommyhood and running a business (or volunteering, working, etc)?
I have always been a planner. If I sit still I feel very uncomfortable. I think it’s so important to have big goals and chip away at steps to get there day by day. What helps me juggle motherhood & having a business is planning out the next day. Something as easy as laying out the kids outfits along for myself helps smooth out the day and planning out the meals for the week. I feel like if this part of my life is very controlled I can easily take on last minute tasks or put out fires at work on the whim! Things that you can control ahead of time is my biggest advice. Knock it out and plan ahead. I use my google calendar religiously. I’d be so lost without it!
What would you tell the old “You” before you had kids? Travel. Travel. Travel!
Travel as much as you can! Now with three kids not only is it tiring & expensive to lug an entire family, it’s an entirely different experience than when it was just my husband & I! I completely regret not making it a point to travel with my husband overseas more.
Funniest shortcut/routine for helping you through parenthood?
Wine. Lots of wine.