"About Our Founder
Sonia Smith-Kang is an AfroLatina RN turned designer and founder. A proud military brat born in Puerto Rico, her family was then transferred and stationed on the Hawaiian island of O’ahu. Sonia is thankful for her multicultural upbringing, the beautiful places she’s lived, and the communities she was able to connect with around the globe.
Today Sonia calls Los Angeles home where she lives with her Korean American husband and their 4 multicultural and multilingual children. These experiences inform how she sees the world and shapes her designs.
As a mom, Sonia came up with a way to "cultureproof" her home. Like childproofing protects children from injury, cultureproofing protects their self-esteem and identity. From the artwork, books, music, and cultural clothing, she brings products into her home that instill pride, promote cultural awareness, understanding and educate. To make sure her children see accurate reflections of their multicultural heritage, Sonia is intentional about bringing in cultural products that help shape her children’s identity and provide an uplifting environment.
Mixed Up Clothing was born.While shopping for her children, Sonia saw a white space in retail: a lack of multicultural representation. Wanting to solve the lack of diversity in children’s fashion, Sonia started sewing clothes for her children with fabrics and trims sourced from around the world. When people stopped her to ask about the clothes, she noticed they were inquisitive about the cultures the fabrics represented and they would open up about themselves and their culture. Sonia knew she was onto something. She emptied out her savings, went all in on her dreams and Mixed Up Clothing was born. Who better to tell our stories?
On a mission to celebrate culture and diversity, Mixed Up Clothing is a multicultural children's apparel brand focused on highlighting the beauty and vibrant cultures of the world. At a time when the multicultural community is outpacing other populations, it's important for families of all backgrounds to see themselves in everyday life. With a focus on educating, Mixed Up Clothing introduces others to the diverse cultures of the world to ignite global understanding.
Sonia advocates for diverse designers and is a mentor to BIPOC founders. A graduate of Amazon's Black Business, Pledge LA's Accelerator and The Workshop at Macy’s, an exclusive retail vendor development program designed to give select high potential minority- and women-owned businesses the tools to better succeed and sustain growth in the retail industry. Mixed Up Clothing is a certified minority-owned small business, a member of The Fifteen Percent Pledge and Forbes BLK. Sonia is part of Beygood's Black Business Parade Route and Goldman Sach's One Million Black Women. She is a recipient of numerous grants including Fed Ex's Accion Grant.
Sonia and her work have been featured on NBC’s Today show, The Real, NPR, KPCC, HuffPost Live, CBS, and ABC News. Her designs can be seen in Latina Magazine, InTouch, Babiekins, Earnshaws, and Pregnancy & Newborn.
From feelings of not being "enough" of one ethnicity or another, to blending cultures and languages, and raising kids in an increasingly multicultural world, Sonia enjoys connecting with other and sharing her life experiences. She has become determined to bridge gaps between cultures and communities
Sonia is a diversity, equity, and inclusion expert and public speaker. She focuses on topics of advocacy, activism, social justice, multiracial identity, parenting multicultural children, and the intersection of health and culture. A Registered Nurse and Public Health Nurse, she received her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of San Francisco and became a critical care nurse. Sonia still uses her triage skills in her business and was able to meld her RN and design skillsets during the pandemic where she made masks and donated them to medical agencies and underserved communities.