Travel Tips and Tattoo Trips

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It’s a good old-fashioned catch-up sesh for the aunties today! SuChin just got back from a girls trip to Mexico City and has plenty to share about the food, fun and fashion in this gorgeous metropolis. But disaster awaits as soon as she gets back to LAX. Kulap has been busy herself, making forever memories with her sisters as they finally get their long-discussed matching tattoos! Later, Ku and Su go behind the scenes to share how they make some tough decisions about which brands and sponsors they work with on the show.

Please note, Add To Cart contains mature themes and may not be appropriate for all listeners.

To see all products mentioned in this episode, head to @addtocartpod on Instagram. To purchase any of the products, see below.

  • This Banzo button-up is the perfect mix of unique, masculine and feminine energy
  • Pigeon is a must-stop restaurant in Mexico City
  • PSA: If you get AAA, you can get a free membership for a family member
  • If you don’t have AAA, Honk is a roadside assistance app
  • Ku and her sisters got super cute matching tattoos at Baron Art Tattoo (shoutout to Jessica!!)
  • They also paid a visit to the Hello Kitty Cafe, which is everything

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SuChin Pak, Kulap Vilaysack

SuChin Pak  00:01

Hello nieces nephews and nibblings? Welcome to Add To Cart This is the show where we talk about the things we buy the things we buy into and what it says about who we are. I am Auntie Su.


Kulap Vilaysack  01:42

And I’m Auntie Ku. Let me tell you, it’s been a week for Su maybe a few years in a week. You recently got back from a trip to Mexico City. I mean.


SuChin Pak  01:53



Kulap Vilaysack  01:54

I want and I think our listeners want to hear your tale. Your traveling tales. What did you do? Su? What happened?


SuChin Pak  02:05

Well, let me tell you about a city called Mexico City. I am a full seven to 11 years behind on all trends, right? If you’re traveling, it’s like I discovered Paris for the first time two years ago. MEXICO CITY I realize people have been going for years. But wow. You know, what a wonder.


Kulap Vilaysack  02:24

I’ve never been to Mexico City Su.


SuChin Pak  02:26

I know. And it’s so close to us. And maybe that’s why it was so overlooked. You know, when I was young and traveling, I wanted to go to Brazil. That’s not how you say it. But you know what I mean? I wanted to go far, far and away. And so I’m gonna add a few things to cart. I thought, what better way to talk about Mexico City than to talk about some things that I ate and shopped for that are also female owned and operated brands. City, you know, in honor of the women’s Women’s Day, I like to call women’s month here in March.


Kulap Vilaysack  02:59

Yeah. And also this was this was a lady’s trip. You You were there with your two good friends.


SuChin Pak  03:05

Most of my trips, my international trips or ladies trips. Yeah. And I think that’s strange to some people. I’ve gotten some interesting reactions. And I was talking to Mike about and I was like, hmm, I think a lot of people when they think a trip, they’re going with their family, like they’re bringing the kids or they’re going with their partners. And it’s like a romantic getaway.  I’m not in that phase in my life. Like when I want to go on vacation, I want away from my husband and my kids. I want all my four paws up in the air. I’m doing nothing. I’m, I’m laying around. I’m shoving things in my mouth. I’m putting things in cart. You know what I mean? I’m going to bed at whatever time I want. I’m getting up late, I just for me, it’s the freedom of not having to be beholden to anyone. So anyway,


Kulap Vilaysack  04:04

I get that I get that I most of my international trips are with Scott, and it’s more of like the romantic variety but knowing you not surprised.


SuChin Pak  04:16

I want to talk about this shirt I’m wearing.


Kulap Vilaysack  04:18

It looks amazing. Excuse me, excuse me.


SuChin Pak  04:21

Okay, so in our shopping we came across this brand called Banzo, B A N Z O, and this amazing designer, Camila Banzo. That’s her name. She makes one of the pieces garments like repurposing men’s shirts and making them into what I’m wearing now, which is like a little ruffled collar at the neck. It’s ,it’s feminine. It’s masculine. It’s every thing I love.


Kulap Vilaysack  04:51

This is this is SuChin.


