We had the good fortune of connecting with Jovi Champ and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jovi, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
Authenticity! As a digital content creator, branding yourself is no easy feat. Otherwise, anyone and everyone could become a successful content creator/influencer. I’ve learned that I struggled the most with my brand because I was trying to become something that I’m not, such as jumping on the latest trends just to gain a newer, wider audience. However, I’ve discovered that by creating content around solely things that I’m passionate about and also inspire me has helped me grow the most – not by just the number of followers, but also with real engagement. I believe having a smaller audience that engages with my content is far better than a bigger audience that has little to no interest in me. Wouldn’t you agree?
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
My roots are from Northwest Arkansas, but I moved to Houston about 5 years ago to pursue a new career opportunity. As a way to learn more about Houston’s offerings, I became a foodie under the alias @houstonfoodee where I got invited to many restaurant tastings around Greater Houston. However, I had retired from this when the pandemic hit. Afterwards, I launched my Etsy shop, Korea Bae Shop, to sell Kpop merch that I designed myself and then eventually launched my brand on TikTok to create fun, relatable content about Kpop to help promote my shop.
Today, as an Asian American content creator, I produce content around Kpop music/events, K-style fashion, and Korean/BL dramas. I aspire to contribute more awareness and education on Asian pop culture, and I share most of my content through TikTok and Instagram.
What excites me most about my work is being able to build fun new connections with my followers over Kpop and getting to work on some cool partnerships. However, it wasn’t as easy to get to where I am now. There have been quite a few challenges I had to overcome such as personal insecurities, creative burnouts, having to reset my brand and start anew, etc. I also ask myself daily, how can I improve my craft and what do I want to put most of my time and energy towards.
A couple of the most recent valuable lessons that I’ve learned along the way is to not be ashamed of my past failures by viewing them as stepping stones and to not compare my success to someone else’s by appreciating how I’ve become a better person today than I was yesterday.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
Eat – The Rustic in Downtown: If you’re looking for a fun place to dine in, the atmosphere here is unbeatable! This is a cool restaurant that gives you Texas vibes with seating in a covered open-air barn style and they occasionally have live music. The food and drinks here are also great, you really can’t go wrong with anything on their menu. I highly recommend the Cedar Plank Salmon!
Drink – Buffalo Bayou Brewery Co:
This brewery honestly has one of the best views of the Houston skyline. Make your way up to the third floor, and have the “Dreamsicle” blond ale as a refreshing treat to beat the Texas heat. Pair it with the “Masala Fried Cauliflower” as an appetizer and then “The River Oaks’ pizza (+ prosciutto) as the main entree. This is the “Jovi Champ” experience at Buffalo Bayou Brewery Co!
Visit – POST Houston:
Located in Downtown Houston, this place is a hub for culture, food, events and much more! I love the concept of renovating an old building and then transforming it into living art. The architecture here is stunning and there’s a city skyline view at the rooftop lawn with family/group games to play. There’s also a food court with a good variety of vendors to choose from with plenty of eating spaces all around.
Hangout – Asiatown:
I could spend an entire week here and hit up a different boba shop each day. It’s safe to say there’s no shortage of amazingly good, authentic spots to eat in Asiatown. Typically when I’m in the area, I’d hit up the Hmart Korean grocery store which has a Kpop store inside, stop by 7 Leaves for a taro milk tea, grab some pastries from 85C Bakery, and then either have dim sum, Korean BBQ, or hotpot somewhere.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My followers on TikTok have been a strong source of my motivation and I owe them a lot of credit for my success. They hold me accountable to create more relatable and authentic content that I hope contributes to the Kpop, Kdrama & BL community. I’ve made some great friends through TikTok, who’ve invited me to some fun cool opportunities. Also, my family and friends who support me ‘on the daily’ with positive words of affirmations encourages me to share more of myself – despite how cringey I might be!