I cannot believe I am able to bring you this content. For those who read the blog for a certain time now, you know my endless love for Qjin and Qwon (@q2han), the two beautiful girls who run the Q2HAN youtube channel.
In late December, I met up with the girls for an interview in Seoul at the Goto Mall (that you might have seen in their shopping challenge videos). We talked about their upcoming makeup brand, dealing with tough times, beginnings on YouTube, style inspirations, and future plans.
Based in Seoul, South Korea, the twin sisters Qjin and Qwon and their YouTube channel, Q2Han, have been getting more and more recognition in the field of fashion, beauty and lifestyle content creators. Their community is over 493,000 subscribers also called Qtees on youtube and 136,000 on Instagram.
Their content revolves around their adventures in Seoul, shopping challenges, traveling around the world the do meet and greets with Qtees as well as K-Beauty videos and interviews.
Julie (me)- What made you started YouTube and why?
Qwon- We first started out as a fashion DIY channel when we were back in LA. After we graduated fashion design (at FIDM) we worked for one year as a textile assistant but we actually hated that job. It was just so boring, no achievements, working under someone and basically what they wanted us to do was copying other people’s textiles. That’s why we decided to go back to school and studied business management to start our own brand. And while we were studying for business management we kind of wanted to find a platform where we would be able to show like our skills in drafting patterns and making clothes just like you do for a portfolio! Then we found youtube and we thought it could be a good platform to show everyone our skills through videos and so we ended up making fashion DIY videos!
Later when we came to Korea, we decided to make our youtube channel a full-time job. But then we realized then just doing DIY wouldn’t get us any further because there were already so many other crazy creative YouTubers out there. That is when we started doing like DTV vlogs, K-Fashion videos.
J- Can you tell us a little bit more about your background (why you came to Korea, studies, work)
Qwon- When we came to korea we didn’t have a job and our youtube was doing horribly. We were really struggling and almost thinking to go to 99 jobs. We were at that point. But we just decided to give ourselves one year to do youtube, give it our whole and if it doesn’t work then we just quit youtube and go to actual work.
Qjin- One thing that opened our eyes to K-Beauty, in particular, was a contest organized by Etude House. It is basically produced one but by etude house and they did an interview and all that stuff and it really opened our eyes and kicked us in our youtube career.
Qjin- After that, we bought our Vixia Mini X to start vlogging and when we started to show Korean brands, clothes, culture through our platform everyone loved it! We didn’t know that so many foreigners loved Korean culture.
J- How would you describe the bond you share with your sister?
Qwon- We are like the best and honest team. When you are working with someone else being honest is the key to make everything work.
Qjin- Basically I am the one charged of editing and camera and she is the one who is in charge of all the financial, business and communication stuff. We both have our part and we complete each other. We are the perfect partners-sisters.
Qwon- It is really interesting because I really don’t like editing but she likes.
Qjin- And I hate finance stuff and communication but she does. So we make a great team. And i just really like how we can be really honest with each other because it’s kinda hard to be honest with the people you are working with because you just want to avoid conflicts but being honest makes us pick out what is wrong and fix it.
Qwon- We don’t hesitate to say ‘i don’t like this bitch’.
J- Do you sometimes feel like you need some alone time?
Qjin- In our entire life we have only been separated for three days. So since 1990, we have always been together.
Qwon- It is even weird for us when we go out to the supermarket alone. That feels weird. I feel like I am missing something.
Qjin- We are so dependent on each other.
J- What are the biggest differences you noticed between USA and South Korea?
Qwon- A lot of people ask us: ‘would you rather live in LA or in Korea’ and we always say Korea because it’s so much fun, especially in terms of fashion and beauty. And everything is really fast.
Qjin- But LA is so chill, so relax and slow.
J- Where your interest in fashion started? (What made you excited about it)
Qjin- it was during our high school years back in Canada we had a sewing class and that was the first time we ever experience drafting patterns and everything. So we took a sewing class and had the basics for when we went to university it was kind of easy for us.
Qwon- Yes but that’s when we started to open our eyes on fashion and we started to love reading fashion magazines and learn about fashion designers and stuffs like that.
J- Where do you think it is better to start a career in fashion here or back in LA?
QQ- I would say more Korea yes!
Qjin- we were very inspired by SFW when we first saw the show in 2017. It was completely new from what we experienced during LA fashion week. It really opened our eyes.
Qwon- In general creating your own brand in Korea is kind of easy. Like the start is easier because there is everything in Dongdaemun and with Musinsa for example. Also if you work in the fashion industry everyone is connected here so if you know one person you know everyone it is a very small industry.
J- Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
Qwon- I think we would have along our youtube channel a successful brand and also our own team like Song of Style composed of like a cameraman, editor, assistant, etc because the more and more the time goes it gets harder for my sister to edit everything and since we want our own stable brand having a team becomes a must.
Qjin- And the cafe! It would be our dream come true. I think in terms of location Hongdae is the best place but I am pretty sure the rent is gonna be expensive. We could have a meet and greet there.
J- What you tell your younger self 5 years ago?
Qwon- So we were doing our last year of business management in LA at the time and we focused so much on grades so I would say to Qwon: ‘try to go out and socialize’ i think right now too our socializing skills are so bad.
