Meet Theary Sim: Cambodian Plus-Size Fashion Designer

It is said that the apple doesn’t fall from the tree—but in the case of Theary Sim it fell into a whole other orchard. Theary always dreamt of being a fashion designer, a mission that negated her family’s expectations of success. As Cambodian immigrants, they sacrificed everything so that she could get ahead, which to them meant she should be become a doctor or a lawyer.

As a young plus-size woman, Theary also struggled to stay fashionable in high school, a frustration that compelled her make her own clothes, and launched the early stage of her career as a designer for this important and often overlooked market.

4 Lessons to Take from Theary Right Now

What Makes You Different will Make You Money

Her vantage point as someone plus-size poised Theary to deliver a useful product to others like her. Instead of feeling badly about who she is—she embraces and profits from it.

Get Your Head Around Sacrifice

Theary walked away from a full scholarship to pursue her dreams. She knew she needed a certain distance from her hometown to see a bigger picture for herself.

Learn to Love Social Media

When Theary created her first garment, before she even had a website built, she posted about it on Facebook. One hour later there were over 700 inquiries about the piece in her inbox.

Always Be Willing to Invest in Yourself

When Theary worked at a music label she offered to make clothes for artists and never charged any of them a dime. Why? Because she ultimately knew this would be an investment in herself.

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