Creativity itself, I would go so far as to say, is vastly underappreciated in the Asian community, particularly by older generations of Asians, and Asian parents who have grown up with the more traditional idea that logic, rationality, and a secure income are invaluable over the freedom and the beauty found in the expression of creativity.

Interview with Emily Ryu



Introduce yourself!

My name is Emily and I currently live in Los Angeles with my husband and two cats. I run a creative marketing agency (@ryucreative) in the most practical sense and am also a certified holistic health coach which I document through @ryupure.

Go-to Boba order? 

I’m not really a boba person (don’t @ me)  but if I had to order – almond milk black tea sweetened with honey light boba. 

What were some personal experiences and anecdotes relating to culture, social impact and community as a Korean American living in the U.S.?

I was a bi-coastal baby. I was born in Los Angeles but raised in Korea by my grandmother as my mom was navigating some difficult time being a single mother in a foreign country. Looking back, I realize that my upbringing in both America and in Korea have shaped me in more ways than one. Even though I used to feel out of my element in both environments, I ultimately adapted to both cultures, and did so with the help of my family and the friends I’ve made in Korea. I’m very proud to be Korean-American, and my heritage influences me in everything I do — from the endless list of old American sayings that I have never heard of, down to the food I eat. Now, I feel blessed to be both a Korean-American and an American in Korea, because I’ve gained the confidence in myself to stand out in either place — and anywhere else I will go.

What inspired you to create @ryupure and @ryucreative?

I hit rock bottom with my personal health and was battling with a lifetime of yo-yo dieting. I enrolled in an online nutrition school and started to learn how to eat food as medicine.  I started to eat in the healthiest way possible; no extremes but it had to taste good. I spent a lot of time in my kitchen, researching and experimenting with different recipes that were my favorites prior to developing a healthier lifestyle. After a few weeks of eating this way, my life was changed. It sounds dramatic but it’s true. I felt incredible physically, but with that came an emotional and mental shift that I don’t think I could have anticipated. I knew this transformation couldn’t just be kept to myself and so I decided to start cooking these meals and sharing what I know about living a holistic lifestyle on my ryupure platform. 

Describe your journey founding your company and social media platform. You’ve created a personal brand with thousands of followers and fans.

In this day and age, being an entrepreneur is truly glamorized. Don’t get me wrong, I love the positivity in the coverage of building awesome products and services, but there’s not many conversations around the negative aspects of what it truly means to start a business. In most cases, you work more hours than anyone you know, you often work for free (until you make a profit or raise money), and the ups and downs are like the world’s most intense roller coaster. 

Any advice you would like to share to young girls?

My advice would be to consider being an intrapreneur. In essence, this means acting like an innovative entrepreneur, but within the ecosystem of a company that you truly believe in. I’ve heard stories of people wanting to start their own business because they can’t stand a co-worker or a boss. The reality is, being a CEO means that you will deal with even more personalities in the form of a client, vendor, or an employee. Being an entrepreneur won’t make all of your current problems at work magically disappear. 

Future plans?

Continue to grow and adapt. Perhaps live in a different country and continue to expand my knowledge and curiosity.


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Emily Ryu is the founder of Ryu Creative Inc., a full-service social branding, PR, and creative marketing agency that supports both emerging and established ventures navigate the digital world. Emily is also a certified holistic health coach. She is deeply passionate about personal growth and whole health. She shares her love for marketing and wellness on her social media platforms @ryucreative and @ryupure

Overachiever Magazine was started by Rehana Paul in October of 2018 to give a platform to all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities.

Our name is poking fun at the stereotype that all Asians are overachievers, especially Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. It’s also in recognition of all of us who have had no choice but to be overachievers: managing societal expectations, family obligations, and educational opportunities, all while fighting the patriarchy.

We have grown since then, putting out bimonthly issues (we are contributor powered: apply to write for our next one!), and weekly reviews of culture, and news that is important to us.

You can find announcements, more news, and get to know our staff on social media: give us a follow, and learn how you can get involved today!

We do not claim to speak for all Asian women, non-binary people, and other gender minorities. We are just here to give them a place to speak for themselves.

We hope you’ll join us.

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