Christine Chang, Co-founder of Glow Recipe and Sean Ro, Co-founder of Lunar Hard Seltzer, shared their experiences of telling their parents about their new businesses
- Was it similar for you, Christine? Because you didn't tell them until--
CHRISTINE CHANG: Very long time. Yes. So well into the business, we decided to audition for "Shark Tank" midway-- like this was maybe five months into our business. We went to a casting call on 66th Street in front of ABC. And somehow, each round, we kept passing. And we were like, what's happening here?
And then, one day we found ourselves filming mid-year in the summer at Culver City, and at that point I told my parents. I was like, I think this could be something more. We actually did film, like, a TV show, like, on TV, mom-- like on TV. And it's going to air in a couple of months. And she was a little relieved to hear that there was some vetting, there have been press, there-- we actually had a team member--
- At that point had already quit your job--
CHRISTINE CHANG: Oh, like, it's been months.
- --corporate job, and they didn't know about that.
CHRISTINE CHANG: Quit my job, yes-- months. And I think part of me always knows that they'll always love and support, at the end of the day. But having that conversation is so hard. I didn't need that additional stress at that point. So I rode it out for a very long time. And then, now, she's, of course, my biggest supporter but still asks occasionally-- like, are you guys OK? You're doing OK, right? I'm like, mom, we're fine. We're OK now. But there's always that little undercurrent of doubt but she's worried, still, as a parent.
- How about you Sean?
SEAN RO: It was-- I think it was beyond, like, anger-- it was just very, like, almost denial. When I first told them, they were like-- I was like, hey, I think I'm going to-- we have an idea. There's this thing called hard seltzer that's, like, taking off. And you know, everyone's drinking it. And we're going to make one using the flavors that we grew up with, right?
And they're like, oh, that's cute. Right? I was like, oh, cool. Go have fun-- it was very much the general vibe of the reaction. Not against it-- almost, again, in denial. Go have your fun with your little passion project.
But I think as we kept-- I guess, somewhat to Christine's point-- as we were continuing to get some traction and some milestones, I think it was first-- when we made it onto our first H Mart that our family shops at. And for any of the Asian-Americans and Korean-Americans, that's part of the Sunday ritual-- you go to church, you go to H Mart, you go to shopping, and then you go home, right? So we made it there. So I was like, OK. He's got something.
And then, I think that following-- I guess, the winter of 2020, we were part of "Brewbound," which is like a beer trade publication. Every year they hold a pitch competition, and we somehow came out on top. Similar to Christine's reaction, every time we passed, we were like, this is-- OK. We'll take it. But I think we were just bringing in such-- something different to the industry. And I think, obviously, the liquid was good. So people-- obviously.
So we came out on top. And when I told them, hey, we won first place at something-- and classic Asian parents-- they didn't even know what we won first place at. But we won first place, and I was like, OK. OK, now you have something.
And then, I think the latest one was when we got the Trader Joe's activation here in New York.
- Congratulations, by the way.
SEAN RO: Thank you. I think--
--that was the, oh, OK. We're playing ball now. And I think they're very much supportive now, and very much of like asking for help. And they're, like, sending pictures of like, look, we merchandise your stuff at H Mart. And--