Based in Texas, Mandy Retsuko stands as an entrepreneurial social media star, who is still attempting to navigate adulthood and adolescence in the midst of the tribulations.
While they continue to attend school and go to work, they try not to allow the haziness, the repetition and glaziness of it all overtake them. Retsuko’s partner, Jmon, keeps them grounded and in tune with the things around them. Simple things like love keep them rooted and planted in reality, keeping them from floating off into the uncertainty of things.
As the power of manifestation shows itself visible in their life, their brand,TRINK-ITZ, modeling career, and other future endeavors fall into the rest of 2020, with the intent of providing an inside look into their life.
Interviewer: We have a very surface perception of who you are as an individual, so who are you as of late?
Mandy: That’s a hard ass question. I like how you said 'linear relationship with social media’ because I definitely agree. I think I’m a very driven but relaxed kind of person if that makes sense. I love feeling determined to achieve what I want, but I also need to relax in order to keep myself sane. I don’t like doing the same thing over and over again. I need to keep learning more and more.
Interviewer: How do you think your platform on social media blew up?
Mandy: I think it started to gain traction around my junior to senior year of high school after my best friend Marcus and I started to shoot together. I started to post photos from our shoots and a lot of people seemed to like them.
Interviewer: How did TRINK-ITZ come about?
Mandy: My inspiration definitely came from my partner, Jmon. After seeing how he’s built his own brand makes wonderful art, I realized that I wanted to do the same. I saw how cute resin ashtrays were and wanted to make my own. I also got inspiration from another friend, Q, and how she uses resin to make her keychains.
Interviewer: It feels as though everyone knows who you and your boyfriend, Jmon are. You all have gone viral on the internet on more than one occasion. How did y’all meet?
Mandy: It’s funny to hear that “everyone” knows us. We met through Marcus. Marcus and Jmon started to become friends since they go to the same university. We started to talk through social media and eventually met up last year during SXSW. I definitely manifested the type of person he is to come into my life and since then, I’ve been so grateful.
Interviewer: In the yee-haw state, a lot of people have a low tolerance for people of color. What has been your experience as an Asian- American in Texas?
Mandy: Growing up within a majority white neighborhood, schooling was honestly fucked. Middle school was probably the roughest time of my life because I was wanting to whitewash myself and become like the other white preppy girls at school. Experiencing many microaggressions from many older white teachers was fucking annoying.
Interviewer: As you pull from those experiences, how do you navigate life?
Mandy: I’ve been enjoying my journey through life. I feel like within the last year I’ve grown and learned so much within spirituality and manifesting. It’s definitely the main reason why I’ve been really enjoying life lately.
Interviewer: It feels like the more we grow and experience life, we realize that life is rough. How do you stay optimistic about living?
Mandy: My faith in the universe keeps me optimistic about living. Your life can be a reflection of what you put out, and you can control it. A source of joy that keeps me going is the supportive and loving people around me.
Interviewer: Because of social media, people perceive you as uber-serious, but you’re actually extremely comedic. How do you maintain that balance on your platforms?
Mandy: I feel like I am completely the opposite. I love funny people. Therefore, I would like to be one as well. I don’t consciously think about maintaining a balance on my platform. I just do whatever I feel like.
Interviewer: Every day, all we do is spend time on our phones, stream music, scroll on Instagram, and watch shows on Netflix. It’s like our minds start to shift out of the present moment and into this online vernacular, and the four days begin to blend together. How do you stay in the moment?
Mandy: God I feeeeeel that 100%. I question the purpose of social media all the time. There definitely comes times where my days blend together and I just feel like I’m going through the motions and not actually living. Meditating can really help center yourself and remember to just breathe and live in the moment.
Interviewer: How do you process love?
Mandy: I think feeling loved can feel like you have more reasons to stay sane. Feeling loved can feel like you’re more secure and that you can have more to look forward to. Feeling loved in an unconditional feeling that feels so warm and all-encompassing.
Interviewer: What does an average day look like for you?
Mandy: An average day for me is being with my kitty, Celine, trying to be as productive as I can (it can be pretty hard some days), completing school assignments, going to work, spending time with friends, and either talking over the phone or being with my baby.
Interviewer: What moment from this year has given you hope that everything will be okay? What did that time look like?
Mandy: A moment from this year that has given me hope, is when I kept seeing angel numbers around me. I would see those numbers in the oddest places like within grocery store prices, my money, the time, and freeway exits. I know that I am protected and I am in control of my life, and there is nothing to worry about.
Interviewer: What future plans do you have for your business?
Mandy: As of now, I want to take a break from TRINK-ITZ and focus on modeling again. But I'm still open for future collaborations with artists of course!
Interviewer: How do you continue to balance your work life with your love life?
Mandy: I feel like my partner and I are both pretty work- oriented and determined. We kind of keep each other in check within our work lives. As much as we want to always want to have “mwuah- mwuah” time, we know that we have to keep working in order to achieve the goals we have for the future.
Interviewer: What are you obsessed with as of late?
Mandy: My beautiful little diva cat, Celine. She is honestly the embodiment of myself but as a cat. She’s so amazing and I’m so grateful to have adopted her.
Interviewer: Favorite songs/ albums?