The world of business is a massive one, the kind that can be dizzying for even the most prepared of individuals, but imagine being someone from humble beginnings and finding a place in this mass hierarchy and one day deciding that it wasn’t you wanted anymore. Countless individuals every single day find themselves hitting rock bottom with business, never really able to climb the corporate ladder, so what would possess someone to leave it when they’ve made it to the top? The answer comes in the form of the incredible story of Thao Lam, founder of Dirty Pop Cards. She’s a first-generation Vietnamese woman who found an opportunity in America thanks to her parents immigrating. She worked hard and took advantage of all the opportunities she was given and made her way into the corporate world.
That success was what kept her going for much of her life until July 2020, where she took a leap of faith and decided to leave that corporate life in favor of something she was passionate about, and thus Dirty Pop Cards was born. In a recent interview with Thao on Transform U! Media Network, she discussed what it was that inspired her to want to make this drastic change.
“…and honestly I was just really afraid to put my name behind such a bold brand, but you know the tipping point was with all the chaos that is going on around the world right now with COVID and social injustice, y’ know everyone is going through some really tough times, 2020 was the year of unexpected, and it was shocking & devastating. All of this was really just hard to see, plus being sent home for quarantine, and in that, I found that I wasn’t the only one looking for a distraction.”
Inevitably, COVID-19 put a great deal of distress into the entire world, something that was quickly recognized, but not many people did much about it. Lam discusses how she’d spend hours on her phone, just looking for ways to pass the time amid the pandemic where she was forced into quarantine, much like the rest of the world. In this search, she discovered a whole world of people doing the same thing as she was. They were all looking for a distraction from the chaos going on. Lam talks about how Cardi B’s video about Coronvirus going viral and getting a remix was what ultimately sparked her will to take the leap of faith, describing the entire situation as almost like for a moment the pandemic wasn’t going on.
Though Dirty Pop Cards has provided the world with a much needed comical distraction, Lam even admits that her decision wasn’t quite as clear initially. She states that originally, she was afraid to leave the comfort of her stable career as well as the fact that she was unsure of whether she wanted to put her name on such a bold and forward brand; however, ultimately, she realized that the boldness of the brand was precisely what the world needs.
“I think it was more just an internal problem that I had, I lacked the confidence, and I feared judgement…but since I’ve grown beyond that and I’m so open now, all of my fears have kinda become nothing to be afraid of. Everyone’s been showing so much support and been so encouraging, and everyone’s been so willing to help me and share designs, and share input on how they think I can improve as a person and even improve the brand overall.”
Lam’s decision to take the leap of faith to make the world laugh has shown to be more than just a success story for her company. It’s built up her confidence and given her a newfound pride in what she does that speaks volumes about following passions in today’s world. Lam serves as a reminder of the power of following a gut instinct and as a symbol for the defiance of other people’s opinions. Having confidence in oneself to the point of being able to face fears to see that they served only to be hindrances is a show of the value of confidence.
Thao Lam truly is an inspiration, and her aspiration to bring the world a much-needed laugh in the face of adversity shows through both how she presents herself and how her brand presents itself. Dirty Pop Cards are a whirlwind of laughs that can bring a smile to anyone’s face, now more so than ever in the face of trying times. “Just like Dirty Pop Cards when it comes to what I might do next, you can expect the unexpected,” she says.