Sidekicks and Superheros

posted 2013 Feb by Vonnie Chan

Sidekicks are just Superheros who have been put on the back burner. Sometimes "Sidekick" is the label that others give to describe what we do. Most of the time "Sidekick" is the label we put on ourselves.   This is true of Chicks and Frogs which has been my sidekick.  For years, I cultivated the sidekick,  making things, crafting, and creating.  My Superhero was working for non-profit mission driven organizations.  I have fought for social justice through working for amazing organizations like Asian Law Caucus, Wild Planet Toys, ZeroDivide Foundation, Asian Women's Shelter, Asian Community Immigration Clinic, Eth-noh-tec, and Reading Partners to name a few.   Now, I'm embarking on a new journey, to evolve Chicks & Frogs from a backburner Sidekick to front and center Superhero.   One of my passions is to sew, create with fabric, and design clothing that creates laughter and celebrates the joy of living! Still grounded in social justice, I'm creating things that celebrate our diverse  commonalities.  Culture, food, technology and justice build bridges across people.  My SuperHero is inspired to continue to create a web of human connections through my craft.  I get pure happiness from making stuff, collaborating and sharing with community.   Aside from my superpower sense of smell, I look forward to not only sharing my other superpowers but to contributing to the superpowers of others as well.    Has anyone seen my cape?

Taking a Calculated Leap of Faith

posted 2013 Feb by Vonnie Chan

The spirit of "parentpreneurship" is calling me to shake things up.  I'm turning Chicks & Frogs from a side business to my main business.  I've decided to take a calculated leap of faith.   I'm blending my creative energy and love of making things that bring joy and humor to our lives from a side business to a business (sans the side).  I'll be the first to admit, the jump freaks me out.  The chasm seems wide and the possibility of failure deep.  But when I calculated the risk, the not jumping part was more risky than the actual jump.  So here I am on the other side of the chasm with my intentions and checklist in hand.   Here's what I know so far... 

1) Find my tribe: I've recently joined Mothership Hackermoms to support and be support to other entrepreneurial DIYERs.  Hackermoms is a co-working space designed for and by some amazing people who happen to be parents.  The space and this tribe of parents inspire me to push forward, continue to create, and keep making things happen.   Some offices have water coolers to build community, I have sewing machines, macbooks and sippy bottles surrounding me.   

2) Declare my intentions:  I've written down my goals as a reminder of where I'm headed. 

3) Go Public:  I've posted my intentions publicly on the "Badass" board, joined the Failure Club, and officially shared it with world.  If I fail, my goal is to fail big.  (No point in failing small).  

 If I succeed, the possibilities are endless.   

Here I go...


Chic Soiree hosted by Appel & Frank

posted 2008 Jun by Vonnie Chan

Kudos to Appel & Frank for hosting another well organized show. We unveiled our new “O Baa Ma” onesie. It was well received. A big thanks to Jocelyn who helped me “woman” the Chicks & Frogs booth. I even got a chance to sneak away and shop.

The show brought together 65 local designers, shoppers, and a bunch of cool products.

Some of my faves were:
Amies : Designer of cute accessories, stationary, and totes. I picked up a wallet for my 6 year old son and my 2 year old daughter. They love it. I can’t wait for their “hand-me-ups”.

Design by Me : Cool bags of all sizes and baby accessories made with fun fabrics. Love the lightweight Dragonfly tote.

Rattle Me : Adorable clothes, 100% organic clothes. Love the Guardian Angel wings.

2008 Fairs & Festivals

posted 2008 Apr by Vonnie Chan

We’re excited to kick off our second season of Chicks & Frogs. We will be have chosen a line-up of cool events that promise family fun for everyone. Don’t be surprised to see Quincy (a head taller than last year), greeting people with fortune cookies while our KangaRuby is now hopping all around.

We’d love to see you at these upcoming Bay Area festivals:

Sat & Sun, April 19 & 20– Cherry Blossom Festival – San Francisco.

Sat., May 10- Berryessa Art & Wine Festival – San Jose

Thurs., June 12 – Appel & Frank: Chic Soiree – San Francisco

Sat & Sun, Sept. 27 & 28, Pacific Coast Fog Fest, Pacifica

Sun., Nov. 9, -Appel & Frank: Babes & Babies – Mill Valley

WAGI #1 (aka: What a good idea)

posted 2007 Oct by Vonnie Chan

I’ve decided to start collecting all the tidbits of good advice/suggestions that I get from my friends and other parents who have “been there/done that”. Here’s my latest best find.

Context: It was the usual 6:00pm conversation on the playground of the daycare.
Q: What are you doing for dinner?
R: hmm..haven’t even thought about it. Take-out probably.
To make a short story shorter, we had an impromptu dinner get together at her house. The kids played while she got the pasta started. I ran home & picked up some pesto sauce. Sorry, I said, it’s just pesto pasta tonight. No time to cook a meat to give it that extra heartiness. She reaches into her fridge and pulls out a tub of cooked meat.

She says, I buy the premarinated burrito meat at Berkeley Bowl. Then I just sprinkle it on whatever. Salad, burritos, pasta. It’s the best!


