A LETTER FROM EDWARD
Wooji is a lifestyle brand inspired by Asian-American pop culture.
My journey with Wooji began back at Anime Expo 2007, ten years before I even started the company. I was 13 years old at the time and followed my sister everywhere. She and her friends frequented the anime convention scene and I would tag along.
Back then Anime Expo was a lot smaller and everything was packed into one giant room. I remember spending hours pacing through the exhibit hall, knowing that I only had enough money to buy one item at the end of the four day event.
I finally set my eyes on this t-shirt with a skull heart from artist alley. I couldn't tell you who the artist was, but as a boy who was about to enter his emo phase, I thought this was the coolest design in the world. It was my favorite shirt in high school and I wore it until it completely faded from countless washes.
That kicked off my love and affinity for clothing. I started a business right out of college in 2016 and called it Button Mash Ninja. I took characters from popular IPs and sold cute fan art on t-shirts. Although I was able to make a couple sales, I didn't feel right using characters I did not create on my own. So after running it for a year, I closed that business and rebranded to Wooji in 2017.
Wooji combines everything that is me into one. Whether it's anime or gaming, many of the themes that you will find in our designs tie back to my Asian-American roots. I love celebrating our culture and I will continue to use my brand as a medium to spread love for our community.
As I'm writing this in July of 2023, it has been exactly six years of Wooji. July is always a very special time for me because our biggest event of the year Anime Expo happens during this month. My goal each year is to find that kid—that 13 year old Edward—who will choose my shirt and love it to death. Maybe one day that kid will have the booth next to mine.