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UMN student Trinity Vang launches personal jewelry line

The third-year University student launched the accessory brand Flourish through her self-made arts platform.
Stylings of Trinity Vang of TRIN Collective on models Shannon Lee and Kathryn Nguyen.

As she prepares for a restock of her original jewelry line launched by her self-titled independent arts collective, it’s clear that 20-year-old Trinity Vang embodies the do-it-yourself attitude.

A third-year youth studies major at the University of Minnesota, Vang launched her LLC, TRIN Collective, in the spring of 2019. TRIN Collective operates a creative platform aiming to promote sustainability and social awareness and celebrate marginalized voices within the arts and community.

In September, Vang started Flourish, an extended jewelry and accessory line through TRIN.

Since its initial inception during her first year at college, Vang has remained both the brains and muscle behind TRIN Collective.

Until recently, Vang had not been able to dedicate as much of her time to the project as she would have liked; her involvement in school and various student groups, such as Hmong women’s group VIIVNCAUS, the Hmong Minnesota Student Association and women’s group VERA, took up a majority of her time.

“My sophomore year, I was able to still carry out some projects, but it wasn’t what I really envisioned or what I wanted,” Vang said. “I think the growth in my platform didn’t really start until the last six months.”

In fall 2020, Vang became interested in the idea of selling her products and creating a brand within the collective. The pieces and items are sold by, inspired by and dedicated to the women in Vang’s life, including the “Olivia Earrings” and the “Jamila Hair Claw.”

Jamila Vue, Vang’s friend and artistic collaborator, thinks people appreciate Vang’s personal touch on all of her work.

“She takes her time to pick items for her brand that really show who she is,” Vue said. “Every piece is named after a woman in her life, and I think a lot of people appreciate that. People know she comes from a good heart. That’s why I think she has such a big audience and people support her small business.”

Flourish’s first collection released on Jan. 1 and sold out within a week.

“I initially started with pieces that I liked myself,” Vang said. “I wanted to kind of go into my own sense of style and then see where that goes. I bought in a very small batch because I wasn’t expecting it to blow up as much as it did.”

A friend and longtime supporter of the TRIN Collective, Kathy Yang credits Vang’s artistic drive and work ethic.

“She’s always been super ambitious,” Yang said. “She is one of the most down to earth but also super professional and creative people that I’ve encountered. She’s already an entrepreneur, which is really crazy.”

Vang’s hope is for Flourish and TRIN Collective to support and help give voice and representation to Black and Indigenous people, people of color (BIPOC), as well as other marginalized groups working in the arts and fashion. She also champions sustainability in fashion while recognizing the financial dilemma associated with ethical consumption.

“Although I’m a true believer in sustainability, I also believe in ethical consumption. But I wouldn’t want to blame anyone for purchasing from a fast-fashion company,” Vang said. “Obviously, a lot of ethical and sustainable fashion, in most cases, are not affordable for more low income and BIPOC companies.”

Currently registered as an LLC, Vang’s hope is for TRIN Collective to get nonprofit status.

“I definitely want to grow my platform,” Vang said. “I eventually want to do more creative directing work with TRIN Collective. I want to get my nonprofit status, and I also want to get more involved with my community when it comes to modeling and fashion and getting those folks the platform.”

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