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Rising Stars: Meet Matt Vargas

Today we’d like to introduce you to Matt Vargas.

Hi Matt, can you start by introducing yourself? We’d love to learn more about how you got to where you are today?
Growing up, my passion has always been in the arts – from Picasso to Andy Warhol and street art to live performing arts. As a first-generation Hispanic, my mother‘s role was all-encompassing and had to work non-stop to support us. With the very little time she had she would still go out of her way to take my brothers and I to museums, parks, and I think most importantly, the streets of Nuestra Señora Reina de Los Angeles aka L.A. My mom would always tell me, “Love what you do and you won’t have to work a day in your life”. I always wanted to be a beach bum, but I could never surf a day in my life so my next option was becoming an artist. I love to draw, I was always that one kid that would draw something on the homework assignment or test sheets at school. Or I would draw and place my mark on a desk. At one point during my teen years, I actually started messing with my clothes. My mom would always buy me something embarrassing at JcPenny’s that wasn’t “cool”. I remember having to buy fabric markers and either hand lettering or drawing a praiseworthy graphic on it. After that everybody was asking me to draw something on their t-shirts. In fact, I made a little income out of that. So that was nice. When it came down to graduation, my teacher and consolers never thought I could amount to anything, especially in Art.

During the 12 years that I’ve worked as a Graphic Designer, I worked with one of the largest commercial real estate companies in Orange County for five years where I got an opportunity to leave my mark by branding their properties for many of their buildings all over South Orange County. Meanwhile, I would also hand-letter whenever I had any time to spare. In 2020, when COVID-19 hit and I had to work from home, things got tough. Even though I was working from home, it felt like I was working my corporate gig 24/7. That’s when I decided to quit my job and start Funday Collective.

Funday Collective was an idea before the pandemic even began. Funday Co. was supposed to be a collaboration of artists coming together and making fun goods, but today it’s a family-owned business with my partner Katty and I. With my artistic background and her craft skills, we combine our passions and create quality goods that are admired by many. We love hearing all the fun our goods bring to our customers.

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
I wouldn’t consider starting Funday Collective a struggle, but it hasn’t been a smooth ride. Owning my own business was always a goal, but I never knew when or how I would start it. When COVID-19 hit and Katty had to let go of her job and then when things went chaotic with my job that’s when we knew something needed to happen. COVID-19 actually gave me the opportunity to explore the proficiency of hand lettering and type while also learning new capabilities like screen printing. Now two years later, 2022, we are leisurely building our IG community, working with Facebook Ads and exploring different techniques.

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
Multi-talented and creative Graphic Designer with both in-house and freelance experience in digital and print design. Collaborative and interpersonal skills; Highly skilled in client and vendor relations and negotiations; ability to collaborate with artistic, project, production and administrative leadership to complete design projects according to client specifications.

Alright, so to wrap up, is there anything else you’d like to share with us?
We’re a small family-owned business, husband and wife. We both come from immigrant families. Our son, now 11, also helps out here and there. He gives us ideas and even word phrases on some new projects that we are working on. One day we hope he will take over Funday Collective and continue our legacy.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
All photos taken by Funday Collective except for the 2 chalk images. Those photos where a courtesy of City of Hope Orange County

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