In Part 1 of this month’s Soshified Spotlight, we featured colin, aka Colin, a high school student originally from Cambodia now living in Australia to further his education. In part two, we’re featuring the person everybody is dying to get to know, because without her none of this would be possible. Of course, we’re talking about none other than the famous Soy, or Oanh. You all know her as the founder of the juggernaut that is Soshified. But you may not know much about her reasons for starting the forum, her philosophical thoughts, and the overall person behind the scenes. Well, here you go:

What is your first name?
Oanh (for those wondering it sounds like the ‘Won’ in ‘Wonton’ or in ‘Korean Won’.

How did you find out about Soshified and why did you decide to join?
I googled…. and created it^^

How did you come up with your screen name?
In my earlier years (when I was just getting familiar with forums), I changed my screen name often to fit my mood and really there was no definite screen name for me until around 2005. At that time a friend of mine started using a screen name that had to do with sushi, so I thought it would be funny if I just went with ‘Soy Sauce’. Then as time progressed there were variations of the name such as ‘Soyster’ ‘Soy Bean’, and so forth until I decided to just stick with Soy. Looking back now it’s quite the perfect name, as I’m lactose intolerant (and even some of my friends joked that SOY actually stands for ‘Soy Owns Yuri’ but that’s not the case of course^^).

Where are you originally from, and where do you currently reside (city and country for both)?
I was born in Orange Country, California but now live and attend school in Florida. Both in the United States of America.

If we were visiting you where you live for one day, where would you take us? Why are these places so significant?
This is slightly a tough question because quite frankly I feel that if you live in a location long enough (no matter how exciting it may seem to any tourist), you’ll eventually grow tired of it. The main focus of my city is really just our university, and I’m pretty sure Girls’ Generation fans wouldn’t like to visit all the Gator ponds & lakes in my city. The only fun place I would think would probably be my bedroom since I consider it a fun place for any Girls’ Generation fan. As for the boring details, we’d probably visit my university (and campus) because that’s the main focus of our tiny, small town. There’s a few good food places, but nothing quite stand out. Like there’s no “let’s promote tourism here” … that’s long gone.

Tell us a little about your life. What do you do full time and in your free time?
I’m a full time student and dreamer. The latter basically describe what I do in my free time, but instead of just dreaming of adventures, I try to take risks and make them happen. There’s a lot of things in life that I want to try and experience and I never say no to opportunities that allow you to try new things because you never know when they’ll come again. I like to spend time with my friends (including my sorority sisters!) and family, watch movies (even though I fall asleep all the time, I’m getting better though), cook/bake (also tasting food is something else I always like), playing tennis, learning new skills. I basically do everything but sleep.

Oanh taking a break from Soshified in her rare free time and having fun with the camera.

With so much going on in your life, especially with your huge dedication to Soshified and its many different sections, being a college student, hobbies, friends, and family, how are you able manage and divide your time between everything?
I’m actually really bad when it comes to time management but if it’s something I enjoy then I don’t mind losing sleep for it. Sometimes you just gotta sacrifice things here and there but it makes life more fun that way. I guess a good quote that sums it all up is: “Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michaelangelo, Mother Teresea, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” – H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

What’s the most interesting thing about you and/or that has ever happened to you?
One time when I was in Korea, my friend and I were randomly in this restaurant and we noticed that these ajummas there were speaking Vietnamese, so being the …. daring soul that I am, I introduced ourselves to them and they asked if we would like to visit their home. So we agreed (yes don’t ask why). When we got to their house and met their family (so random), their daughter was talking about how her dad was part of the Vietnamese government or something and her mom stopped her so we decided to leave as quickly as possible. Basically I learned that it was bad to just follow random people home that time, unless it was Girls’ Generation.

There’s actually a lot of interesting stories because I always get myself into the weirdest situations/scenarios. If you’re looking for interesting Girls Generation stories, I have a lot that I can’t tell exactly, but yes I’ve met them^^ You can read old fan accounts as well those are pretty interesting (even when I look back and read them). (Editor’s note: those can be found here and here.)

For people who are first meeting you (like most of us), how would you describe yourself?
It most likely depends on what setting you meet me in. A lot of times I can be loud & spontaneous, while other times I’m more relaxed and chill. I guess it depends on the situation but overall, I have a good heart, so if anything hopefully if you meet me you’ll since the sincerity in my words & actions first and foremost. I’m also really blunt and to the point, so sometimes that’s intimidating to people but for the most part I get a long with everyone^^

Tell us some things that most people don’t know about you that you think they should.
I have high standards but low expectations. That basically sums me up and because of that sometimes I tend to micromanage thing (but I’m learning to delegate) because I want to make sure things get done. If I’m a little blunt or demanding, please don’t take it personally, it’s just with limited time I try to get to the point when it comes to getting things done correctly the first time with the highest possible quality. I’m a perfectionist, essentially that has a short term memory.

