Retro future is here, in the present

How Kimmy Su used quarantine to rebrand her company

Laura Channell, R1 Feature Editor

Retro Future logo (Photo by Kimberly Su)

We’d all be lying if we said quarantine didn’t produce infinite periods of boredom, but unlike others who embraced the lockdown fatigue, WHS junior Kimmy Su went from bored to business owner. Since Su has always been a creative person, she decided to take advantage of quarantine by prioritizing the business she had always left on the backburner. 

Inspired by her cousin’s business and Etsy shop ForTheSeaStudios, Su initially embarked on her small business journey in early July by opening a shop named Lunar Jewelers. However, once her business was up and running, Su admitted, “Something didn’t feel right with the concept and the products I was releasing, so I decided to rebrand and create Retro Future.”  The transition from Lunar Jewelers to Retro Future came to fruition throughout late August and early September of this year. 

Selling pins, jewelry, and keychains- made from recycled and recyclable products like shrink wrap- is what Retro Future is known for. But, Su goes above and beyond when it comes to not only her products, but her profits. “I decided to make Retro Future a non-profit organization because I wanted to contribute to a good cause. I knew that I didn’t need the money, and I knew that I would somehow feel guilty if I decided to keep all of the profits because there were charities in the world that actually needed [help],” Su said.

 In addition to making an impact on her customers through her jewelry, Su has also become an advocate for animal rights. “I decided to donate to the World Wildlife Fund because I’ve always been really passionate about wildlife conservation,” said Su. “I think that it’s devastating that so many animals are becoming endangered, going extinct, because of human development and climate change, so I wanted to help in some way.” Su shares her passion of helping endangered species by adding a daily animal and fun fact on Retro Futures’ Instagram account @shopretrofuture. 

Even though she initially decided to donate all profits to the World Wildlife Fund, which aims to conserve nature and reduce environmental threats, Su also plans to donate to the American Cancer Society. “Recently, one of my favorite actors, Chadwick Boseman, passed away due to colon cancer, so I decided to design a Black Panther pin to sell,” said Su. The profits from the pin, released on Monday, will be donated to the American Cancer Society. 

Retro Future has been a rewarding experience for Su, but it has come with ups and downs. While the designing of new collections and products can be stressful, Su regards it as her favorite part of the whole business experience. While challenging to get customers at first, Su’s persistent optimism and hard work after the first collection’s release paid off:  “No one wanted to purchase it. That really upset me and made me want to give up, but I decided to use that to push myself harder and ask myself what I could improve upon”. 

Although small businesses bring natural ups and downs, Su’s message of dedication and passion behind Retro Future is something we can promote so that she can continue to support people and animals in need.