This interview has been edited for clarity.
I obtained on TikTok because… I private teenage daughters and they said, “You desires to be making TikTok videos.” I’ve been making videos since I became as soon as 14, on VHS tape and issues fancy that. I started making coffee videos on TikTok and I became as soon as fancy, “That’s my day job. It’s boring.” I started to be extra centered and extra intentional.
Having flee coffee retailers for 20 years… I’ve realized there’s this attention-grabbing relationship between what carry out americans need—and what are you giving them? It’s continually been an enticing thought for me and Trish: In dwelling of attempting to resolve out what our coffee philosophy and low profile and stunning became as soon as going to be, what if we started with the query: “What carry out americans need when they need coffee?” No longer: “What are they soliciting for?” No longer: “What carry out they snarl they need?”
When I first opened my first coffee store in 2002… I take into accout spending further vitality attempting to assemble my mother an further lawful latte. After she left I became as soon as reflecting: Why did I assemble it particular for her—fancy, doesn’t everybody deserve that amount of care? Though capitalism and commerce has commodified the gesture, giving somebody one thing to expend or drink unquestionably is an act of fancy at the core.
Your Korean Dad came from… realizing that the viewer desires to be the most major personality. I’m Korean, I’m a dad, and fancy a form of dads, I’m attempting to wrap my brain round what being a dad capability. However the “your” is presumably the most attention-grabbing portion—that I’m providing myself up to the viewer in that system. Must you snarl you’re so-and-so’s dad, you’re subordinate within the account.
The first Korean Dad video to blow up became as soon as… a scurry to to Walgreens to acquire snacks. It became as soon as unquestionably surprising, and if truth be told, to be fair, a runt little bit of jarring within the origin. That’s when I became as soon as getting duets of kids crying, watching my video. There are a form of tears alive to from the viewers when they’re enticing with me.
Folks private emotional relationships with meals… especially in phrases of parents. With dads, we’re speaking about one particular person—typically two or three—for any particular person, so the assemble-or-spoil explain of that relationship is heartbreaking. Even when the connection goes effectively, it will also be bittersweet. When it’s a failure or when there’s anxiety and trauma mixed in, it’s loads for a particular person.
I believe what healthy unquestionably capability… in a capability that is centering the newborn. For me it’s within the ruin about what’s healthy psychologically and emotionally, to boot to physically. I nearly assemble sure messages incidental: “No, you don’t need to seize out the original dogs,” and then I are trying to switch on. The postulate of “carry out your plate” is one of these fraught topic, from an particular person’s relationship to meals going your complete system to their relationships with household and culture.
The mundaneness is the profound portion… for a form of americans. I made a second Walgreens video and it became as soon as to scurry acquire tampons, with the postulate that it became as soon as no tall deal for a dad. I’m attempting for alternatives to mannequin habits that’s going to mean one thing to americans and unquestionably assemble a commentary, despite the indisputable truth that it’s a runt little bit of bit extra covert than overt.
Managing younger 20-somethings in coffee retailers… has helped me sharpen my parenting model. I bear I’m a lawful dad; my younger americans appear to verbalize so. We don’t private the form of bickering relationship that some younger americans private with their fogeys. They’re below no instances fancy, “I loathe you.” We’ve below no instances had a fight. On occasion it’s creepily too perfect.
My quantity-one job as a father or mother, and, for that subject, as a supervisor is… to continually create believe and to below no instances spoil believe. As soon as you spoil it, you may perchance well be ready to’t unquestionably build it inspire collectively the same system. But that may perchance well well additionally acquire you factual about fancy a turtle in a shell: frightened to seize out the rest if you happen to mess up. There’s this meekness and this hesitancy that includes that, and I do know that’s now not being a lawful dad. One in every of the issues that I need to be ready to seize out is explain americans, but in a capability they’re totally in a position to being challenged.