Photo by Jeff Clark
By Shea Parton and Luke Warner
Since Apolis' earliest days in our hometown of Santa Barbara, California, our close friend, Tu Pham, has played a vital role in the evolution of the brand. Introduced to us by mutual friends, over the years we have come to truly value her extensive experience and the skilled perspective she brings to our brand. After several years working together as friends, we recently asked Tu to become an equity partner in Apolis, bringing with her the final elements we need to succeed.
Born and raised in Da Nang, Viet Nam; Tu's family moved to Florida in 1975, shortly after the war. Growing up, her mother ran three restaurants while her father built a career flying helicopters. We are constantly grateful for her unwavering work ethic which she says comes from both parents who “have never been known to say ‘Take it easy!” She studied at both the University of Central Florida and the University of California Santa Barbara, taking classes in communications, English, photography and even veterinary science only to discover her true passion was for design. Tu also credits her parents’ “grateful and resourceful attitude” with shaping her career, which she approaches with an eye towards simplicity, often finding herself drawn to the more functional side of design.
Tu’s Vietnamese heritage was a direct inspiration for this year’s Vietnam Expedition so we asked her to dig into her family photo collection and share with us some childhood pictures from Viet Nam. Her family's photographs capture not only their personal story, but also an inspiring reflection of the values and character we appreciate so much today.