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UP-STAND Spotlight on Tang McConnell

Name: Tang, formally known as Wichuda McConnell

Zodiac Sign: Pisces

Profession: I am balancing two acts: One as a supervisor of service coordination within an Early Intervention Program agency (DOHMH) and one as the photographer behind TangySweet Photography

Hobbies: Traveling/sightseeing; cultures/languages; meeting people from different parts of the world; writing; running; being an active member of the community

Hometown: Surat Thani, Thailand

Current City: Astoria, NY

TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT YOURSELF!
Born and bred in Thailand, I came to the USA first as an exchange student in high school, which was a very challenging time but inevitably also a start of a new journey. I went on to attend a college in CT where I studied Mandarin Chinese intensively as part of the East Asian Studies major, which turned out to help me get my first job ever in NYC. I have since worked in the Early Intervention Program of DOHMH helping children with disabilities or developmental delays, including those from immigrant families, to receive services they need. I realized then that every challenge I had gone through in life would lead up to aiding my role as a cultural ambassador, if you will. 

I am now raising a little family of my own in Astoria. My son is 9 and my daughter is 4. I picked up a camera when my son was very little, fascinated by this tiny human’s rawest forms of energy and emotions. That was the beginning of TangySweet Photography. 

YOU HAVE YOUR OWN SMALL BUSINESS AS A FANTASTIC PHOTOGRAPHER. BEING A SMALL BUSINESS OWNER IS HARD! WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO REACH OUT TO UP-STAND AND OFFER TO SPONSOR A PROJECT WITH FUNDS FROM YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY BUSINESS?

It is a bit self-serving; I just felt the urge to give back locally. Two things were happening almost at the same time - I was losing excitement with the one-dimensional way of running the photography business, and 45 was elected.  I was filled with a full-force motivation to be of service. I knew Christine and UP-STAND from the past Mompreneur event. Impressed and inspired by her charisma and continuing efforts, I reached out to create a joint fundraising campaign. I see this move as a type of investment that fulfills my social, entrepreneurial, and creative ambition.

WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SPONSOR THE BREASTFEEDING-FRIENDLY ASTORIA PROJECT IN PARTICULAR? WHY DO YOU THINK THIS SIGNAGE IS SO IMPORTANT FOR ESTABLISHMENTS TO DISPLAY?

The breastfeeding-friendly signs are symbols of a small but significant cultural revolution. It’s a cultural crisis that the rawest form of human bonding could receive criticism hence requires protection. The signs adjust social attitudes toward breastfeeding and hopefully and eventually shall normalize public breastfeeding even for this little community of Astoria we call home. As a mom who misguidedly accepted the feeling of embarrassment to breastfeed publicly (even with a cover!) at so much cost - breastfeeding in bathrooms, letting a hungry baby wail on a running train, avoiding all the gawking at restaurants - this is something little I can do to contribute to the change and comfort we need to provide to breastfeeding mothers as a community.

WHAT DID YOU GET OUT OF BEING OUR BREASTFEEDING FRIENDLY ASTORIA INITIATIVE SPONSOR?

More inspiring people in my life, long lasting local connections, strengthening the village! A new business brand image is icing on the cake.

YOU HAVE NOW DECIDED TO PUT PROCEEDS FROM ANOTHER SHOOT TO UPSTANDxRICA, OUR PUBLIC ART AWARENESS CAMPAIGN. WHY?

Building momentum! The breastfeeding signs were all claimed which meant the previous campaign achieved its goals, so more awareness should be built from there. I learned so much from collaborating with both Rica and Christine on the previous campaign, there is this sense of camaraderie we created. The opportunity also arose around the time I had been envisioning experimenting with a fantasy shoot during my favorite time of year…HALLOWEEN. And what better way to bring them both to fruition!

Sign up for our upcoming photo shoot to benefit our public art awareness campaign or learn more.

HOW AND WHY WOULD YOU ENCOURAGE OTHER INDIVIDUALS, ORGANIZATIONS, OR BUSINESSES TO GET INVOLVED WITH OUR MOVEMENT?

As I said earlier, running a small business in this modern time is not easy. You have to navigate so much of the hi-tech tools and new ways of “connecting”. I would like to encourage fellow entrepreneurs or other organizations to think about banding and branding together. We are each other’s resources. I have learned so much in just the past few months doing these campaigns rather than going at it alone. But more importantly, to incorporate your business model or missions to give back using your products or skills. It is very satisfying. It is time we do more.

LAST BUT NOT LEAST, WHERE CAN WE SEE MORE OF YOUR WORK?!?

My website and Facebook!

During this week of Thanksgiving, we give thanks to and for Tang. She has been such a generous partner to our movement in so many ways! 

 



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