SuChin Pak  04:53

This is me, this is me. And we saw one shirt. There were three of us and We had that moment. You know, when you’re in that shop and you only there’s only one of it. You look into each other’s eyes and you say, am I going to choose love? Or am I going to choose war? And I chose love. One friend bought it but then from then on we want to Banzo hunt through Mexico going into every shop I DM-ed and the designer and was like where else? Where else can one buy these shirts? Anyway, we went around town.


Kulap Vilaysack  05:25

Su, would SuChin is describing, there’s no room for kids and Mike and Matt. Were were Yeah, like there’s work.


SuChin Pak  05:26

I, I punch in a timecard when I go on vacation. I’m DMing designers, manufacturers, I’m getting store hours. I’m locating it on a Google map. And so we just bought all the Banzo shirts and all of Mexico City you guys they ship to the US I realized I could have done that. But what is the fun in that? That’s not what I’m there for, to work.


Kulap Vilaysack  05:57

I’m recalling, you know, a couple things from your Paris trips with Annie. I’m happy that we’re rebounding from the Great buy of blue and white striped shirts.


SuChin Pak  06:11

With another blue white striped shirt. But this one has a ruffle color.


Kulap Vilaysack  06:15

Ruffles. And then I’m also you know reminiscent of you getting that pasta spoon that you could have bought at target but you bought it in Paris and you know what? It’s about the memories. Memories.


SuChin Pak  06:28

It’s the hunt. It’s the memory. It’s the state of mind when I’ve got like a bit in my mouth. You know? And then I obsess I obsess. Okay, I want to talk about a restaurant I ate at the best restaurant that I ate out of Mexico City was recommended by our very own Keegan and it’s called Pigeon you guys let me know if you want I think I’ll put up a post of like, because I don’t want to say all the places that we ate and shopped at but tell you my best.



Will you do that? You say that you think but will you do that?


SuChin Pak  07:12

Kulap, look at this. This is my to do list in this cloud corner here. Are all my Mexican.


Kulap Vilaysack  07:18



SuChin Pak  07:20

Okay, shops and restaurants that I, I made it so easy for myself. All I have to do is is take it from this piece of paper and put it.


Kulap Vilaysack  07:28

What she’s showing me is a corner of like a eight and a half 11 piece print out paper that and like it yeah, Pigeon Pigeon. But then there’s also like Target and Amazon has written also mama dad.


SuChin Pak  07:43

Is like my to do beautiful mind, right? Oh, this isn’t? Hello, how to how to get nothing done? Should I do a reel?


Kulap Vilaysack  07:54



SuChin Pak  07:55

On how to make a list?


Kulap Vilaysack  07:57



SuChin Pak  07:57

That in which nothing gets done. I am a master at it. I’ve broken it down into one minute increments, categories, and none of this will get done.


Kulap Vilaysack  08:07

Yeah, I mean, I want you to put it in your list. But they later in the day. I do it every day. I rewrite this fucking list every day on scrap pieces of paper.


SuChin Pak  08:20

What do you want another fucking list here?


Kulap Vilaysack  08:22

I knew that was a fresh paper. I didn’t want to say it. But I couldn’t confirm it.


SuChin Pak  08:28

The back. One is from my accountant and the other is from a book. Anyway. That’s not what this is about.


Kulap Vilaysack  08:40

Okay, sorry. Keep talking. SuChin we could. So we go to this restaurant.


SuChin Pak  08:44

I keep getting recommended. So good. And the three of us are in there. I wanted to say these are the things I learned about myself as a traveler in Mexico City. Right? I already covered number one which is full seven to 11 years behind on all trends. I want to be I want to be this amount of time behind on all trends. I want it to be road tested. I want you all to get the diarrhea. I want you all to put your Google Docs together. I want you all to tell me where to stay and what you know what disgusting fleabag motel is not worth it. And then I get your Google Doc Okay, number two. So I’m in this restaurant Pigeon delicious and the three of us old, you know, ladies are hajimmas you know which is the word for a mature lady and Korean are in there. You know? Kulap is your camera roll full of pictures of menus in restaurants that you can’t read. Live so then you have to pinch it to zoom in to it on your phone.


