Fashion Designer Patty Ang On Parenting Outside The Lines
Patty Ang is the easiest person to talk to…
About being a young mom. Or why her success as a fashion designer can only be attributed to countless sleepless nights and grit. Or why her not-so-nuclear family unit just works. She’s smart, direct, and an awesome role model for young women — no wonder she’s been heralded as one of the country’s top fashion designers. To top it off, she’s achieved it all while raising a daughter — only 11 years younger than her — while staying grounded. Here, Patty speaks to us about motherhood, her career highs and lows and her future plans for her atelier.
Tell us how you got into fashion design
When I was in high school, I fell in love with clothes. Since I was already a mom, I was so self-conscious, especially with my body. I had stretch marks because I didn’t know how to take care of my body when I got pregnant. So I started experimenting with clothes — I had to pick what was perfect for my body type it started from there. I studied fashion, only after studying business like my parents wanted me to and it all really happened so quickly after that.
And how did that go?
Well, right out of college, I started a small fashion line. And it failed.
I learned a lot from it though. It helped me understand the back end of how a business works — finding suppliers, the right people and all those little details. Of course, it didn’t help that I was trying to juggle motherhood and studying on top of all that. It made me realize that I needed to just take a step back and prioritize, so I decided to concentrate on my studies first.
Obviously, everything turned out alright in the end — congratulations! Do you think that owning your own business gives you more flexibility as a mom?
Definitely! When I started my business, I was already thinking about how I would spend time with my daughter. I wanted my own business because time is more flexible. Then later on down the road, I realized that owning a business is just like having another baby. I work a lot, sometimes I even stay in my office overnight, travel… it’s not what I thought it was but if needed, I’ll take a day off for my daughter. In that sense, it’s flexible.
How did being a mom affect the way you approached your career?
Honestly, I think I had to mature faster than most people my age because I was such a young mom. I knew I had to work so I could take care of my daughter and I’ve thrown myself in it. There are times when I feel really, really tired and burnt out. But all these gave me a true understanding of the real world and the bigger picture. I understand that I need to do all this so I can grow.
Your success is undeniable — and so is your work ethic. What do you tell people who think it’s too much?
I believe all our careers have a timeline. One day, I’ll be at home with my family but now that everything’s hot, I need to move and keep on going for it. I have to keep on fighting and it’s hard. I’m lucky I have such an understanding support system and a good team who pushes me and keeps me going.
How has motherhood been so far? You are such a young mom, it must’ve been tough.
I love that my daughter is really understanding. Of course, her age is also a factor — she understands a lot but I can see that she also craves for attention. What happened to me back then wasn’t really nice, but somehow I just feel thankful. Everything happens for a reason and I’ve been blessed with an instant best friend that I can talk to about anything. I think she feels the same way — she doesn’t think of me as just her mom and because of that I consider myself really lucky.
What’s the hardest stage been for you?
Sakit sa ulo talaga! The teenager stage is the hardest, especially in the earlier years — 11, 12, 13. I remember crying about how hard it was. She’s growing up though, which means she’s maturing and becoming more understanding. She’s more open, too.
But now that she’s older, she’s hanging out with her friends more. I remember when her world revolved around me; now she has her own thing. She tells me, “Wait mom, I have to talk to my friends” and do this and that…it’s so different and makes me sad. But this pandemic let us hang out and get closer.
How do you bond?
Thanks to the pandemic, my daughter and I have really been able to hang out. We watch a lot of movies, eat — I don’t even remember the names of the movies we’ve watched together because we saw a lot. And yes, we all gained a lot of weight.
You recently got married. How was it, introducing your daughter to your then husband-to-be? How did they get along?
It wasn’t hard at all. Even in my past relationships, everyone understood that it was always a package deal for us — they had to accept us both. Not all guys did, but I always made that clear. My husband is such a family man, so it was never a problem. When we first started dating, my daughter went through this jealous phase but, she got over it the more time everyone spent together. It also helps that my daughter’s such a sweetheart and really easy to get along with. Also, my husband is always there to fill the gaps when I’m not around.
Do you have any tips for moms or other parents going through the same thing?
I think it should happen as naturally as possible. You can’t force a situation if it doesn’t feel right. And if it doesn’t feel right, he’s not the one for you. You need to emphasize that it’s always a package deal from day one. Also, you should never hide anything or put your best foot forward.
What’s next for you?
The pandemic’s put a pause on everything. Before Covid-19, we were focused on the international scene and we plan to get back to it as soon as everything’s OK. I’m using this pause to also take a break, revamp everything. We’re taking this time to fix the business and production side of things, from the suppliers to the banding. This year, we expect to be busier than ever with another brand, Patton. It’s actually keeping us really busy now.
Although Patty may not have had a normal path to motherhood, she is undoubtedly full of heart and passion when it comes to her family. And it shows in everything she touches. Surrounded by people she loves, Patty Ang is unstoppable and we can’t wait to see what’s in store for this talented mama.
Thank you, Patty!