Cindy Ngo is a multi-hyphenate creative who walked away from her full-time nursing career last year to pursue her passion for design. She took the leap and launched Ink + Porcelain, a one stop shop for elevated (but affordable) design inspiration and curation. Cindy loves the thrill of the hunt, and she offers personalized design sourcing for clients looking for unique and secondhand vintage finds. Her site showcases not only the products she loves, but also features other female creatives in the design space. I was thrilled to be one of them. I loved chatting with Cindy about risk taking, creative entrepreneurship, really good chocolate, and her upcoming event series. Our interview is straight ahead!
The most valuable career advice?
Take the plunge. I don’t remember who shared this advice with me, but it stuck. I made the decision to leave my career as a nurse last year to pursue a career in design. Now, when I’m asked to offer some advice, I share this: “Take the plunge. Listen to your gut. Life is too short to live a life you don’t dream of. Use your voice to inspire others and don’t be afraid to ask for help or advice. You’ll be surprised at how many people want to help you pursue your dreams.”
Entrepreneur you admire?
Jen Pelka, CEO and Co-Founder of Une Femme Wines. Jen previously founded The Riddler, a champagne bar in SF + NYC, fully funded and run by women. I went to The Riddler in 2017 and it became a special place for me where I celebrated with friends – it still brings back the fondest memories. I immediately began following Jen’s journey and was so inspired by the brand and experience she created. Jen built a business she believed in and has always been committed to supporting women. While The Riddler may not be open anymore, Jen went on to start her own wine company that is made by women to celebrate women. Her brand, Une Femme, is for the dreamers, doers, and hustlers. I reached out to Jen the day after I launched my business in 2021 to introduce myself and tell her how much I admired her work. I wrote the message not knowing if she would ever read it, but I heard back from her, and she’s been incredibly supportive of my entrepreneurial journey since. Sometimes I wonder what would have happened if I hadn’t reached out and said hello 5 years ago when I started following her Instagram account. What I’ve learned is the power of a simple hello, and that people genuinely want to help you succeed.
A risk you took that paid off?
Walking away from my nursing career to build my own business. It was a huge gamble, but luckily it’s paying off.
The thing you like most about yourself?
If not pointed out, I often can’t tell the boundaries of what is possible and what I’m capable of, which sometimes leads me to surprise myself by doing things that I didn’t think I knew how to do.
How do you fuel your creativity?
When I can, I fuel my creativity through travel and appreciating art at museums. But, for a quick fix, I listen to music and put on my favorite playlist.
Go-to daily uniform?
Levi’s high-waisted jeans, a black tee shirt or white linen button down, and sneakers.
Actual morning routine?
I wake up at 5am on weekdays, make tea and start my work day. I open up my emails and scour the Estate Sales in my area cause I’m always searching for something, even when I don’t know what that something is.
Earlybird or night owl?
How do you recharge when it’s all too much?
I turn all my notifications off and go for a walk.
One self care tip you follow religiously?
My AM & PM skincare routine is never missed.
Your #1 go-to easy weeknight meal?
A quinoa bowl with veggies and any protein that we have, topped with a lemon and olive oil dressing.
Favorite snack or treat?
Any kind of chocolate from Hu Kitchen. Specifically their Almond Butter + Puffed Quinoa chocolate.
Most used app on your phone?
My camera. I’m constantly taking photos and running out of storage space.
In your handbag right now?
Hand Sanitizer, wallet, chapstick, hand lotion and a face mask.
Sweatpants or real pants while on Zoom?
Digital or physical planner?
I’ve always been a paper planner person and am currently using one from Appointed.
Favorite gift to give?
A bottle of wine or a book.
Can’t live without beauty product?
Supergoop everyday sunscreen if I had to choose only one.
Your favorite spot to retreat to in your home?
Our living room in our Woodhouse. Always.
Anything fun coming up?
Yes! I’m so excited to be launching events – A Seat at The Table came to fruition to support and connect female creatives from all different backgrounds. It was such an amazing and meaningful turnout and we had 15 women-owned sponsors and planned it in 3 weeks! We gathered and celebrated female creatives from different backgrounds and our shortlist included a mix of writers, designers, artists, photographers, and founders. I partnered with Samantha Romero, of Fig & Oak to host the event at her 2500 sq ft vintage showroom in DTLA. This is the beginning of a series of events I’ll be throwing with her for our community of female creatives. Count on more products, special features, and collaborations. Follow along @inkandporcelain!
Thanks Cindy! So inspired by the way you took such a huge bet on yourself. Now, off I go to stalk your beautiful website and wait for your next event…
Photography Credit: Danikha Nunez