Kulap Vilaysack  09:50

No but I am the miasma. That is I’m turning on the I restaurants into dark light, too dark.


SuChin Pak  09:59

I know, but you know what you call attention. You know in Mexico City is cool. It’s the young people’s bonanza. You know, you you gotta keep up with the work from home folks. The artists, you can’t turn on your fucking bright lights in a restaurant and be like these three granny panties. Right? And then the meal was so good that my granny panty next to me to the waiter in in terrible Spanish. I want to meet the chef. And we were like, Why? Why are you doing this a lot? No, no, she doesn’t. She’s like, No, I this is so good. I want to meet the chef. And it happens so fast. And like I was a little confused. And he was like, great. And he was game. So he runs back and he brings this 30 year old woman out was cooked her food just incredible. And she takes a picture of her.


Kulap Vilaysack  10:59

For what? alone?


SuChin Pak  11:00

I just.


Kulap Vilaysack  11:02

Just took a picture of her. Just Just a quick shot.


SuChin Pak  11:07

Just standing there. And I was like if this isn’t the old lady fucking move in a hip restaurant. I don’t. The lady was so confused.


Kulap Vilaysack  11:18

The only thing worse would be if it was on an iPad. That would be the only I want I want to stand up for your friend.


SuChin Pak  11:30

And the picture. I mean, I want to know what the picture looks like. I gotta have her send it to me. It couldn’t be this woman shrugging. I mean she was so good as to why this lady was taking I mean that’s how good the food was.


SuChin Pak  11:45

The other thing I learned about traveling and it hurts me to say it Kulap it this this one this number two gives it hurts me I get I have to take a Pepto I don’t like flea markets


Kulap Vilaysack  11:56

Since when?


SuChin Pak  11:58

It hurts me to say this because I once had a flea market in New York. I love flea markets. And I was in the largest flea market in Mexico City like wandering around, and I had all my tinctures and my pills and my oregano oil so afraid of like the germs and street food. I’m just not there anymore. I’m not there to like rummage you know, on a blanket for a brass door knocker? You know what I mean? Like to tell you I have 80,000 Brass door knockers from all over the many flea markets. I can start my own brass door knocker flea market and I looked at that brass door knocker flea market in Mexico City. And I said I’m no longer here.


Kulap Vilaysack  12:50

I shan’t be cannot be here door.


SuChin Pak  12:55

I shouldn’t be doing it. It’s it’s rip for flea markets for me. I mean, I don’t know, maybe somewhere. I’ll, I’ll find that love again. But I think I have to let her go here. That was a hard one. I’m evolving. And then finally, we talked about this a bit in our last staff meeting. And I well.


Kulap Vilaysack  13:13

A little a little background is SuChin texted before our staff meeting. And she was like, I don’t know what version of me will be there. But I’ll be there.


SuChin Pak  13:25

Was the morning after my trip. Yeah. And I land you know, beautiful trip to Mexico City. I landed in LAX, I go to my shuttle to my discounted parking lot off off property. And I get there. And lo and behold, there is no gas in my car, which is very unlike me. What happened was when I parked my car, I had to pee so badly from the drive from Santa Barbara to this parking lot that I rush out of my car and I forgot to turn it off. I have like a hybrid electric car. And the whole thing just ran for I don’t even know how long and then the everything. The batteries that it’s raining at you know, I’m on century Boulevard and I’m with my friend Annie who you know is the opposite of me who like this is this is her juice of life is like all when you’re in trouble and she can MacGyver it’s not mine like in the face of adversity or life threatening situations. I go, I go limp. You know what I mean? Like throw money at the problem I wanted to leave my car in the middle of century Boulevard and just give up you know, like take it I’m not even going to look for it. Have it all the contents all the bags in there. I don’t even care. I’m just gonna go to a hotel but she insisted in somehow we got this car. We push this car to a gas station and then she talked to someone about jumping in the car and I was able to make it home.


Kulap Vilaysack  15:00

What I said to you was why didn’t you call me?


