We had the good fortune of connecting with Nicholas Phat Nguyen and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Nicholas Phat, can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
I moved to Houston when I was 15 as international student. When I was in my last year of college, I decided to stay in US and start my new life. There was a lots going on during that time actually. My family wanted me to go back to Vietnam and help with family business and I, I wanted to stayed. I was in a relationship then, so that influenced my decision quite bit. So I wasnt so sure of what am I going to do, whether with my job or where to stay. Then my relationship tore apart, it was a really bad break up and somehow through my darkest time, I found the light. I applied for Austin Fashion Week, and within one week, I created a 12 pieces collection on my own without knowing how to sew or to construct a garment. And to be honest, at that time all I wanted was to keep myself busy so I can stop thinking about the pain. After the show, I guess my grandma (who I look up to my whole life) saw something that she might never seen before – that I am truly happy and passion with what I do. she told me, go back to Vietnam, she will help me set up my studio. I was then so sure that I want to stay in Houston, and once or twice a year I’ll be in vietnam for new collection. That way I have what I want, and my family won’t be missing me too much. AND that is how Mysterious started.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I have never gone to school for Fashion, I graduated in international business. I never consider myself as an artist, or designer; I am just simply put my emotions/feelings on fabrics and for me that is what set me apart. I tend to take lots of risks and will always doing it for myself. I dont enjoy design things or making things just to get a positive feedbacks or to please to get new clients; I do it for myself. Each of my collection are very closed to my heart because it reflects my feelings at that time. I am very emotional and sentimental, Feelings means more to me than materials. That is my blessings but also my struggles. I have tried to overcome it, and I have failed so many time, so I decided to just stay true to who I am. Who am I if I’m just like everyone else?
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.
This I know so well. I love to enjoy life to the max, life to short to just live to work. I always love to have a nice dinner so i will start from there with some of my most favorite spots. 1. Kata Robata. This place make Houston Proud. I have been here so many times since the beginning, I lost counts. The foods are so consistent, and everyone that I have ever taken them to, they fall in love with it. 2. Toulouse Cafe. perfect place for brunch, lunch and dinner. and there outdoor seating make you forget you live in Houston. 3. Traveler’s Table. It’s rather a new spot, though I love their food and concept. Owners are basically traveled the world and bring back and recreate what they love. very welcome and loving atmosphere. If you visit Houston, you have to visit The Museum of Fine Arts. and definitely need to check out some of the pop up art factory. I also love Picnic at the Buffolo Bayou Park. Especially during covid, picnic has become a bigger things, I love to enjoy the houston skyline during sunset with a beautiful charcuterie board, some nice wine (shhh…) and great friends/company. and for the LGBT and LGBT allies, the gays bars/restaurants in Montrose are always fun!! JR’s, Rebar, etc. do check it out!! Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My Grandma, my Ex, my Friends, my Assistants, and my team.
Obsidian+Blush Photogarphy Candice Ghai Photography