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Meet Fashion Photographer, Designer, and Vintage Shop Owner: Bonnie Jun

Today we’d like to introduce you to Bonnie Jun.

 Bonnie, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been interested in the creative world. Growing up, I was obsessed with fashion magazines and the artistic expression clothing can convey. My mother was my soul and inspiration. She was a creative whirlwind of artistic explosion; she played violin, piano, painted, made clothing, & reupholstered couches. She is the reason why I have what I’d like to call creative- add.

I started my career in the fashion industry working for various clothing brands from wholesale, designing, managing E-commerce brands to styling fashion print editorials, music videos, and intended features. My most memorable experience was designing a dress that was used in a music video called Headlights for Sean Lennon. Seven years of fashion related jobs, I was tired of working for pennies enslaved by eccentric fashion business owners, so to speak. In 2009 I started my own online vintage clothing store, Bear Cat LA (bear cat vintage) along with sister brand called ingenue collection (now, Nightmare Daydream). By 2010, with help and enthusiasm from a business partner, Stephanie Kor, I expanded the brands by openening two locations, one in Long Beach and the other in Echo Park, Los Angeles. Owning two small businesses encouraged me to soak my hands in every part of the business. From buying, branding, designing, photo editing, to even shooting all the product shots and look book photos. Even though I’ve always had an interest in photography ,with some experience in 35 mm, the demand of running my own business ventures catapulted me into the realm of photography. I was hooked! From that point on I discovered my personal style, which I convey in my photographs today. My inspiration comes from mixing nostalgic undertones of the 60s/70s with a modern twist. Mixing eras of 20-40’s hairstyles and makeup with 60s/70s inspired clothing lines. I’m excited to see where photography will take me in the future. At the moment I feel content shooting for myself. It gives me the opportunity to be creative and have fun while building my brands.

Has it been a smooth road?
I’m not sure if anything is ever as easy as a  smooth, paved road. A rocky road is what makes life challenging, exciting and rewarding, it also makes the perfect hot fudge sundae. All the bumps and cracks are the kinds of obstacles that inspires creativity. There will always be challenges and I prefer it over a smooth road any day! So here’s to more rocky-road sundaes!

What has been the proudest moment of your career so far?
The proudest moment of my career so far, has been meeting friends and fans of the brands I’ve created. I think the most rewarding thing is to be recognized for all your hard work. In a time where everything is so much more fast paced, competitive, and fleeting.

Tell us more about the struggles you’ve faced along the way.
Of course there’s always moments of struggle. Sometimes I bite off too much than I can momentarily handle. But if you keep a positive mind, it always works out in the end. I’m a true believer in law of attraction. Money, What is money? Struggles what are struggles? I work hard and I’m passionate and that’s the most important thing!

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
Los Angeles is a great place for artists and ambitious, young entrepreneurs. The city is filled with artists,designers,photographers, and musicians. People are friendly and willing to really help each other. Networking is the most important thing. My advice is to get involved and meet other creators and entrepreneurs. I’m currently in between cities. We’re planning on moving the business to Austin, Texas. A year from now, my plan is to spend some time in Europe, particularly Amsterdam, Holland. I want to spend some time traveling in hopes of collaborating as well as potentially working on new projects. We will see! The world is your oyster! I don’t want to limit myself. I want to keep moving and feeling hopeful and genuinely inspired.

Contact Info:

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Image Credit:
photos by Bonnie Jun
Makeup and hair by Jalanis
Stylist Ashley Pamela Miller

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