Is there anything big in your life that you’re working on? (This can be related to school, career, hobbies, family, friends, etc.)
Graduating is pretty key in my life and finding myself and what I want to do in the future. To me that is my biggest concern because I have yet to find the same sense of passion in what I’m doing like my friends. Sometimes I feel kind of behind. Another thing is by next year, I hope to open up a business venture or at least dabble in entrepreneurship of sorts. And then projects for Soshified are indeed a huge part of my life.

What kind of business venture are you thinking of? Is it related to what you’re studying in college?
I’m not sure about this yet and not sure about the latter. I’m really a true dreamer and I believe that as long as you are prepared and the opportunity comes along, then the timing will be good and the results will be favorable so right now I’m just preparing myself^^

What are your interests outside of Girls’ Generation?
Wang Leehom, Liu Yi Fei, Kim Taehee, Veronica Mars, Pretty Little Liars, and the list goes on and on. I’m in love with the Food Network & all types of tv shows & movies. There’s rarely anything that I won’t be up for watching (same goes for Music!!!). I love TVB dramas as well! Also I’m pretty interested in photography even though I just do it as a hobby and also developing my own scripts & fun storylines. Like I stated before I’m quite the dreamer, so when it comes to anything that pertains to achieving my dreams (I have so many though), I never fail to attempt it^^ I also love exploring, not necessarily traveling (so many plane/car/train/bus rides get tiring after a while).

How did you first become a fan of Girls’ Generation?
Wow you know every time I sit down and answer this, the story always changes because after I joined, I can’t remember a time when I wasn’t a fan, really. I mean the gist of it was that I got back into Korean dramas and started watching ‘Goong’ which starred Yoon Eunhye. I started wanting to learn more about her and found out she was in Baby V.O.X. So that was my first exposure to a female girl group. I thought they were ok but nothing special. I was a casual fan of groups like DBSK, FT Island, Big Bang, because of the attractive guys and because I was so young at the time that’s all that really mattered. But then one of my friends on this other forum that I was a part of asked if I was a fan of any of the new girl groups. I only knew Wonder Girls & Kara at the time so I said they were my favorite. Then the person was like “oh what about Girls’ Generation”, and I was like surprised when I watched the ‘Into the New World’ video because I remember my first reaction was that I mixed them up with their labelmate CSJH (because at the time I noticed that DBSK also went by TVXQ and Tohoshinki, so I thought that was the same case with SNSD & CSJH; same group, different names) and that BoA was in the MV (turns out it was Kim Taeyeon). And as I was really bored, I decided to make check out their ‘Girls Go to School’ series and it’s all been history since then. After I saw GGTS, and saw how hard these 9 girls worked for something they were so passionate for, I realized I would continue to support them because they were truly role models to me. Another thing that stuck out for me was also their friendship with each other, it’s pretty hard finding friends and creating the bond they had with each other. Also in a sense to me supporting them was supporting the idea that hardwork & perseverance & love will help you conquer any adversity

Who is your favorite member and why?
Another hard question. I want to say that I no longer have a favorite because after seeing them over the years, truly they all special in their own rights and I don’t mind spazzing about all 9 of them. I mean over the years it has gone from Tiffany to Yuri to Yoona to Yuri to Taeyeon to Jessica to Sunny to Tiffany to Yuri to Tiffany to Yoona to Sooyoung to Yuri to Seohyun to Tiffany to Jessica to Hyoyeon to Tiffany to Yuri to all 9. I do realize that I usually get really attached to a specific girl closer to their birthday, it’s almost like an annual “SNSD Period Cycle”. I think that’s the beauty of supporting a group with a variety of personalities though, there’s a Girl that matches your mood at any point^^ So I’m not sure if I have a favorite because honestly I can spazz about any one of them for a long time for all types of reasons.

What is your favorite Girls’ Generation song and MV and why?
Your first song will always be your favorite right? I guess it’s because it holds the most sentimental value but going with that reasoning it would be ‘Girls’ Generation’ for me as my favorite song/MV. I really liked the jumpers (it was one of their best outfits of all time for me). And then I’m also quite fond of Genie (song was, it’s still one of my favorite concepts as well) and Hoot. When it comes to other songs that weren’t title tracks: ‘I Can’t Bear Anymore’ and ‘Merry Go Round’ are two favorites.

