Soomee Suh, co-founder of Ninja Bubble Tea, discusses entrepreneurship, the value of community and why she wanted to support Cre8tiveYouTH*ink’s latest project with Nicole Casamento of Niborama
By the time Cre8tiveYouTH*ink decided to rent a studio space in Industry City for the Art School Without Walls Vol. 6., most of the project’s logistics were taken care of, except for one: feeding the entire crew each weekend as they worked on the mural. As luck would have it, there was a relatively new, small store named Ninja Bubble Tea, on the first floor of the building, which offers vietnamese sandwiches and a variety of beverages.
Ninja Bubble Tea is co-owned by Soomee Suh and Chantha Uy. They met years ago in a business program at Borough of Manhattan Community College. Suh and Uy became pediatric nurses in the following years but the dream of entrepreneurship stayed with them. Last year, they both attended Bubble Tea University and jumped on the opportunity to open up shop in Sunset Park. They both still work full-time shifts as nurses, while taking turns running the store on the side.
Vince is one of the first Cre8tiveYouTH*ink members, working on every one of the group’s projects to date. He joined the group as a sophomore at the Brooklyn High School of the Arts. As he practiced graffiti and street art from a young age, this current project is close to his heart. Vince is currently a second year student at Parsons with a focus on fine arts. He hopes to bridge his interest in street art with his studies, which stress a more traditional focus on painting, drawing, and sculpture.
I like giving back to the community. Most of the projects I’m working on focus on vulnerable populations. Teens are by definition a very vulnerable population because most people don’t listen to them. But they have voices, they have interests and it’s very important for the larger community to recognize that they need help. Organizations like Cre8tiveYouTH*ink are very good for teenagers because art can minimize all the bad influences around them and give them something positive to focus on instead.
How do you think others can help aspiring artists?
It just takes one person to believe in them. It all started with my middle school art teacher so basically you just need to inspire that person even if they can’t do something well at first. It takes practice.