Venus Tong

Courtesy of Sunday Morning NYC

Courtesy of Sunday Morning NYC

Name || Venus

Age || 29

Company Name || Sunday Morning NYC

Title || Photographer, Illustrator & Art Director

Company Start Date || October 2018

Years living in New York || 3

Social handles || @sundaymorningnyc & @venustong

Company website || Sunday Morning NYC

What did you want to be while growing up?

I wanted to be a teacher actually believe it or not! But now I am currently a creative living in New York. I’m a freelance photographer, graphic designer, illustrator, art director, jewelry maker, and also a photo editor at The New York Times.

What’s the best piece of advice you were given when you were starting out?

As cliche as this may sound — it was to never give up and keep doing what I’m doing and the universe will take care of the rest.

What is the biggest sacrifice you’ve made in starting your business?

The biggest sacrifice is having any free time, but it’s not so much of a sacrifice when it is something that I love doing.

How do you define success?

The feeling of joy when I see someone purchase a card and give it to somebody they love. That, to me, is success. The gesture of giving a card and a personal handwritten one speaks volumes versus an email or a text.

Courtesy of Sunday Morning NYC

Courtesy of Sunday Morning NYC

What is the most important thing you’ve learned since starting out?

I am the most impatient person in the world so this has really taught me to learn the value of patience. I’ve also learnt to work and develop great relationships with other small business owners and find ways where we can all lift each other up.

What is your go-to motivational quote?

If it doesn’t exist, then it’s up to you to make it.

How did you first come up with idea to start your brand?

I’ve always had a passion for illustration, art, and making things. I think everyone should gift and own a piece of art or illustration to their home, it really transforms the space and sparks conversation.

Do you have a personal motto?

The universe works fast when you’re having fun.

Which women inspire you?

Oprah, Brene Brown, Esther Perel, Maya Angelou, Annie Leibovitz, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez, Michelle Obama and Jenny Toth.

What is your workspace like?

I try to keep my workspace as minimal, tidy and organized as I possibly can… Until it all falls apart.

Courtesy of Sunday Morning NYC

Courtesy of Sunday Morning NYC

How do you overcome moments of self-doubt?

I go and take some time out and indulge in a good book, walk around the city, meet up with some of my creative friends, and see what they’re up to or go to an art show to help me get inspired!

What is the hardest part about being your own boss?

No one is telling you what to do and it is up to YOU to commit to getting some work done! Working from home can be advantageous but it can be a distraction because you end up doing laundry, making lunch, and the endless tidying and chores that you have to do and before you know it — half the day is gone.

How do you handle situations where you feel overwhelmed?
Work is never ending so I keep a journal with list of what I have accomplished each day to help me keep track and to stay focus.

This interview has been lightly edited and condensed for clarity.

Sarah Fielding