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11-year-old girl opens clothing store, inspiring young entrepreneurs

Audrina Nguyen-Oerzen is putting her artwork on apparel for both boys and girls as she introduces her brand to young fashion lovers.
Audrina Nguyen-Oerzen
Posted at 2:45 PM, May 17, 2024

At just 10 years old, Audrina Nguyen-Oerzen already had her future mapped out when Scripps News Phoenix met her in March of 2023. Drawing and painting is her escape and passion, and she’s been doing it for years.

Now, at just 11 years old, her artwork and designs will be available for purchase at her very own Arizona store.

“At first, she was telling me it was an idea and then all of a sudden, I received a phone call from one of her friend’s mom saying she wanted to place an order, and I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ The next thing you know, I was like, wow, she was really serious about this,” Jillian Nguyen, Audrina’s mom said.

That call happened in 2020.

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In 2021, they started printing her designs on shirts and since then, Audrina’s Amazing Designs has grown. The two sell their clothes, plush toys, and other accessories online and at farmers' markets and now have their own brick-and-mortar store.

“It’s a dream come true, really. I’m so happy to have it and keep on going with my dream of drawing and just being an artist in general. Little me would be really proud now,” Audrina said.

Jillian says the way they print their clothes, it’s meant to last longer than just a picture that’s ironed on a shirt. She said the way they print it, the designs are woven into the fabric of the clothes. She said she’s done a lot of research into helping her daughter thrive and grow in her business. To help her daughter and see her grow, and not just in her business, makes her proud.

“Anything I can do as a parent to support her and guide her and build that confidence as well as the resiliency with that,” Jillian said.

Audrina’s designs also capture her culture, being half Vietnamese. She’s created artwork that showcases her heritage, with the help of her family.

“Sometimes, I see my grandma eating something so I’m like, 'Oh, that’s so cool, I’m going to make that into a character,'” she described in 2023.

When you walk into her store in Chandler, sandwiched between Bath and Body Works and Wetzel's Pretzels, you’ll see a lot of Asian culture on display. She has adult clothes and baby clothes in all kinds of designs, including artwork of everything from baos to boba.

“I feel my drawings are little parts of my personality. A big thing I have here, it’s a repeating pattern, is my culture,” she said.

Audrina already has big plans for the future, including growing her store. She hopes to pass down her business and artwork to her own kids someday. But first, she has to finish school, and hopes to go to fashion school. At her age, she feels she’s learned a lot already and is grateful for the people who have supported her.

“Some people are like, ‘Oh, you’re not going to succeed, you’re just a kid.’ But, I’m really thankful for the people that give me good feedback and they support me,” she said of her work, which can be found online on her website.

This story was originally published by Elenee Dao at Scripps News Phoenix.