angry reader of the week: julia rhee

Hey! It's time to meet another Angry Reader of the Week, spotlighting you, the very special readers of this website. Over the years, I've been able to connect with a lot of cool folks, and this is a way of showing some appreciation and attention to the people who help make this blog what it is. This week's Angry Reader is Julia H. Rhee, self-proclaimed hustler, baby.

Who are you?
Julia HyunJu Rhee. Maybe once upon a time, you got an email forward from me.

What are you?
I'm a hustler, baby. Proud immigrant daughter. High-femme. Sassy Korean. Vintage lover. Compost enthusiast. Woman of color entrepreneur. Social justice die-hard!

Where are you?
In a cramped (but undeniably cozy) urban dwelling in the Lower Haight of San Francisco, CA.

Where are you from?

Busan, South Korea gave me roots.
(and my sassy mama)

Tacoma, WA gave me drive.
(to get the hell out and later revisit as a lover of the Pacific Northwest)

New York, NY gave me confidence.
(learned how to dress myself)

Florence, Italy gave me perspective.
(discovered the world)

Oakland, CA gave me experience.
(in more ways than one)

San Francisco, CA gives me wings.
(to go the distance)

But, what I generally say is that I was born and raised in Tacoma, WA. And that I used to live in Brooklyn. But I secretly like Queens better.

What do you do?
My current hustle is Retrofit Republic, a sustainable vintage retailer and styling company with a social impact. I co-founded it with one of my best friends, Jenny Ton, and we birthed this bad boy from a yard sale gone right. The name of the game is to lead a socially responsible local business that reflects our values, lifestyle, creativity, vintage aesthetic, and supports our community. All our models are people of color, generally folks who serve in the community, and we return a portion of the profits back to organizations that support underserved communities and sustainability initiatives.

When I'm not emailing, facebooking, and twitter-ing away for the business, I try to build with the Bay Area progressive community. That's the great thing about the Bay. You don't have to choose between your interests and values. They often go hand-in-hand.

I serve my community primarily through NAPAWF Bay Area (local chapter of the National Asian Pacific American Women's Forum, the nation's only multi-issue APA women's organization in the country). Join our listserv. Then you can see email forwards from me all the time.

And sorry but I gotta do it. Inserting shameless plug for you to like Retrofit Republic on Facebook. Trust me, it'll be the best choice you make all day.

What are you all about?
Supporting people to look good and do good in the world.

Being a cheerleader for organizations and causes I'm passionate about. Encouraging others to think and act in ways that is more thoughtful on what we do with our environment, our communities, our bodies, and how we show up in the world. Oh, and I am all about saving food. Bring tupperware with you everywhere! Channel that inner immigrant!

A humble sampling of incredible organizations that support our communities:


What makes you angry?
Oh man. What doesn't make me angry?! Beyond your typical oppression menu of racism, classism, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, patriarchy, it's generally things women of color confront daily. From the sneak attack at the club to the attacks on reproductive health and access to never ending misogyny in our media, legislation, and everywhere in between, it's truly a wonder how women not only survive, but thrive. Women are amazing. I love them!

Also, public toilet dispensers that only give you like one sheet at a time are pretty upsetting. That's right up there with SFMTA- the most feared acronym to a vehicle owner in San Francisco. Damn you, parking tickets!

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