This week’s Featured BossMama is: Tiffany Fujioka, Founder, and CEO, of Snarky Hapa.
Learning more about Tiffany…
She spent 13 years living in Philadelphia, where she went to college and graduate school, met her husband, and began her career in college admissions and advising. After her mother was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer in 2011, Tiffany and her family moved to Seattle. Her mother passed away in 2015, a few months before Tiffany's daughter, Hailee, was born.
In 2019, Hailee was diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called Mucopolysaccharidosis Type IV-A (Morquio A). When the pandemic hit one year later, it became clear that Tiffany's nearly 20-year career in education was no longer compatible with the realities of parenting a medically complex child. This paved the way for creating Snarky Hapa, a business that sells shirts, tote bags, cosmetic bags, mugs, and coasters that celebrate Asian and Hawaiian culture, strong women, and lots of snark.
Balancing the demands of running a business with the responsibilities of being a parent is the hardest thing for Tiffany. Her daughter has doctor's appointments with a lot of specialists, which can make it challenging to plan consistent times to focus on her business. However, she has learned to be content with the ebb and flow of life and business and to trust that she will get there in her own time.
Launching Snarky Hapa
Snarky Hapa was founded in the spring of 2021 with the goal of helping women feel seen and celebrated through representation and a healthy dose of attitude. The business has been successful, with over 100 5-star reviews. Tiffany's biggest challenge in this second career has been imposter syndrome and self-doubt, but she has overcome these challenges by focusing on doing her best, treating people right, and trusting herself.
Tiffany considers success to be about making connections meeting needs and ultimately helping other women like her feel more empowered and celebrated. Her favorite examples of success are the reviews that buyers leave her after receiving their orders. Her biggest milestone so far has been reaching 100 5-star reviews. The most useful philosophy in her journey has been to be herself and to infuse aloha into everything she does and makes. That takes shape in the handwritten thank you notes, the care that goes into packaging, the way she treats her customers, and the fact that she doesn't fulfill orders on days she's in a bad mood because she doesn't want to put bad mana into her products.
Tiffany’s goal for the next 3-6 months
Tiffany's goal in the short term is to start participating in local markets and craft shows to generate more local interest in her products. She then plans to venture into wholesale with some retailers in Washington and Hawaii.