A Seattle style blogger wanted to see more Asian American representation in pop culture, so she took a leap of faith and produced her own web series.
"I thought, maybe I should try to make a show even though I've never done that before and never had any experience,” said Carolyn Yuen-Marino. “But oh well, let's just go for it!”
Sweet & Power is a five-part digital series inspired by her own life as a Chinese-American immigrant.
She moved from Hong Kong to Seattle at the age of 6.
"I slowly learned English through reading Dr. Seuss - I know, it was kind of a complicated way of learning English,” she said, laughing. “Like, does everything rhyme?"
Before long, she’d mastered the language. The University of Washington graduate now works full-time as a high school English teacher.
Her style blog is a part-time side business, with tens of thousands of followers on social media.
The web series is her effort to share even more – visual stories told from the perspective of Asian Americans in their 20’s.
"I just want to show more nuance in the community,” Yuen-Marino said. "You know, maybe someone that's a first generation versus a fifth generation might have a completely different Asian American identity… I wanted to bring that into the light a little bit more, but in a funny way."
The title of her series is a play on both "sweet and sour" and longstanding misperceptions.
"Sometimes people see Asian American women as really quiet or sweet,” she said. "Maybe it's people expecting power to look a certain way or being the loudest voice in the room, but I wanted to put those two words together just to show that maybe power and strength can come in many different forms."
Sweet & Power is available on YouTube, and you can follow Yuen-Marino on Instagram.