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Meet Karen Wong of Acacia Contract & Seating in El Monte

Today we’d like to introduce you to Karen Wong.

Karen, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
As a young girl and daughter of immigrant parents, I sought out to fulfill every Asian parent’s dream: go to college and become a doctor or a lawyer. I found dentistry to be the easiest in terms of years of study. (I never said school was my thing) but after working as a dental office assistant for a week and some classes at PCC, I quickly decided that it wasn’t the career for me.

Instead, being the tech nerd that I was, I majored in telecom management. After earning a 4-year BS degree 2003 it was just that to me. A load of BS that I would not be able to get any decent paying job anywhere with.

I needed to pay the bills still so got a job in originating mortgage loans during the peak of the real estate market boom until its plummet in 2007. Upon summer of 2006 I knew my career was ending in the real estate market and my dad needed help with his furniture manufacturing business that he was running on his own for 15 years.

So, with my savvy tech skills, sales experience, and super organizational talents I helped modernize his business with a website, marketing materials, procuring projects, and reorganizing the whole operations.

At the same time that wasn’t enough work for me, I had to have an avenue to create because during that time is where I realized I really enjoyed the creative process in business. So, I decided to join the E commerce band wagon and open a furniture online store. At that time, there were not that much online presence for home furniture retailers. It was extremely challenging to find sources that were experienced in drop shipping furniture for online sales. Damage was the biggest hurdle. After struggling for 4 years, I finally sold the business and walked away feeling accomplished.

The entire time I was running my online business from home, I was working as a sales person/operations manager for my dad. After 6 years of working for him, I felt comfortable enough to open my own company. Married the love of my life and got pregnant with our first child.

I knew I had to make something happen so that I would be able to provide for my family and be flexible enough to spend time with them when they needed me.

That’s when my brain child Acacia Seating was started. What has started as a chair import company has morphed itself into a custom furniture manufacturing company over the course of 5 years. I can say now I am truly in my element. Being able to design and create for hundreds of restaurants and retailers every year. I’m living the dream.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
So many struggles along the way and that’s okay because I’m all about the journey. It’s what makes me who I am. The import venture side of the company was a bust, was involved in a 5-year long lawsuit but ended up victorious, built a new house but wasn’t able to finish it for 4 years now, and in the midst, have had to take care of my schizophrenic mother who ended up in and out of psych ward during the time I gave birth to my second child.

Please tell us about Acacia Contract & Seating.
Acacia Contract & Seating is where you will find the perfect solution to your mill working and hospitality furniture needs. We fabricate all custom pieces in house with our wood and upholstery shop. We have insanely quick lead times, competitive pricing and impeccable quality.

If you had to go back in time and start over, would you have done anything differently?
Wouldn’t have started the company so big. Started small and worked my way up. I was afraid of manufacturing for no reason. Now our overhead is so much lower with less stress!

Contact Info:

  • Address: 9742 Klingerman St.,
    South El Monte, CA 91733
  • Website:
  • Phone: 6264528891
  • Email: karen@acaciaseating.con

Getting in touch: VoyageLA is built on recommendations from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you know someone who deserves recognition please let us know here.

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