SuChin Pak  15:08

Kulap, I froze. Like, there’s so many people I could have called. But none of it was happening. I was just like, get me out of here. I don’t even want to tell anyone. What is happening to me right now what I want is every sensation in my body to stop. I wanted to stop being wet. I wanted to stop being scary. I wanted to stop being hungry. I just want to get out of the situation. It wasn’t even like, let me call someone for help. In any mean like, I just wasn’t there.


Kulap Vilaysack  15:44

And then my follow up question was no AAA?


SuChin Pak  15:50

And that’s the big discovery. That’s the big discovery. So I thought I had AAA In fact, I have a AAA card.


Kulap Vilaysack  15:58



SuChin Pak  15:59

It’s here. And so I called AAA. And the lady says to me, I’m sorry, or is Mike Bender with you? And I was like, No, that’s my husband. But I have my own AAA. You know, we have different last names. I thought maybe there was confusion. They’re like, I’m not a Bender. I’m a Pak. And she’s like, Yeah, no, we have Michael Bender, but he’s only signed up for a single membership. Like, there is nothing we can do for you if he’s not there for you.


Kulap Vilaysack  16:26

So Mike Bender was like add to cart, just me and moving on.


SuChin Pak  16:31

Correction. And then when the a bubble came up and said, Hey, you can receive a free membership for an eligible family member. Because they provide that I went to AAA to see why why I’m not on there. In fact, it’s free for family members and he said, No decline. Just one table for one person to survive for one person to be rescued. For one life jacket. One Size medium men’s. My, the Kulap.


Kulap Vilaysack  17:16



SuChin Pak  17:17

Who does that? I am sleeping with the enemy. Right? Like no, seriously. He’s, he’s a sociopath. Right? Who does that? I’m asking you.


Kulap Vilaysack  17:31

To save for it.


SuChin Pak  17:32

You just don’t I can’t even I haven’t even talked to him about this. Because I just I don’t know how I actually don’t know how I’m gonna approach it. Do I approach it with like, Babe, did you know? But like, am I accusatory? Or I’m like, oh, oh, did you know like, how do I say did.


Kulap Vilaysack  17:50

Yeah, it’s a bit of a minefield, there’s gonna be so hard not to have an edge edge in the question.


SuChin Pak  17:57

Yeah. So anyway, before I leave you guys, just so you know, AAA, you can get a free membership for an eligible family member.


Kulap Vilaysack  18:06



SuChin Pak  18:07

Yeah, we’re talking $56. Okay, a year. The other thing is if you don’t have that, if you have someone in your family that declined to throw you a lifejacket you can use an app called Honk, H O, N K. And this is a fantastic it’s like it’s like the Uber of tow trucks or auto help, right? Like.


Kulap Vilaysack  18:29

Oh, wow. Great.


SuChin Pak  18:30

Yeah. They tell you, they tell you all the places around that can send a service vehicle. They tell you the price up front, there’s no money exchanged. All the vendors are vetted you nothing. You don’t have to sketchy about it. I just think that this is such a great app for any young person, female solo traveler that has a partner that has refused to click on free membership.


Kulap Vilaysack  18:56

It was so, it was so wide. And then it got very specific.


SuChin Pak  19:35

Yeah, that’s right.


Kulap Vilaysack  20:11

While you are simmering, I’ll talk a little bit about what I what I added to the cart while you were away in my .


SuChin Pak  20:17

Okay, good, good.


Kulap Vilaysack  20:19

My sister Anita came to visit for two weeks, which was amazing. She’s the middle sister and this set of sisters that I grew up with. And she lives in Minnesota. I always mentioned her and my nephew Kai. So she came to meet me for the first time. And of course, they became fast, fast friends. And while she was here, me and Anita and Alyssa, our youngest sister went and got magic tattoos.


SuChin Pak  20:51

Now is this was like you woke up and had a croissant and said, You know what would be fun today? Or had you guys been discussing this on like a group chat.


