At Age 40, I have two startups: my new day-job Ohanga and my new not-day-job art classes

Yesterday was my 40th birthday. I have been an engineer and engineering manager for the last 17+ years. I worked for high tech companies such as Amazon. Two months ago, I launched a startup headquartered in Rhode Island. For all the past 40 years, I was developing my left brain power. As to the other half, there was almost none. Since my childhood, I could barely sketch a cube with the right perspectives and shadows to make it 3D-looking (of course, if I am allowed to use a ruler with precise measurement, that’s a different story :)…

Yuping (co-founder of Ohanga), homework folder for art classes
My art folder

Long story short, I am now taking art classes. I originally purchased these online classes (taught by Chinese-speaking teachers since my dad only speaks Chinese) for my dad who is currently living with us. Since the beginning of the pandemic, I was concerned about him getting bored at home. It turns out that I didn’t have to worry: he really didn’t have much time left between his super productive vegetable garden and the two grandchildren that have been home since March.

You might have heard about “Tiger Mom” by Amy Chua. Well, Chinese teachers are the same if even more fearsome! I have been repeatedly and ruthlessly reminded and then criticized about the fact there was no homework submission since beginning of the classes… until finally I surrendered by taking the classes myself and catching up with the homework at nights… This is like all of sudden, in one day, I am back to school! This is all while I am joggling with my new startup day-job Ohanga. Stressful? yes! fun? yes!

But life works its wonder in very magic ways. My startup company Ohanga that I co-founded with a friend is to “Celebrate Creative” and to “support local artists”. Our vision is “imagining a world where artists can grow and share their passions undeterred, and where communities can celebrate the arts and champion the creatives around them”. I had always been an admirer of artists and creatives… how they are able to create these beautiful arts were (and still are!) beyond my imagination. This new endeavor of taking art classes is only making me even more appreciative of the amazing creativity and hard work (!) within the artists and their arts.

A friend asked me about Ohanga, how do you know you have the right idea? … My answer, it is the right idea for me because I am passionate about the vision and mission behind the idea. Is this idea going to be a successful one, I don’t know … but I will “dream big and work hard” to TRY!

We are still working hard on our products and services. In the mean time, to provide some entertainment to our students who are mostly isolated and potentially bored at home now, to celebrate arts, artists and communities around us, we are organizing a student contest Ohanga Together Student Grant page url update: with cash grants. student art contest student art contest

So, this is my new day-job and my new non-day-job at Age 40 :-). Take away, dream big, work hard, and have fun!

beginning a new journey by launching my own startup in the middle of the pandemic. I am passionate about sharing my learning.

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