Qjin- (laughing) like when we go to event we just want to hurry to do our stuff and go out.
Qwon- But I feel like if we had more experience in socializing and get to know more people we could have been more far ahead right now. That could have brought us to a more successful place.
Qjin- I feel like we have so many more steps to go up.
Qwon- She is always like ‘Qwon hurry up and go say hi’ but she doesn’t do it and when we speak in front of the camera and there is one mic I have to hold it because she always gives it to me.
Qjin- Yes because you are the one in charge of the communication.
J- What makes you excited?
Qwon- We get the most excited when we upload a video.
Qjin- Yes and get the response from Qtees.
Qwon- We still have butterflies in our stomach every time we click the upload button because we really want to know if our Qtees like this content. (And few Qtees say: ‘where are your DIY videos’ but then we are like ‘if we upload that video not many Qtees actually watch it’ so we interpret that as not many Qtees actually wants to see the video.)
J- How do you interact with Qtees?
QQ- Mostly through Instagram and comment section on youtube and we randomly do lives on Instagram. We also go to the countries ourselves and hold a meet and greet to see Qtees.
J- Who is the biggest influence in your life?
Qwon- I don’t think we have a particular person we get inspiration from but like when we read articles about how some people achieved their success and stuff like that it really motivates us.
Qjin- One of the examples is Song of Style or Christelle Lim. She actually went to the same school as us. The way she started as a blogger and is now the owner of a successful business is really empowering.
Qwon- She and her assistant started from the bottom and now there are really big. And now she has her own business. Same for song of style. I think seeing other people’s achievements really inspire us.
J- What do you value the most in life?
Qjin- HEALTH! I have a problem with my eyes and every time it bothers me I cannot do anything and that really makes me realize how important health is. Because if my health is bad I can’t do anything, I can’t work. So health is number one.
Qwon- I value the sisterhood. I value our relationship because this dynamic is what creates Q2han so I hope this doesn’t get a break.
Qjin- What would it get break what the heck!
J- How does social media or public opinion impact how you present yourself?
Qwon- Well, thankfully our community is so nice and positive we don’t really get hate. Even if we get a hate comment our Qtees back up in the comments and we are just like ‘high five girls’. So it kind of gives us confidence.
Qjin- But we always watch what we say. Trying to be careful of what we say on the screen because everyone is watching but generally, it always has a positive impact on us. And Qtees response is basically what motivates us to do what we do today.
J- How do you deal with anxiety and blues?
Qwon- (For example that time they cried on live because they had a problem with the Qtee jewelry) Like always Qtees responded and cheered us up and you showed up! (Long story short I knew the coffee place they were in so I decided to come say hi to cheer them up and give them a hug) This is why we do what we do seriously.
Qjin- We always say to ourselves that the reason why we are here today is because of all of our Qtees. Without them, we couldn’t be here today. And we always try to remind ourselves that: We serve Qtees.
Qwon- But to get back to the question… I think we just stop everything. And then just have some chill time, just lay down, watch a movie and eat.
Qjin- We are emotional eaters, we eat a lot to de-stress. But I think the best way for us is to stop everything and recollect our thoughts.
Qwon- Like we sit down and plan out the content we should create, what do we have to focus on. Just kind of recapping our priorities. It kind of brings us back to when we started our youtube, we were really depressed. We didn’t have a proper job, our youtube is not working and our family is like what are you guys doing, when are you going to get a job. And at that time youtube wasn’t that big as right now and they didn’t understand how you could make money out of creating a video.
Qjin- Yes it was a really depressing moment but… we ate…
Qwon- Yeah we gained so much weight, we are such emotional eaters.
Qjin- But I think because we had that dark moment we are appreciating the present so much more.
J- How do you make your shopping decisions, how do you come up with your styling ideas?
Qwon- To be honest we hardly ever shop for our own closet. The way how I shop is that I kind of visualize someone… So a lot of our clothes we end up getting it because of a project so if this project is about BTS Jhope then I kind of visualize him and get all those clothes. So based on a theme we choose the clothes.
J- Then you must have so many clothes?
Qwon- Yes, it’s kind of a problem…
Qjin- That is why when we go to other countries to do meet and greet we just give out the clothes.
Qwon- We did that in LA, Jakarta, Malaysia… It is really fun. Like we do Q&A and we give it to the first who got it right.
J- Who is your biggest fashion inspiration right now?
Qwon- I think Kpop in general. Like our style when we came to Korea it was really California like dresses, tanker top, tube top but now it totally changed to street style.
J- What are your goals for 2020? (cafe, ready set q…)
Qwon- We are actually working on our makeup brand right now. This our first time revealing it. So we hope that one goes well and also we want to travel more to Europe. Paris is one of our goals.
Qjin- We were planning on going to Paris fashion week but I think it is a little bit hard so we are just going to do a meet and greet and learn about the culture.
Qwon- Yes and we are also aiming for New York Fashion Week.
J- What are you the most thankful for?
QQ- Obviously my sister and Qtees.
Qwon- Those are the two things we are the most thankful for.
Thank you so much to Qjin and Qwon for giving me a little of their time in their busy schedule and for being the icons they are. I truly hope you got to know them better and that you enjoyed reading the interview.