Kulap Vilaysack  21:00

We have been discussing getting like matching sister tattoos for years, but had never like kind of pulled the trigger. And then around a month before and Anita was coming, I was like, we should just do this. Let’s just do this. We went to Baron Art Tattoo which we which is like I think Chinese own all all all Asian tattoo artists. My sister Alyssa had gone there before when she got matching BTS inspired tattoos with their friends after seeing them at SoFi in LA. So we that’s how we knew about it. And since then, I’ve just been like following that studio. They’re located they have multiple locations. So when we went to was it El Monte, which is the San Gabriel Valley and it was something that of course like I pushed along as the Kulap and older sister because we had been talking about for a while it’s like let’s finally do it. Alyssa set it up. Which I vollen tell Alyssa to do so many things. I’ve all Intel Mmny people do it Oh yeah. It’s like all sudden was this my idea? No, it was Kulap she’s telling me to do it, but in a way that sounds pleasant. Or just fully I’m just telling them to do it.


SuChin Pak  22:21

Absolutely. But it’s the only way some things ever get done.


Kulap Vilaysack  22:24

And that’s true. So Alyssa set it up and then it became like what what are we getting? The three categories that came up was like what if we did like fruit? Look at this durian tattoo. And then a Anita was like, Well, what about we we all love me Izaki animated films and our favorite one is My Neighbor Totoro. So then I need I was like, What about the totoro tattoos? And I was like, Ah, I don’t know about any of these. I follow a lot of the artists at Baron Art Tattoo and then I just started going through your feet and like what about this guy’s what we ended up getting was the sort of like sparkle tattoo, almost like an anime sort of sparkle almost looks like the sparkle emoji. To be honest. I was like, What do you think about these sisters? Do you like this? And they said, Yeah, so I was like, done.


SuChin Pak  23:16

Let me zoom in here because my Oh yeah.


Kulap Vilaysack  23:21

And I would just like.


SuChin Pak  23:21

Sparkle tattoo.


Kulap Vilaysack  23:22

Yeah, just ideas like, Oh, you just like always have a little sparkle on you. And then without planning it.


SuChin Pak  23:28



Kulap Vilaysack  23:29



SuChin Pak  23:29

Are you the big star?


Kulap Vilaysack  23:30

No, Anita’s the big star. But without planning it. We all chose our placement. And, like from left to right, it was like by birth order, like mine is at the far left and Anita’s is in the middle. And Alyssa is to the right.


SuChin Pak  23:45

You guys. It was the fashio so sweet.


Kulap Vilaysack  23:51

Very special.


SuChin Pak  23:52

I love it.


Kulap Vilaysack  23:53

Our artists was Jessica She’s so awesome. So kind she’s Jessica Baron Art. And she was just so kind and it was so easy. And I’m actually going back to the studio in August to see Angie because I’m getting a bigger piece.


SuChin Pak  24:12

And we’re getting matching tattoos.


Kulap Vilaysack  24:14

SuChin, I do it. I know you’d never do it. But I do it.


SuChin Pak  24:19

Well what would it be?


Kulap Vilaysack  24:22

This is why this is why people get stuck. That’s why I like push it along with my sisters. I’m like how would this How about this otherwise you know you think too hard, you know obviously would be a cart.


SuChin Pak  24:36

I mean, obviously I mean the first thing that comes to mind is a toilet brush but that’s not just like a straight write down your phone, no handle. The handle of the toilet brush is right down the center of your spine right and then the brush the bushes up the tip of your crack.


Kulap Vilaysack  24:53

So then if you were wearing if you were wearing like low it’s best if you were wearing like low cut jeans right so that you could easily get in a crop top.


SuChin Pak  25:05

Or, or it could be a composter. I mean we’re going to talk about that at some point.


Kulap Vilaysack  25:09

And that would.


SuChin Pak  25:10

I’ll tell you.


Kulap Vilaysack  25:11

Above our vaginas.


SuChin Pak  25:17

Put your junk hair and we and we will turn it into valuable, dry ass dirt.


Kulap Vilaysack  25:28

The last thing I just wanted to share was that towards the end of our trip, we went to the Hello Kitty Cafe in the Irvine spectrum. We drove all the way down to Orange County. Met with my sister in law Jamie who is a huge Hello Kitty fan. I need as a big hello kitty fan. So in the front of the cafe you can get like fresh desserts and little by little items. But then there’s the ballroom and the ballroom.


