Meet the Hmong Woman Now: Maiyia Vue

“when something ends in devastation, it is the beginning of something worth living for.”

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My Name is Maiyia Vue and I am 30 years old. I was born in Thailand and grew up in Fresno, CA. I am married to a wonderful man and we are going on our 4th baby together. I am the owner of MV Artistry Permanent Makeup in Fresno, CA and I am also a singer/musician/songwriter. One of my long term  goals is to help preserve the Hmong Language  through music. My children are my biggest  inspiration in life. There was a long period of time that I gave up doing music because I was so caught up in life, but after falling in love with motherhood and seeing how precious my children were, I was inspired to follow my dreams again to show them that they can do anything in life. I told my husband, “How can I look at my children in their faces and tell them to follow their dreams when I did not do so myself?” Today they are my biggest support group and now I am living to pursue what I was born to do.

Like many people, I worked an 8-5 job and gave up following my dreams. Even after pursuing my bachelors in business and working a stable job I was so unhappy in life. Life was getting harder trying to balance time, family, and work all the while being so unmotivated and drained. I eventually lost my job due to my lack of enthusiasm and motivation. I was devastated because all I’ve done was invest my time in others and now with no job, I had nothing for myself. I knew I did not want to find another unfulfilling dead end career. Even in the lowest of my time, I knew this was my turning point. I knew it was up to me to turn this all around. This is the time to go back and use the skills I love and know. I eventually found the will power to pursue permanent makeup and opened up my own business with the support of my husband. It brought me so much happiness to have an empire of my own and with that drive; I was able to pursue my music again. Once again, I was like the young me, filled with motivation and inspiration to go after what I love. I learned in this experience that when something ends in devastation, it is the beginning of something worth living for.

The most challenging part about where I am in my life right now is time management. With small young children, managing a business, and trying to pursue life goals; it is extremely challenging. It is so helpful to surround yourself with women who have been where you are. I love connecting with groups like this one, and like Hmong Women Today because they are so inspiring and are filled with like-minded thinkers. You have to surround yourself with the right people and filter out those who will pull you down. Also, if you are in a relationship, whether married or dating, it is so important to have a significant other that also believes in your dreams. Remember, be with the right people.

Being a Hmong women means being strong beyond the strength we think we possess. Many women ask me how I do it and the honest truth is, I do not know but I just do it and my ability just comes! I am so proud to be a Hmong Woman, a mother, an artist and a musician. Choose the right people to stand by you in all you do and most importantly, be humble, kind and always willing to help others.

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“Choose the right people to stand by you in all you do and most importantly, be humble, kind and always willing to help others.”

Meet the Hmong Woman Now: Emily Vue

“…what is the worse that could happen, if it doesn’t work out then I’ll be right where I am, but if it does work out I could embark on a whole new journey I could not even imagine.”

Emily Vue

Hello, My name is Emily Vue. Currently 20 years old, majoring in both International Business and International Studies at Pittsburg State University.  I was born in California and moved to Arkansas when I was about nine years old. I’m pretty much a country girl, I grew up on a farm. I love the outdoors and I don’t mind a country song here and there. My high school was not very diverse. There were a total of three Hmong people in my graduating class, including myself. One of my hobbies is modeling. I have been modeling since I was 15 years old. Another one of my hobbies is Hmong dancing. I have been Hmong dancing since I was 7 years old. My long term goal is to end sex-trafficking.

As any Hmong girl would know, growing up you are told how limited you are. You can’t do this and that because, you’re a girl. That pretty much motivated me to do more and accomplish more and to prove that even though I am a girl, I can do anything I put my mind to. That my gender does not define me in anyway.

During my college career, I have been able to work on projects that have allowed me to change my view on the world and appreciate life in a different aspect. It helped me learn about myself and what I can be capable of. I’m part of an organization at my school called Pitt State Enactus. There are different projects within the organization; you are allowed to pick which project you are most interested in.

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Cambodia, March 2016

My freshmen year of 2016, I picked the Cambodian Project. The Cambodian Project consist of assisting Krista Thomason and helping her expand her business, Hepz Apparel. Hepz gives a sustainable income to 7 Cambodian women, who are currently living on Women’s Island. The modern day location of the killing fields during the Khmer Rouge Genocide and a current hot spot for trafficking. All 7 women have been trafficked and saved. After working on this project for about 7 months, I was given the opportunity to travel with Krista and two other students to Cambodia to meet these 7 women. Changing my life forever.  A second project I had the opportunity to be a part of occurred in April of this year. I traveled to Haiti to research a potential project. This project will consist of us creating hydroponic system to allow the orphanage to grow their own food.

Remarkably, another event took place this year.  In march, I was elected governor of the Kansas District for Circle K International. This position entails me being in charge of all of the Circle K International Clubs in all Kansas University Campuses.

Emily 13A significant challenge throughout my career was myself comparing and trying to compete with other people. However, I have slowly started to learn it did not make me necessarily feel good about myself. Instead I changed my mindset to being a better me and making me happy. I stopped caring about what others thought about the decisions I was making and started focusing on what is best for me. My advice for those who aspire to follow their dreams is to give yourself opportunities. It’s not luck, it’s hard work. If you know you want to do something start planning for it now. However, once you have your plan you must act. It’s okay to fail. One thing I always tell myself is what is the worse that could happen, if it is doesn’t work out then I’ll be right where I am, but if it does work out I could embark on a whole new journey I could not even imagine.

From as young as I can remember, I was taught to be hard working because when I do get married I would have to cook and clean for my husband’s family. Therefore, I took that hard-working aspect we were taught at a young age and applied it to my future and career versus viewing it as being a slave. What I hope to instill in other women and our youth is, if there’s something you want to do with your career then just go for it. Why care what people think or say? Live for yourself. Before anyone else can love, respect, or care about you . You must love, respect, and care for yourself.

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