Meet Andrea Jang

Carrie Totushek Photography

Andrea Jang is the owner of Duluth Mom, and believes women are much more than one single piece of their identity. She talks with Ladyboss about imposter syndrome, the freedom to change your mind, and why women need supportive communities.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I live, along with my husband YuYoung, daughter Charlee, and chihuaua rescue Tink, in Northern Minnesota. As a bi-racial and multicultural family, we have hopes of visiting YuYoung’s family in South Korea someday soon.

I was awarded the City of Fargo Human Relations Commission Human Relations Award in 2015 for my non-profit work with New Americans, immigrants, low-income individuals, at-risk populations and minority populations in Fargo, North Dakota.

My hobbies and passions include: my dear friends, Lake Superior, feel good music, great food, philanthropy, volunteerism, hunger relief, hospitality, event planning and coffee!! You will find me utilizing my passions while building community for all momkind as the owner of Duluth Mom.

How did you get involved in your work?

After working 4 years in the food service and hospitality industry, I made a career change and started working in community outreach at a grassroots non-profit in Fargo, ND.  I met refugee families right where they were, helping women and their children thrive and be connected to their new community. I also ran the organization’s food pantry and community garden, lessening food insecurity in the city’s food desert.

In 2015, I became a mom myself and just before my daughter turned 2, we moved to Duluth. For the first time in my life I was unemployed – by choice – in a new city with zero connections. I wanted to get my family settled and get to know the city as we looked to purchase a house and got connected to health services and activities. I started skimming Facebook events and came across a Duluth Moms Blog Christmas event at the Glensheen, and there aren’t many things I love more than Christmas at the Glensheen.  My grandma and mom used to take me to the Glensheen when we would make day trips to Duluth growing up, and I will always remember those times spent together.  I didn’t know anybody in Duluth yet, so I asked if my mom would go with me. We realized it was grandma’s 75th birthday so we invited her, too!

We really enjoyed the event and that night when I got home, I started digging around the Duluth Moms Blog website and social accounts a bit more.  It quickly became the resource that I referred to as I got to know the city, and it is how I connected and made friends quickly. When they started recruiting contributing writers I applied and was accepted.  Then I volunteered at the annual Bloom event and had so much fun being a part of something with women and hospitality again. When I saw that the previous owner was looking to sell the business, I inquired.  I knew absolutely nothing about owning a business.  But I knew I wanted to continue serving moms and families in a community, and helping them build connections and friendships.

I have owned Duluth Mom for 2.5 years now, one of those being the year of 2020. In the middle of the pandemic I successfully rebranded Duluth Moms Blog to Duluth Mom with the help of our parent company.  I knew that Duluth Mom was more than “just” a blog and I wanted the name to reflect that. We have online community groups, events, an engaged social media audience and awesome hyper-local resources published regularly. I am growing and learning everyday, and I love it.

What does it mean to be a Ladyboss?

To me, being a Ladyboss means “Show(ing) up every single day in spite of the things you believe disqualify you from trying.” – Jordan Lee Dooley from her book Own your Everyday.

Not letting imposter syndrome get the best of us, bonding together,  sharing modern woman energy to create change, being really proud of our work, and being role models for girls and women of the future.

Who inspires you?

Locally, the Duluth Mom contributing team and my friends and fellow female entrepreneurs in Duluth.

My Instagram “friends.” ( I know I am not the only one who has these! ) I have many but the two accounts I check in with most often are Rachel Allene – she is so creative, a small business owning mom, and makes everything she does so pretty.   Tanya Rad is another – I feel like I am living vicariously through her single woman lifestyle in the spotlight. She is totally and completely 100 percent herself in every situation and I really admire that.

Duluth Mom is a sister site of our parent company City Mom Collective. Through the collective I have connections with hundreds of inspirational women nationwide where I can turn to for business advice, bounce ideas off of, and then engage in relevant continuing education with. Online and small business ownership can feel isolating for women, especially during these times.

My sister-in-law {to be} unapologetically gives herself the freedom to change her mind about whatever she wants to in life.  She does what makes her happy, and what she is feeling led to do. She doesn’t get stuck in one place often – which for me and my upbringing was hard to understand or more so follow where she was in life at first, but now I feel it is really refreshing. Whatever she is passionate about or pursuing at the time, she gives 110%. She shows that it is never too late to try something new in life, and never too late to unlearn and continue to learn.

What is your favorite form of self-care?

Sleep, holding a hot cup of coffee, buying plants, setting intentional device free periods of time, mornings anywhere along Lake Superior and spending time with extended family.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve heard recently?

“Her success is not my failure.” – again from the book Own Your Everyday by Jordan Lee Dooley. There is enough space for every woman to be successful!

What do you think women need right now?

These responses were more challenging to write out than I expected, I rarely ever get asked questions about myself. Questions asked of me are normally aimed towards my daughter, my business, or just basic personal information in the forms of stats and numbers. This realization alone is proof that women need a sense of community where they can have honest conversations with and get to know other real life women.

Women need society to honor their original identity as unique individuals- who they are before their titles of “mom” or “entrepreneur.” Women need to be able to be those individuals without the guilt attached to being themselves! Feeling guilty about not getting outside enough when they are tackling a project, feeling guilty about forgetting to respond to a friend, feeling guilt around utilizing childcare and working outside of the home, feeling guilt about self-care and physical maintenance. Women have so much to coordinate and keep track of as it is, they don’t need to be weighed down by guilt – conserve that energy.