A life without direction, ambition, or accomplishment would be an extraordinarily impoverished and unsatisfying life to lead. Perpetually striving to be better, continually challenging ourselves, and overcoming obstacles is a fundamental aspect of being human. It is our accomplishments that define and inspire us to reach greater heights. Yet ask music and fashion entrepreneur Charles Kieu a.k.a. Evaded what his greatest accomplishment is, and he’ll tell you straight — happiness!
“If what you do for a living makes you happy, then there’s no better accomplishment,” explained Charles Kieu. “So many people commit themselves to roles and endeavors that make them miserable purely because it makes them a lot of money. Now, although they may have the big house, fast car, designer wardrobe, and all the rest of it, they are still miserable as sin deep down. Material wealth may be an accomplishment, but personal happiness is the greatest accomplishment of all.”
As a first-generation immigrant, Charles Kieu is no stranger to struggle. He realized from an early age that if he wanted to stake his claim on the American dream, he would need to eat, breathe, and dream hard work. Yet, as he grew his business empire, he never lost sight of what, to him, was the greatest prize of all — happiness.
Charles Kieu explained, “I’m a product of an urban environment, so naturally, as I grew, my interests were in streetwear and street culture. Those things make me happy, and so I thought if I could make money from them, that happiness would be ten-fold. I never considered doing something just for a financial return. I’ve got to believe in it 100 percent, or it just won’t work.”
Charles Kieu’s track record to date comprehensively proves that his belief in what he’s doing works wonders. His store, Cookies N’ Kicks, is one of the largest sneaker and resell stores in Los Angeles. As the manager of the breakthrough artist KillVal, he is proving his versatility and business acumen in the music industry. As he points out, “The feeling of accomplishment in any field is a great feeling. But if the journey you’ve made to get to that point makes you happy, then that’s the best accomplishment of all.”