SuChin Pak  25:56

Oh, okay.


Kulap Vilaysack  25:57

It’s almost like a speakeasy. It’s reservation only it’s very small. During the daytime, you can get high tea items, but at night, they’re specialized cocktails. Wow. It was such a fun experience. Like it was so fun to do with my sisters and sister in law. Beautiful, beautiful first kawaii.


SuChin Pak  26:20

Adorable kawaii but like little cocktail.


Kulap Vilaysack  26:25

Are you sick cocktails, delicious flavors. We’ll post all these photos. My sister Amelia was like, Oh, this one has Toro. oat milk in it. Like what? Like it was just such a funny and then you can also get like sweets and like with it too. But it was just like this fun, wonderful experience to do with the sisters. So if you’re ever in Irvine, get yourself there. You have to make reservations ahead of time I’ll because I mean the capacity and in there, there’s maybe like four or five tables. We were at the bar?


SuChin Pak  27:03

No, and everything’s so special. It’s so you know, so they want to take their time and make sure that you get the full experience.


Kulap Vilaysack  27:10

Yes. And they’re very much like, you have to leave at this time. Get out.


SuChin Pak  28:09

Asian. Yeah.


Kulap Vilaysack  28:09

Asian you can you have to have one drink. Minimum. And then this is tacky to get out.


SuChin Pak  28:25

Yeah, now it’s time.


Kulap Vilaysack  28:37

I want to move to the next part of our episode is a conversation you and I have been wanting to have for a while that’s kind of built up.


SuChin Pak  28:45

Yeah, you know, this is such an important conversation. This is a problem that I even feel lucky to have, right as as a podcast that that we started growing this this whole community growing the content on this show. And as we try to grow the biggest audience, give people the biggest platform, you know, diverse voices, all of the stuff that we are passionate about. We’ve had some tough conversations I would say like in the last year really? How do we align ourselves with brands that could be problematic or how do we align ourselves with brands that that feel good to who we are as activists and as AAPI folks, right?


Kulay Vilaysack  29:32

Yeah, I mean, we joke that like we’re moguls with our Amazon storefronts, but like this is a real pennies, pennies from the sky. It’s a real honor to not shop here guys. And if Su and I were to if there were books to be had for us to crack open a look at at the rate that we both add to cart. The shop is in the red.


Kulap Vilaysack  29:55

Shop is in the red.


SuChin Pak  29:56

Don’t need a book. We don’t need a book. We have episodes to prove.


Kulap Vilaysack  29:59

That’s right. Yes, the proof is there. So we’re getting into some, like, behind the scenes shit, but I think it’s um, you know? Yeah, I think so too. So, we, we buy things from companies that have questionable practices or CEOs, you know, we just mentioned Amazon storefront. You know, and Jeff.


SuChin Pak  30:22

Yeah, no. I mean, I think that that was we knew that that was gonna be problematic contractor


Kulap Vilaysack  30:25

Day one.


SuChin Pak  30:26

And say hypocritical day one, episode one rewind the tape. I mean, of course, I think even conceiving of a show where we talk about brands and things we buy, like, I knew that this was the the elephant in the room, you know, that eventually, and continually would have to sort of think about it and do it in a way that’s meaningful and thoughtful, that works for us that works for our community. And that makes sense.


Kulap Vilaysack  30:52

And then also is, like, honest, and true to ourselves. Because like, for me, like when we started this podcast, it’s like, I think it was probably moved through. So it was like about consumerism, but it’s like, yes, it is. But for me, always, it was about us, and about the reasoning and emotions behind like, the void that I’m trying to fill. And what I find to be interesting, and I hope entertaining is like the, the wrong and right choices that I make. And the what’s behind it, it to me, it’s always so important when we started this podcast, like it’s not about the things, it’s not just about the things, but when we are courting advertisers, and that’s how we can have more than pennies come from fall from the sky. It is about things. Yeah. And so for Su, and I mean, you know, that Venn Diagram, we’re trying to hit the sweet spot between, like, making money and being artistic, or, you know, and what’s what Add to Cart, hopefully, is, is that that the meeting in the middle of those two things,


