Hi, my name is Nina! I was born in Busan, South Korea and adopted to a nice Midwestern family when I was just a baby. I went back to visit the motherland as an adult to teach English and learn about my roots. As fate would have it, I bumped into my husband on the streets of Hongdae, a colorful college district in the heart of Seoul. The rest, as they say, is history...
But what does this have to do with hanboks?
Well, we moved to a small town in France and had 2 kids - 2 French-Korean-American kids who now had very little exposure to anything Korean. Raising multicultural kids often feels like such a balancing act. Trying to connect my kids to Korean culture while not physically being in Korea was hard. In France, I could buy Korean ingredients online to cook Korean dishes, we could teach them some Korean words, but still... we were missing something. One Christmas, my daughter asked for a hanbok. One she could wear all the time. I remembered seeing so many cotton hanboks for kids during our time in Korea, so I looked online, confident I would be able to find something. To my surprise, it was not an easy task! Traditional hanboks are plentiful, and so are cotton hanboks for adults, but everyday cotton hanboks for kids are not. I was finally able to find one model at a big online retailer.
My daughter was so proud to wear her hanbok. She wanted to wear it every day. She told everyone who complimented her dress, "It's a hanbok and it's Korean." Alas, the fun didn't last long. The chima skirt on the hanbok fell apart after just 2 washes. My daughter was devastated. There had to be a better option! But what?
After moving back to Seoul and seeing my kids so easily reconnect with their roots, I realized how significant even small cultural connections could be while being away. I remembered how a hanbok was a way to help my kids express their Korean side and feel proud of their heritage. It helped us create a bridge with Korea even when we weren't physically there. With this thought in mind, I joined forces with two other Korean moms, Emma and Gayeon, and Buju & Coco was born!
We did a lot of searching, inspected hundreds of models, and were finally able to curate some great quality hanboks from an awesome family-run business. We are so excited that we can now share our love of comfortable cotton hanboks with you!