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Conversations with Hong Anh Sievert

Today we’d like to introduce you to Hong Anh Sievert.

Hi Hong, so excited to have you on the platform. So before we get into questions about your work-life, maybe you can bring our readers up to speed on your story and how you got to where you are today?
I was born and grew up in Hanoi, Vietnam. In my 4th year of college, I worked as an Administrator for an American engineering firm. Before I transitioned to a position with the premier US IT company in Hanoi, I fell in love with a coworker and engineer. He was scheduled to set up an office for just a few months, but the company sent him back to Vietnam again and we had a chance to date and marry.

In December of 1997, we moved back to Kansas and started a family. We will be celebrating our 25th wedding anniversary in a few months! With the language barrier, it was challenging for me to find a comparable job in Administration. My supportive husband suggested I go back to school to pursue a career which I would love. So, I went to Johnson County Community College to get an Interior Design degree.

In Vietnam, I often spent my free time and weekends decorating for family and friends. By tradition, after Vietnamese wedding receptions, family and friends pay a visit to the new couple’s home. At that time, the practice was to lavishly decorate the newlywed’s bedroom with floral arrangements and balloons before the guests arrived. My friends regularly asked me to create these designs, and I found so much joy in making their dreams come true.

JCCC’s respected program allowed me to further develop and explore these gifts.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
While getting my degree, I was raising two young boys, working part-time at a restaurant, and working part-time at a major retailer. I couldn’t have done it without my husband’s support.

My husband & I often met after work in front of a grocery store close to the college so we could switch the kids. Then, when I graduated, it was right at the time of the economic recession. My professor warned us that almost no one was looking for designers at the time. I still feel fortunate I found a job with a major retailer and did kitchen design for over eleven years.

The juggling of jobs and home and school was ultimately so rewarding. I’m so grateful I had the joy of spending time with my two boys while pursuing my dream of becoming an interior designer.

When my oldest son was about to graduate high school, I opened my own design firm, Blossom Spaces, as an independent interior designer. I was honored to become an authorized cabinet dealer for two of the leading national cabinet companies. This month, I am celebrating the 6 year anniversary of Blossom Spaces.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your work?
I’ve always felt like Kansas is my second home. From day one, everyone has been so nice to me! I have made many friends among my coworkers, teachers, and now, my clients. Anywhere I’ve gone, I’ve felt so welcomed. Kansas has been such a great place to raise our family and now, build a business.

I love creating spaces for my clients that put a smile on their faces. Each design is very personal. The function must come first, and then I use all available tools to fashion a look that is both updated and timeless. Your home, workspace, or business can truly be a welcoming sanctuary.

Can you talk to us about how you think about risk?
I don’t know if I would describe myself as a risk-taking person, but I know I do follow my heart. My husband and I had to overcome lots of challenges for us to be together. When we moved to the United States in December of 1997, I missed my friends and family dearly. I was in a new place with a new language, adjusting to new weather events called “blizzards,” and had no driver’s license and no job.

I am very fortunate all those challenges were made easier for me since I had such great support from my husband. He is a true man of honor and I haven’t met anyone who is as hardworking and caring!

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Amber Dawkins Photography and Matt Kocourek Photography

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