Our world just got bigger

posted 2007 Sep by Vonnie Chan

Our son started Kindergarten this month. Three dizzying weeks have passed. Kindergarten blew in like a tornado with a whirlwind of activities. Q’s excitement when he tells me about his day is infectious. But at the same time, I’m exhausted. Kindergarten brings with it a whole new set of activities. PTA, parent volunteering in the classroom, parent conferences, and much more. I spent a good part of my day calendering the different upcoming activities. His world, and unbeknownst to me, Our world, just got bigger. Change is good right?


posted 2007 Aug by Vonnie Chan

I’m always caught off guard by how quickly my kids are growing. Just the other day, my 19 month daughter climbed to the top rung on the climby thing on the playground. She couldn’t get down of course. But, she definitely knew how to go up. Her feat, although impressive, is a shock because it always comes sooner than expected. But, what really leaves me speechless is my child’s emotional growth. The other day while I was in my sewing room, my 5 year old son said completely out of the blue, “Mom, for your birthday, I’m going to buy you thread”. My mouth hangs open in awe… did he just say what I thought he said? When did he learn to say something that is completely NOT about him? At least in that one moment, he understood that other people have likes that are different from his own. He is moving out of his toddler age and growing into a compassionate, caring, and articulate boy. I was so proud of him that I could burst. Yes, there is a light at the end of the dark, whiny, temper-tantrum filled tunnel that we parents call a day.

SF Cherry Blossom - Reconnecting with friends & community members

posted 2007 May by Vonnie Chan

As a first year vendor at the 40th Annual San Francisco Cherry Blossom Festival, I had many unexpected but much welcomed surprises. First, I was lucky enough to have my good friend, Cherry, helping out in the booth. Throughout the day, we filled our bellies with Chicken Karage, mochi, seaweed salad, Unagi-don bowls. The best part about the day (besides the weather which was San Francisco fantabulous) was reconnecting with friends and family who I haven’t seen in ages. Berkeley college connections and old friends, Asian Law Caucus buddies, and other community activists who I haven’t seen in ages. Fairs are about bringing community together. The SF Cherry Blossom was all that plus some. I can’t wait to do it again next year!

Where do you iPoo?

posted 2007 Apr by Eugene Chan

Tim Wu with iPoo at Masada in Israel

(Our friend Tim Wu is modeling the yellow iPoo shirt at Masada in the Holy Land.)

Where do you iPoo? We’re collecting photos of you and your loved ones with iPoo gear.

Send your photos and stories to

Photos from Union Street Easter Parade

posted 2007 Apr by Eugene Chan


It was a bit dicey on Saturday, but on Easter Sunday, nothing but sun and smiling faces. We had a great time. Special shout out to Joyce and Jeff. This was also Chick & Frogs first official San Francisco street fair.

(Here’s the full set of flickr photos.)

Get Your Mochi On This Saturday and Sunday

posted 2007 Apr by Eugene Chan

We will be at the Northern California Cherry Blossom Festival in Japantown, San Francisco on Saturday April 21 and Sunday April 22. Here’s the schedule for the entire festival activities in case you were interested in more than Fortune Cookie and Sushi onesies.

I’m not exactly sure where our booth will be—hopefully in the sun!

Union Street Easter Parade

posted 2007 Apr by Vonnie Chan

Chicks & Frogs made it’s San Francisco debut yesterday at the Union Street Easter Street Parade. We had a perfect San Francisco day with sunny & warm in the morning and breezy in the afternoon. As this is the first fair of the season, I spent last week producing products. On Saturday night I got the one car family blues. I realized that all my products & supplies would take up the trunk of the car + some. I really enjoy incorporating our family into these family fairs. But, the whole coordination of 2 kids, a stroller, the “Daddy bag”, snacks, diapers on public transportation was a bit daunting. So I had the fair blues when I thought, this would be the first time the kids wouldn’t be there. But, Eugene made my day when he arrived after lunch two kids in tow! It was an adventure riding BART to Bus. But, he did it! I have a new found respect and pride in Daddy’s parenting ability. (They ate animal crackers all day and filled themselves up on funnel cake – but I can’t ask for it all right?)

Chicks & Frogs As Featured in Parents Press

posted 2007 Apr by Eugene Chan

Parents Press, a local monthly newsmagazine for families, featured Chicks & Frogs as its hipster parent clothing profile in the April 2007 issue. Tara Taylor did a wonderful job capturing the spirit and love and history behind why we started doing this. Look for it or email us for a dead tress copy of the issue.


Thanks Parents Press. Vonnie has been an avid reader since Quincy was born!

1 packed weekend - 2 tired kids

posted 2007 Mar by Eugene Chan

This was one jam packed weekend.

As a parent, I get a bizarre pleasure when I successfully schedule events around naptimes, feedings, and meltdowns. We somehow managed to get down to San Jose on Friday night, have dim sum Saturday morning, get to a “sneak peek” newborn party for the newest addition to our expanding circle of friends. Then, we were back up to Oakland for a slideshow of a friend’s phenomenal experience doing post-tsunami relief work in India. Before the sun set on Saturday, we made it to a birthday bash at Habitot Museum for my son’s preschool buddies who happen to be a set of twins. The girl’s cake – My Pretty Pony. The boy’s cake – Alien. The party bags were fantastic. On Sunday, it was pancake breakfast in PJ’s. It’s now Sunday at 8:00 pm and the kids are fast asleep.

I wouldn’t recommend doing this every weekend. But, on rare occasion, it’s a confidence builder to know you can. With a smirkish grin, I think the stars are in alignment (at least for the past 72 hours) and lighting a path in this foggy, crazy, chaotic life of parenthood.

Upcoming Fairs & Festivals

posted 2007 Mar by Vonnie Chan

I’m excited to kick off the spring season by choosing the line-up of upcoming Fairs & Festivals. I love incorporating my family into Chicks & Frogs. My son, Quincy, greets people with fortune cookies while my husband pouches (in the baby bjorn) our Kanga-Ruby. When the kids get bored, we take them out to enjoy the magicians, clowns, and inflatable jumpers. Then, like me, they are completely wiped out for the next 2-3 days.

We’d love to see you at these upcoming Bay Area festivals:

Sun., April 8 – Union Street Easter Parade – SF

Sat & Sun, April 28-29 – Cherry Blossom Festival – Cupertino

Sat., May 12- Berryessa Art & Wine Festival – San Jose