In honor of Mother's Day this month, we are doing something a little different with our tête-à-tête. As many of you know Audrey Wu is my daughter-in-law. She married my older son, Jonathan, almost 3 years ago after having met each other in Tokyo, where they were both studying Japanese. Rumor has it they sat next to each since the first day of classes and things only got better with time. They recently relocated back to the United States, first in San Francisco where Jonathan's company is headquartered and more recently to the Phoenix area. We speak via Skype almost daily and bounce ideas off each other all the time. There is nothing that brings me greater joy and happiness than to have Audrey alongside me in this wonderful needlepoint community. I hope you will enjoy getting to know a bit more about us.
*All questions have been taken from our questionnaire on Instagram stories*
1. What was it like when you first met each other?
Audrey: Just like any girlfriend meeting your boyfriend's mother for the first time, it was a nervous experience. Especially in Asia, you have to try your best to impress your boyfriend's family and leave a good first impression. When Joyce visited Tokyo one year, we took a few days together visiting the countryside and bonded over numerous things. Thankfully, Joyce was extremely nice and easy-going which made things go smoothly and we've had a great relationship ever since.
Joyce: I can't remember the exact first time we met, but each time we would go to Japan she would be around more often. She always struck me as someone who was kind, sweet and happy, and willing to do whatever we wanted. I knew she was the one for my son when despite a fear of roller coasters and rocky rides, she enthusiastically joined him whenever he wanted to go to a theme park.
2. What is it like working with your DIL/MIL?
Audrey: I view Joyce as a mentor who has been nothing but supportive of me and taught me so many things about needlepoint and stitching. Without her help, I don't think I could have become the needlepoint artist I am now and am truly thankful for everything she does.
Joyce: For me, having Audrey alongside me provides me with a youthful point of view. Whenever I show her a new design, she always looks at it with fresh eyes and gives me her thoughts. Even though our styles are different, we are in complete agreement in our approach and outlook of what canvases to design. We usually bounce new ideas off each other, including the logistics of sizing, coloring, fonts, etc.
3. How do you have the best relationship?
Audrey: I respect Joyce very much as a person, but I also view her as a close friend an am happy to express my thoughts with her even if they disagree with what she was initially thinking. I believe this openess and communication is rare in a MIL/DIL relationship and is very important in maintaining a good and honest business relationship.
Joyce: I would say that our temperaments are very similiar and that we look at things the same way, albeit generationally different. We are both meticulous in our designing, painting and how we live our lives. I believe that Audrey knows and is comfortable with the fact that I will always have her back and protect her from anything in my power. Audrey comes from a very close knit family and is very comfortable being part of ours. For both of us, family comes first, needlepoint is a wonderful bonus that I am delighted to share with her.
4. How long have you been stitching?
Audrey: I've been stitching now for about 3 years. One of the first few weeks after arriving in San Francisco, Joyce took me to a needlepoint shop as a way to help me transition into a new country and provide a way to relax and relieve some of the stress. And since then, I've been doing needlpoint just about nonstop.
Joyce: I learned to needlepoint as a young girl when I was around 10-12 years old. I had a relative that owned a needlepoint shop in the town I grew up in. I would always be there stitching and if I didn't like a design, I would repaint it myself with markers. Throughout the years, I have stitched quite a bit of needlepoint gifts for friends and family, countless Christmas stockings, Easter eggs, baby sleeping hangings and endless pillows.
5. What is your favorite canvas of each other's?
Audrey: My favorite SilverStitch canvas would have to be her "Press for Champagne". I've never been to London but Joyce often tells me the story of this amazing bar where you press the Champagne button and it miraculously appears. One day, I'm hoping to check it out. Until then, I'll have to make do with a needlepoint version.
Joyce: Like everyone else, I am completely blown away by the gemstone collection. The intricate detail and coloring are beyond exquisite and something that had never been done before on that level in the needlepoint world.
6. What is your own favorite design?
Audrey: I like all of my canvases in their own way, but if I had to pick just one, I think I'd go with Xiao Long Bao. Due to life being a little hectic the last few years, it's been hard to visit my family in Taiwan. And each time I go back to see them, the first meal we always eat includes Xiao Long Bao. So, this food really holds a special place in my heart and I'm really happy to have the opportunity to design it as a needlepoint canvas.
Joyce: I I am partial to the personalized Easter eggs. Growing up Greek Orthodox, Easter was a very special holiday for my family As soon as I had a family, personalized Easter eggs were quickly designed and stitched for everyone, including the dogs.
7. Do you have any collaboration plans?
Audrey: This is a good question. Joyce and I have discussed this idea several times. I think it's just a matter of finding the right design idea that works for both of us and going from there.
Joyce: It is something we have discussed and it certainly is a possibility for sometime in the future. When Audrey first started, I felt it was important that she create her own unique style without any interference from a meddling MIL.
Both Audrey and I would like to thank everyone for their questions. We hope you have enjoyed our little tête-à-tête and getting to know a bit about us and our relationship.