SuChin Pak  32:01

When you say that, it also makes me think about something that, like I rub up against all the time, right? So we’re two women of color, we try and support diverse voices on this show, you know, our community is like minded in that. And so when we pass on an opportunity, right to have this platform for ourselves, for our stories for all the guests stories, you know, because of a brand that we feel maybe have had questionable decisions in the past, like, what are we passing on? Right? Like? Like, ultimately, are we passing on the opportunity for this show to grow? Ultimately, are you passing on this opportunity to have a platform for diverse voices to be honest, and authentic and real? And who they are? Ultimately, do we only go after? And have the show supported by small businesses that, frankly, don’t have those kinds of budgets, and probably shouldn’t be paying to be on any show? Like, why is it that we as people of color, as women, as the small businesses have to give our own hard earned dollars and time to have a voice in a platform, like, make the big guys pay for it? Yeah, let them pay for it. So we can do the work, let them pay for it so that we can support smaller brands. There’s nothing more joyous to us than supporting small businesses, and BIPOC brands that we truly, truly love, you know, and so, just just be really transparent. Like, there have been many times, especially starting out where, you know, we have a product that we love you and I shop a lot, I would say the vast majority of the things I buy are from small businesses and you know, women owned, I mean, just naturally because I think we’re always in the market for looking for the new stuff, the small, you know, the the undiscovered things, and then emailing this tiny business and being like, I know, you probably don’t have the budget, but we’re a small business. And did you know what I mean? What that formula doesn’t also work for me.


Kulap Vilaysack  34:07

Yeah. And it’s also like, everything you said is true. But I also shop at Target and our listeners also shop for Target. And so with that, you know, is I guess this continuous conversation that you and I have case in point. Lululemon came a knockin and I had I had very big feelings about this. And I’m just gonna like just give a little bit of background. They make very expensive yoga pants, and I resisted buying them. But at some point after friend upon friends said like, just try just try it. I did. I bought a pair on sale naturally, and I hope I was hooked because of the quality and so I bought more. That’s all good and fine, except later, I found out that their founder and CEO made comment saying that like it’s funny, the Japanese These people can’t pronounce the Ellen Lululemon. And that it’s funny to watch them try and say it. And this plus, like just misogynistic comments about women’s bodies to vorse breast cancer, the pill, I just stopped buying from them for years because of that. So then when CEC says, they want to be a sponsor, my knee jerk reaction is Hold on. But when we had this conversation, I was like, Oh, he’s gone. I didn’t even know he was gone.


SuChin Pak  35:30

Yeah, and I think that these are all personal choices. I mean, that’s what I think makes this idea of a cart really interesting and very telling, right? Because your knee jerk reaction was that my knee jerk reaction was like, just another big company with the sordid past with a, you know, founder, that is no longer on the board, you know, etcetera, etcetera, etcetera, or whatever, you know, it is right, like Dima doesn’t like if, if we want to do a show where we’re vetting every single brand coming on, with every problematic thing that’s ever happened, we’re back to square one, which is that either we don’t exist. Or we’re begging borrow and stealing from small companies that don’t have the budgets to have platforms like this, you know, this isn’t like a, we want to get out of jail free card and like, just add to cart, every single brand that’s going to come to us and grow like that, you know, I don’t want it to feel that way that we’re somehow having to justify, or having to defend the decisions that we make, which is why we’re having a much more nuanced and bigger conversation about it. And we’ll continue to talk about this. But I think that the responsibility of like how to create an environment, a business environment, a social environment, or whatever it is, that is good for all, should be accountable, not just from the bottom up, but from the top down. You know, it shouldn’t have to, you know, we have these conversations of even when you were starting out in the business, and when I’ve been in this business, we’ve both done things set this taken roles, whatever it is that today, we wouldn’t that felt compromising, but we had to do it because as talent, like, where is the power in that, like, it’s unfair for us to ask people with little power to then try to change the entire power structure that we have to somehow take to task work with and manipulate the larger powers that be to benefit us, and to benefit all of the people that sort of get a lot from what we put out there. And so I just think that that that’s a tricky thing to be like, Whoa, well, you know, they should know better. They you shouldn’t take that and you shouldn’t take that role. You shouldn’t take that check. You shouldn’t. I’ve always been very wary. Like when there’s even TV shows out there about like, content around AAPI where people are like, Oh, no, I would have never taken that role that that show should never got greenlit. It’s like, Are you kidding me right now?


