Tina Maria Tran, ESC Agency Co-Founder + Creative
Tina and I met at a blogger's happy hour hosted by my day-job. Little did I know at the time, she is more than a girl behind a computer. I was instantly attracted to her lively spirit and eager to get to know her on a whole new level. Our friendship deepened over a Chrissy Teigen's Craving Cooking Date. Yeah, that happened.
Tina Co-founded a creative company, ESC Agency and has been a huge success. We wanted to do a Feature Spotlight on her because we know it isn't easy juggling a full-time job with a successful start up side-hustle - #GIRLBOSS
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
In God honest truth, I wanted to be an astronaut. I've always been fascinated by science, space, and how the World moves, how the World depended on the moon to sustain life, how the stars can scientifically collide and create another planet in this massive black void while you're asleep. My curiosity with space made me realized at a young age that we are so tiny and quite frankly, we ain't shit on this planet Earth. My first dream job really set my perspective that I should not take life too seriously.
Where did you grow up? Did your surroundings influencer your path in life?
I grew up in New Jersey. I've moved quite a few times at such a transitional age (8-16 years old). I describe myself as a fox in a sense that I can adapt to my surroundings very easily. I wanted to fit in so desperately as the new girl and sometime take on a different persona to make friends. I was goth in one town, preppy in the next, tomboy in the other, etc. It was fun and I experienced different personalities. Obviously the older I got, the more I am grounded and found myself. With that, I learned how to communicate with people, relate to them On different wave lengths, have an open mind, be able to walk away from toxic personalities and find those who have the same values as me and call them friends. I think this has me a People's Person and made it so easy for me to work with so many creative minds.
You founded ESC Agency. When did you realized you wanted to start your own creative business?
My partner and I were roommates at the time when ESC was a fetus of an idea. I am pretty sure it may have been a drunken conversation. We always wanted to do our own thing. We want to work on our own and asked ourselves, "Why the hell not work for ourselves?" We both have creative backgrounds working in the fashion and Digital world. We had already put an impressive amount of years within our own industry. We have great connections individually. She has skills and experiences that I don't have, and I have something she doesn't have. We realized if we combined our heads, skill sets and our network, we could run the creative and digital world. Thus, we gave birth to The ESC Agency in a Macy's Starbucks and have been killing it since.
You are also a published writer. Is this a separate passion or do you aim to tie the two together?
At first, I wanted to be a fashion blogger, just like every girl in the world. But I slowly realized that I am more than my outfits. I have stories to tell. I am a real person. I go through the same struggles as the next girl. I like to relate to people. I hoped my rants, obstacles, successes, challenges will help my readers. And of course, I like to take pretty pictures of my outfits too. My platform at JeanRex.com became my online dairy. It is my way of therapy and helps me get things off my chest. I have people admit that I do help them with each post I write. And that is the best feeling in the world. Jean Rex will be my own little baby.
What do you think is the biggest struggle women go through their careers and life?
Finding friendly women. Period. For some reason, there seems to be so much pressure to prove you're the best and to make sure people KNOW you're the best. I find some women are not nice in general. It has to do their ego or they feel intimated by you. What's worst is that they sometime form cliques and travel in packs. It is truly like high school in the working world. Some women can smile to your face, but it is not genuine. Some women wants you to do good, but not better than them. And thats truly unfortunate.
What was the best advice you have ever given to a client and the best advice you have ever received?
Nobody knows what they're doing here. We are all trying to figure our shit out - whatever age or stage you are in life. You can find your passion when you're 13 or 50. You can have a change of heart and decide to make a career change. You probably will or have one point said to yourself, "What am I doing with my life?" It's normal. It's fine. You go by your own timeline. Do not live by some weird standard where you need to be successful by a certain age. Own a house by a certain age. Life is not a deadline and you will figure it out. Just relax and enjoy the damn ride while you're alive.
Would you like to leave us off with a fun fact about yourself?
I am lactose intolerant, but I can kill a whole cheese board by myself with no regrets. Because cheese.
Interviewed by Chary + Em