We had the good fortune of connecting with Trang Mai and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Trang, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
The end goal for me is freedom—the freedom to maximize the time I am able to spend with my family and loved ones. In terms of my career, success means finding a path that allows me this freedom. As much as I would love to have all the designer bags or hike all the national parks or vacation across the beaches of Europe, ultimately that is not the goal. If I have reached a point where I can share a Sunday afternoon simply laying around on a couch with those I love, that is success—to create a life where I am free to share moments with those I call home.

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 father was a photographer and my mother is a seamstress and business owner, so you can imagine where I strive to be creatively. I was guided by my father’s need to capture beauty in life and my mother’s attention to detail. Since I was young, I was taught designs and silhouettes of the body, and things like the quality of different stitches and fabrics were ingrained in me. My love for fashion and photography will only continue to grow—there are bigger, dreamier plans in the works and I cannot wait to share.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
First things first—boba, and if you’ve never heard of it, it’s time! Boba (or milk tea) at Muse Tea, a locally-owned artisan tea shop, then hopping next door to Flip’n Patties, another locally-owned business with the friendliest staff and delicious filipino food. For weekends, one of my favorite brunch options would be Caracol for their amazing brunch buffet. As far as activities, Houston has so much to offer: MFAH and their recently opened Nancy and Rich Kinder building for a taste of modern and contemporary art, Bayou Bend and Gardens, Highland Village or the River Oaks District for shopping or a stroll on a nice day, Black Swan Yoga for a warm yoga session, and Rooftop Cinema Club for a movie. We would definitely make a stop at Hermann Park for a lakeside picnic with some bites from Ginger Kale. I would always be down for a casual sushi dinner at Aka or we can play it a little upscale at MF sushi. For nightlife (pre-covid) we would head downtown or to Washington for some casual drinks, and for more planned nights, The Hobby Center for a play or musical or, depending on the season, the Toyota Center or NRG Stadium to catch a game. Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
My shoutout today is to my dearest sister. She has always been a support to me through the ups and my God, the downs, and I cannot imagine life would be as sweet as it is without her. God really did send me a guardian angel in the form of a sister, and I cannot be more grateful.

Instagram: instagram.com/trangoffduty

Other: email: hello@trangoffduty.com

Image Credits
Thu Mai. Photo locations: Vibrant, Heights Mercantile, The Post Oak Hotel, Upper Kirby

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