Kulap Vilaysack  38:12



SuChin Pak  38:12

Like, do you understand the how? There’s just so little to fight over? Why are we even fighting? You know, like, how do we make it so that this buffet, right feeds so many of us and frankly, sometimes I fucking don’t care where the food is coming from, like, you know what I mean? Like, I’m like, How many more people can we feed on this truck? Or how many more people can we feed with this opportunity? So.


Kulap Vilaysack  38:41

I hear you I hear you. I really do and I look I came around once I understood, like I understood the dates of things.


SuChin Pak  38:49

So I’m like it makes me angry.


Kulap Vilaysack  38:51

But at the same time, it’s like Su I did throw away the Lululemon I had before I stopped buying from them, but I didn’t throw them away. Let me tell you something. Pants I bought over 10 years ago are still amazing.


SuChin Pak  39:06

Still amazing. And we do consider every single partner and brand that comes on nothing comes on this show without us explicitly both being on the same page about it like Look we’ve turned brands down big big brands big brands that were willing to fly us to really really fun stuff without hurt.


Kulap Vilaysack  39:28

That’s right


SuChin Pak  39:29

Well, it this is I’m sure as you’re listening to this you’re like Yeah, welcome to the freaking you know, bottom of the drain that is my brain every time any one of us go to make you know consumer decision sometimes it’s like I don’t care just put it in the cart. And then sometimes it’s this it’s like down rabbit holes. Do I don’t I absolutely get it. We get it and we’re doing it. Oh.


Kulap Vilaysack  39:55

I’m doing it all the time. And because I do feel that like what I I buy can be a political act. And I want to be conscious of what I contribute to. So for me Kulap, separate from anything here from SuChin. From Add to Cart, easy to for me to remove from cart Walgreens, that’s a political act. You don’t want to sell abortion pills that I don’t want to spend money at Walgreens?


SuChin Pak  40:23

Well, I mean, I’m glad that we had this space. And, you know, the bottom line is, is that I think that we continue to be transparent and honest with our listeners. And just know that the Auntie’s you know, we’re trying our best.


Kulap Vilaysack  40:40

Oh, yeah.


SuChin Pak  40:44

All right. Well, that is today’s episode. Wow. I got it all out. I feel good. I feel good. I feel like I’ve been holding in some stuff with my husband and some stuff about our show. And so just it feels really good. I felt cathartic.


Kulap Vilaysack  41:02

Yeah. Now I’m free to wear my Lululemons any which were place.


SuChin Pak  41:09

It’s not easy being small business moguls, but here we are. Here we are doing our best.


Kulap Vilaysack  41:15

And you can find all the stuff we talked about on the show at Add to Cart pod on Instagram, bye.


SuChin Pak  41:21



CREDITS  41:28

Well that’s it there’s more add to cart with Lemonada Premium subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content like where we give you an unfiltered look at the actual last thing we bought subscribe now in Apple podcasts. There’s more ADD TO CART with Lemonada Premium. Subscribers get exclusive access to bonus content like where we tell you about the last item we bought or returned and why. Subscribe now in Apple podcasts. Add To Cart is a production of Lemonada Media. Our producers are Kegan Zema and Tiffany Bouy. Brian Castillo is our engineer. Theme music is by Wasahhbii and produced by La Made It and Oh So Familiar with additional music by APM music. Executive producers or Kulap Vilaysack, SuChin Pak, Jessica Cordova Kramer, and Stephanie Wittels Wachs. Be sure to check out all the items we mentioned today on our Instagram at @AddToCartPod. Follow Add to Cart wherever you get your podcasts or listen at free on Amazon music with your Prime membership.

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