We had the good fortune of connecting with Kathy V. Tran and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kathy V., maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
It is said that hard beginnings make good endings. In my case, that is true. My family fell on hard time a few years ago. Amidst all the financial challenges, we still had our health and our family is still intact. I was working for an educational non-profit and was asked to write a series of books about the uniqueness of children. I was inspired by my youngest son, Kai, whom I noticed was using his electronic tablet too much. The book was a children’s picture book titled “Kai Can Do!” The story is about a Panducorn, a half-panda, half-unicorn, who learned to balance technology and create good healthy habits. I wanted to create a world that celebrates Kai Panducorn’s characteristics and instill the message that he is magical, adaptable, capable, loving, unique, valuable, connected, compassionate, and creative. I believe that these “magical” characteristics are the core of all children and somewhere along the way, we’ve forgotten that and, in doing so, have push our children to do the same. Currently, I have six books available on Amazon. My co-author is a dear friend, Havy Pham, and my illustrator is Aiki Tran. Since I grew up with Care Bears, Rainbow Brite, and Lisa Frank, the illustrations are bright, colorful, and whimsical. 

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I wish everything went smoothly, but anything in life worth living for takes a lot of work and present challenges and struggles. I’m a visual person, so I have a giant calendar with monthly goals. On the calendar, I list small short-term goals, I keep going, keep moving, and keep learning. I’ve always had a passion for the arts and writing, so I decided to put it into action when I was going through a transition in life. I went outside my comfort zone and learned the step-by-step process of self-publishing a children’s book. Within four months, totally through trial and error, I self- published my first book in 2019. I currently have 6 books and aim to have 20 within the Panducorn series. I love things bright and colorful, so it show in the illustration of each of my books, coloring books, and toy products. I got the idea of a panducorn for the love of pandas, unicorns, and rainbows.

If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Houston is a diverse city of dreamers, innovators, and artists. We see the magnitude of compassion of the people of Houston after Hurricane Harvey and Katrina. I’m proud to call Houston my home. As visitors, you can find great food all along Chinatown. There are so many restaurants that line the streets. Some of my favorite places to eat are Uptown Sushi, Nu Cafe for boba tea, and Handam BBQ. If the weather is nice, going to Discovery Green and the Houston Zoo with family. 

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I couldn’t do anything without God blessing me with the right people around me. I have been showered with blessings, like the support of my husband, Aiki, who oversees the production of the products and illustration of the books. My children are also my inspiration and my helpers. Another shout out goes to my sorority sister, business partner, and co-author, Havy, who gave me the push I needed to keep moving forward. She encouraged me not to give up even when I felt tired and wanted to quit. There are countless friends and family members who have been life givers and supporters on my entrepreneurial journey. I greatly appreciate each and everyone that God has placed in my life to make this dream possible.

Website: www.panducorn.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kaipanducorn/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/panducorn
Other: https://www.pinterest.com/panducorn

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