Nina Ho & Regine Malibiran: collective blue

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WHO ARE YOU? Tell us about yourself, hey, even brag a little.

Nina: My name is Nina Ho, and I’m the co-founder and ceo of collective blue. I was born in Vietnam, grew up in Houston, and moved to Austin to attend UT to study Advertising, French, and Portuguese.

What drives the work that I do is the belief that creative work is a privilege that should be accessible to all. I’m passionate about championing diversity in entrepreneurship, tech, and the arts especially through telling stories and building community. I recently quit my day job at a software company to freelance full-time as a brand marketing consultant and content creator and to ramp up with collective blue. I also have some other exciting projects in the works.

Regine: I’m Regine Malibiran, and I like talking to people so much that I aim to do it for a living. My greatest life accomplishments include earning degrees in English and Public Relations from The University of Texas at Austin, raising a five week-old kitten to adulthood (can’t say the same for succulents), and seeing Beyoncé and Rihanna live during finals week.

As a 1.5 generation immigrant, I am in a unique position to identify and exemplify the best parts of both American and Filipino culture. My values are rooted in defining happiness and success for myself (and only myself) and always grinding to affect positive change.

I’m passionate about creating platforms to encourage underrepresented voices to express themselves. Don’t have a seat at the table? Let’s talk and work together to build your throne.

 photos by Kassidy Curry

photos by Kassidy Curry

TELL US ABOUT THE WORK YOU ARE DOING AND WHY IT IS IMPORTANT.

collective blue is a lifestyle brand that celebrates diverse creators through digital storytelling and event production.

By telling stories and producing events where these individuals and their ideas can collide, we hope to make Austin’s creative community more inclusive, collaborative, and meaningful.

The idea came about when we, both immigrant women of color, realized that there was no home base in Austin for people like us to get their work out in the world, make the right friends, and help each other succeed. We wanted to build a tribe of creators who shared our values of being community-oriented and unapologetically themselves in a way that was impactful, profitable, and leveraged our personal creative strengths.

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In today’s political climate, we believe having a space for underrepresented groups to celebrate community, be unapologetically themselves, and come together to support each other’s successes is more important now than ever.

WHAT HAVE BEEN SOME CHALLENGES IN PURSUING THIS WORK?

collective blue has been around for a year now, and we’ve always been clear about “why” we create: to make Austin’s creative community more diverse and inclusive. We’ve spent the last year trying to figure out “how” to go about doing that in way that aligns our social impact mission with financial sustainability for the company and for us as individuals.

It’s taken us a year’s worth of throwing ideas at the wall and finding out what sticks but we feel like we’re finally finding the balance between serving our community and being profitable. Honestly, our biggest challenge right now is fitting everything we need to accomplish into Google Calendar.

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WHERE AND HOW CAN WE SUPPORT YOU IN YOUR QUEST?

You can support our mission by reaching out if you’d like to collaborate with us (team@collectiveblue.co), following us on social (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), attending our events, and by copping a collective blue cap!

What is your mantra?

Nina: Do what brings you joy.

Regine: I’m a grown woman. I can do whatever I want. (Thanks Bey.)

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