Meet the Maker: Christina Hsu

Meet_the_Maker_Photo_CHSU
1. What is your story?
I’m an East Coast native who migrated to the West Coast many years ago. I have degrees in marketing and management from MIT and Harvard. I absolutely love sharing fun products with consumers of all ages, but working with kids is my favorite. I think it’s because I’m a big kid at heart.

In my free time, I love to craft. It’s definitely my happy place. I started my Bubblegum Paper blog a few years ago and recently launched a YouTube channel to go along with the blog. I really enjoy sharing my projects with others.

I’ve always loved making things as far back as I can remember. When I look at my childhood photos, I’m often wearing random paper “crafted” items. When I was seven, I learned how to crochet, candlewick (is that still a thing) and make latch hook rugs, remember those? I still have a latch hook bubblegum machine rug somewhere in my childhood bedroom. A few years ago, I found a paper wallet I made when I was eight years old complete with pockets, a fake ID card, a fake master card that was (good for any store in the entire universe) with a rainbow sticker closure. In fourth grade, I crowned myself the ultimate sticker collector and was sooooo crazy about stickers.

2. What are the things you like to make?
Now, I focus mostly on paper-crafting. I love making cards, party favors, party décor, basically anything paper-related.
CHSU_Chibi_PiDay2

3. What is your current project?
Currently, I’m making a ton of birthday cards for friends and family. I’m also working on some projects for our Chibitronics Design Team.

Looking ahead, I’m in the planning stages of my 25 Cards in 25 Days holiday card series. Each December, I challenge myself to make 25 holiday cards in 25 days and post these on my blog. This year I’m going to attempt to post them on my YouTube channel as well. I will be sure to include some cards with Chibitronics LED stickers in this holiday card series.

CHSU_Chibi_MothersDay

4. How would you describe your creative making process?
I’m always on the lookout for trends or inspiration. Social media is awesome! I especially love Instragram and YouTube. Everyone is so creative. In terms of my own projects, once I have an idea in mind, I sketch something quickly and then start making the project. I normally don’t follow the sketch exactly, but it helps me plan ahead so I have most of the materials I need handy right at the beginning of the project… granted I sometimes change course during the process. It’s very similar to working in my corporate job. I put together a strategy and plan, but once we get to execution phase, we sometimes need to iterate or “pivot” for whatever reason.

5. What inspires your making?
I’m inspired by everything around me whether it’s a funny story or a product or a theme/holiday/occasion. I usually start with a theme, story or purpose for the project I’m making. It could be a friend’s birthday, a holiday, a new product, a party or even just something inspired by my everyday life. For example, a few months ago I was driving home from work stuck in crazy LA traffic and there was a gourmet ice cream truck in front of me. That made me think of this new ice cream shop that opened up near my house and “inspired” me to pick up a pint of ice cream. From there, I decided to make an ice cream card and video inspired by this ice cream shop… That spinning ice cream card is now my most popular card and so far has over 6K views on YouTube.

I also love throwing parties and am on the lookout for creative party favors. These goodie bags with Chibitronics stickers are so fun.
CHSU_Chibi_GoodieBags

6. What helpful hints do you have for future makers?
When you have an idea in your head, just start making it. Don’t worry about the end product, focus on the process. I used to think “oh, I can’t make that project until I have x, y, z ready… or until I learn how to do a, b, c” and then it never gets done. So instead, my new approach is, to start the project and learn along the way. I firmly believe in learning by doing.

7. What is your favorite thing about Chibitronics?
I love the fact that it was invented by a young, rock star engineer at MIT. Jie is so humble and inspirational. Go Beavers! I love that anyone at any age can create amazing projects with just some stickers, tape and a bit of electricity!

I’ve demoed the product in various venues and the “aha” moment when someone places the battery on the tape and sees their creation light up is PRICELESS. I’ve heard so many people say “I’m not typically a science person, but this project makes me feel like Einstein!”

Learning about circuits and circuitry when I was growing up was never exciting. I remember sticking resistor wires into random holes and hoping the circuit would work. With Chibitroncs, the focus is on creativity and you don’t even realize you’re learning about circuits in the background. It’s so fun!

You can find Christina on social media here:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/c/BubblegumPaper
Blog: www.bubblegumpaper.com
Instagram: @bubblegumpaper

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