THE BALANCE PROJECT | No. 118: Khanh Nguyen, Fashion Designer

Welcome to THE BALANCE PROJECT: a series of relevant and refreshingly candid interviews featuring inspiring and accomplished women talking about balance. I’ve always been curious about how women I admire manage the tragically glorified “doing it all” craze. So I asked them. As I suspected, no one really does “it all.” Everyone’s making sacrifices somewhere. And that should make us all feel a little better. I hope the conversation will be steered toward that reality rather than toward the flawed and dangerous assumption that we should try—or even want to try—to perfectly do “it all.”

By the way, looking for THE BALANCE PROJECT novel that was inspired by these interviews? It’s here.

No. 118: Khanh Nguyen, Fashion Designer

Age: 34
Where I live:
 Dallas, TX
Job: Founder and Creative Director of Nha Khanh
Kids:
 One 3 1/2-year-old daughter

Khanh_Nguyen-5Have you changed jobs or adjusted anything in your career to have more balance?
I hired more staff to do what I used to do, so I can do the things I want to do with my family and friends.

Do you think having “it all” is realistic or overrated and why?
It can be as realistic as you want it to be because only you would know what it means to have “it all” in your own terms.

What part of “balance” can you just not seem to figure out?
Still trying to figure out what else I’m missing…

What part of “balance” are you getting better at?
Taking time out to take care of myself mentally and physically.

Do you have a favorite time management tool, hack, or other strategy you use that helps you achieve balance?
Weekends are reserved for my family and friends. Strictly Sundays are for my family. No matter how much and how many times I write things down on my notebook… having a real human (a.k.a. my awesome assistant) reminding me what to do is the best thing I’ve done for myself.

What was the best advice you ever heard on balance? 
From a mentor/co-worker?
“Build a strong and solid relationship/marriage with your partner first. Your husband should come first before your child(ren).”
From your mother? “Take care of yourself. Health is your only wealth you have.”
From your spouse/partner? 
“Don’t bite off more than you can chew.”
From your kids? “Listen to me.”

If you had one extra hour in each day and you couldn’t work or be with your family, how would you spend that hour?
Cleaning and decorating my house and arranging flowers to fill up my home.

What do you wish you’d known when you were 20?
I thought I knew everything but clearly I didn’t. I wish I would have known how to cherish the alone times much more than I did. Now, it’s very hard to find it.

What do you hope to know by time you’re 60?
I don’t really think about it much.

Whose job do you wish you had?
What job? I don’t have a job, only a full- and over-time passion doing what I love.

Whose job are you glad you don’t have?
A pharmacist’s. (There’s a story behind this..haha.)

Favorite books?
Fashion Lives: Fashion Icons by Fern Mallis.

What are you reading right now?
Frozen 5-Minute Stories every night to my daughter.

Biggest website vice?
Online Shopping at Net-a-porter.com.

How many hours do you generally sleep at night during the week?
6.

What do you read every morning?
Fashion news on Business of Fashion and Facebook.

Complete the following sentences:
I think I: have “it all.”
I wish I: had more time in the day.
My daughter: 
makes me whole.

Do you have a personal motto or favorite saying?
“Let’s try it.”

Anything else you’d like to add?
It takes a village to have “it all.”

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KHANH AND NHAVY 2About Khanh:
JS_BusinessCard_Front_FINAL
Khanh Nguyen, the Creative Director and Designer of the Nha Khanh label, has been surrounded by fashion and art throughout her life. Khanh attended the University of North Texas and obtained a bachelor’s degree in Fine Arts in Fashion Design along with numerous awards. In January 2010, the Nha Khanh label was established producing seasonal ready-to-wear lines as well as custom atelier service to the public.

The Nha Khanh mission is to empower women with inner-strength through their clothing while focusing on “feminine elegance with a modern edge.” “Nha,” in Vietnamese, is a feminine word implying “light and elegance,” whereas “Khanh” is a masculine word, meaning “victory and celebration.” The fusion of the words creates a balance of unison between feminine and masculine. The collection joins lightness and softness of silhouette and fabrication with the celebration of construction and classic forms. This is the fundamental philosophy and creative driving force behind the Nha Khanh label.

Find out more about Khanh:
www.nhakhanh.com
Twitter: @nhakhanh
Instagram: @nhakhanh
Pinterest: nhakhanh

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WANT TO READ MORE ABOUT WORK-LIFE BALANCE? CHECK OUT MY NOVEL THE BALANCE PROJECT!

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