“For Chinoys who want something more unconventional and for parents, you have to remember that you did your best to plant these seeds and you have to let them grow. Let them shine in their own way.”
These are words of wisdom from famous Chinoy content creator Camille Co who shared that unconventional pursuits are not impossible. In the fourth episode of the awaited season 2 of “Chinese by Blood, Filipino by Heart” series, Co shares what it’s like to grow up in a Chinoy household that genuinely supported her journey.
Here are the key takeaways from Camille Co’s inspiring story:
Rules are there for a reason
Co recounts growing up in a very strict traditional Chinoy household. There were numerous rules she and her siblings had to follow such as having to speak Hokkien all the time when speaking to their parents. Her parents were very involved in her life and made Co and her siblings follow these rules.
Although some may find this suffocating and is one of the stereotypes against the Chinoy community, Co reminds us that these rules are there for a reason. “I grew up with a lot of structure in my life. There were a lot of rules, which I do not resent because I feel like because of these rules and structures, I am able to be the kind of person that I am. This is why I’m also more determined and disciplined because of the type of household I grew up in,” she shared.
Expect the unexpected
It was during her senior year at the Ateneo De Manila University when she decided to start her own clothing line Coexist, which caters to young and fashion savvy women. It was never Co’s topmost priority during that time as she treated it as something that she wanted to do on the side.
For Co, she never expected that Coexist would actually boom into a prominent clothing line in the country yet it did. “All this time I thought that Coexist was just a hobby and then we got a lot of traction from it. Magazines started featuring Coexist. I got a lot of features as well. This was all happening simultaneously when I was about to graduate,” she shared.
Invest in yourself
Most people would think that the only way to succeed in business is by investing in the business itself but what most people don’t realize is that investing in yourself is just as important. When Co recognized the potential of Coexist, she invested not just on her brand but on herself as well by enrolling in a fashion school.
Through this, she was able to hone her skills even more and improve the overall products of her brand, which resulted in its huge success. Coexist was able to expand from providing high street RTW designs to bridal wear and couture pieces. Eventually, it became one of the most sought-after brands that was very popular among millennials.
Our parents are our biggest supporters
For young people aspiring a career in the arts, this is not always easily embraced by parents, especially those in the Chinoy community. It is important to understand where this hesitation is coming from because at the end of the day, they are only looking after their own children.
For Co, being a fashion blogger was not the best career path envisioned to her by her parents but she overcame this through proper dialogue and understanding with them. “I would bring them to my world so that they can see what I do and that there’s nothing wrong with it,” she shared.
Co remembers that it was her dad who first supported her decision to pursue fashion blogging as a career. “You know what? I think she’s on to something” said her dad. With the giant support from her parents, Co is able to successfully create an iconic name for herself in the fashion industry.
Inspired by her story, netizen Jenicar Abdn shares that she underwent the same experience. “Just like Camille, I’m very lucky that my parents support my passion in Arts. I believe that family and culture plays a very important role in pursuing your passion because when they support me, I feel loved and I’m more excited about what’s ahead of me because I know that the people I love got my back”.
Another netizen, Danny Co who is also a dad himself, shared in the comments that “My daughters actually pursued arts, similar to Camille Co. Sometimes I do not understand their world but I let them be and I think they are doing ok now in their chosen field. I agree that parents should give their children space to grow and to pursue their passions in life”.
Today, Co is happily married and is a mother to her beautiful daughter, Sienna. In terms of parenting, Co says that she truly appreciates how her parents raised her in a strict household and would keep pointers here and there from her parents and apply it into her own version of parenting for Sienna. “I will forever cherish all the values that I got from my parents and will try to instill that upon my kids but at the same time, I will also create new traditions and new ways of bringing up my own kids,” Co shared.
As much as parents want to plan out the lives of their children for their own good, Co shares a reminder that it’s also important to step back a bit and let young children navigate this world with their own reins. “You have to let them grow. Give them the chance to show you how great of a parent you are to them that they are able to actually become the person you wanted them to become in their own way,” Co said.