What is your favorite Girls’ Generation moment?
Definitely their first win for Music Bank. I remember specifically because ‘Kissing You’ was the first era that I was fully able to witness as an SNSD fan and follow them throughout. Their first win for Music Bank was such an emotional win that you could see was unexpected and they were truly thankful. Also when stories came out about how they had to run to the station and such and then Sooyoung’s Mom responded on their fansite about how the Girls are safe and fans didn’t have to worry, it really showcased how special these Girls are and the families they are a part of were. Also on top of that how important SONEs were to them as well.

How has Girls’ Generation impacted your life, in specific areas or even as a whole?
They’ve allowed me to be a part of something bigger than myself, Soshified. Through Soshified, I’ve been able to interact and meet so many people from around the world that I feel as close to as my closest friends. I feel like when I meet any SONE for the first time we’ll have something to talk about thanks to them. Whether it be little random comments about how Jessica hates cucumbers or recapping the last episode of Hello Baby, I always feel like I’m at home. But beyond that like I said earlier, I really do consider them huge role models in my life when it comes to pursuing my dreams. On a side note, because of them I’ve been able to visit Korea and try a bunch of things that I know I probably would have never tried. On top of that I always find a sense of happiness when I just look at their CDs or posters and just through that they constantly give me strength (and I don’t know why, it’s quite silly).

Another way Girls’ Generation has impacted Oanh’s life.

What do you like most about Soshified, and why? Any section in particular you’re attracted to?
The community here is so diverse. I am truly in awe at some of the projects and things we’ve been able to accomplish all through the love for Girls’ Generation. I’m constantly overjoyed to see such enthusiasm from so many people from all around the world. I’m quite busy nowadays but I always make time to read a good fanfic here and there and of course browse and comment the latest news articles^^

Why did you decide to join the Soshified staff, and why the particular job you have now?
I joined when Soshified first opened. I’m the founder, so I basically oversee our whole staff and try to communicate efficiently with everyone to make sure things are done correctly with the rest of the team. Ensuring that Soshified is up, running, clean, and stylish!

Why did you decide to start Soshified, rather than just participating in an already established forum? Where did the inspiration come from? How did you come up with the name, as opposed to something like “SNSD Fanclub” or “SNSD Forum”?
It wasn’t really a choice to why I decided to start Soshified, it was basically my only option. At the time there was already an established subbing team & forum for Girls’ Generation and I did join the site. However, I really wanted to get to know the Girls more and the site was lacking updates so I decided to take it upon myself to help contribute to the fandom by starting Soshi Subs. Our first project wasn’t perfect (actually I never subbed before and was eager to help “time” a show we were doing and well actually I spent hours typing like each time and frame on a notepad, then later finding out there was something called aegi subs) but the one thing we had was a strong work ethic and enthusiasm. From there we actually posted on the already established forum and I guess because they thought we were a threat, they decided to ban my ip from the site. So I was like “how am I going to get my daily dose of Girls’ Generation” (also there was a weird thing about the site where there wasn’t open registration and you could only register on certain dates) and then I came up with the idea of creating Soshified with my prior knowledge and experience with other fan communities and websites to fill that void in my life. And then from there I just recruited fellow SONEs, I met and it just continued to grow from there. The inspiration for it was pretty simple, I only wanted 2 things to come from starting Soshified: 1) there would be haven for SONEs all over the world to gather and a place they could call “home” 2) Girls’ Generation would know about the site and login. Looks like just with those two goals, I would have to say Soshified is a success in my mind. I originally pitched the name “SoShi-Rolls” for the name of Soshified (everything was done, the logo, subs had the name of the site and all) but unfortunately I was late with purchasing the domain and it was taken. Around the same time Wenting posted “Soshified” and I was like ok I guess we’ll just go with that and I’m kind of glad we did because now it’s become a household name! Soshified for the record represents the past tense of “Soshify” which is the act of becoming absorbed into the Girls’ Generation fandom. SOSHI stands for SNSD and FIED stands for the act of becoming. Basically when used in a sentence it would be “I just became Soshified”.

What exactly do you do? Do you enjoy this position? What do you like about it?
I try to do what I can. There really isn’t any limitations when it comes to my jobs or priorities, I try to do a little of everything. Right now I’m active in helping our new writers though and of course subbing when I find free time. On top of that I start/carry out projects for Soshified in conjunction with the Projects team and also works with other departments to make sure things get done on Soshified^^ I’m trying to think about what I like about it but for me to like something it also means there’s something I dislike about it right? So really there’s nothing… I just enjoy doing it because I feel like I’m helping more people become Girls’ Generation fan and to me that should be enough^^

What is your favorite project that you’ve ever been involved in?
Wow so many things… I can’t really pinpoint one but I know memorable ones include Hollywood Bowl presents, SMTown LA Meet-Up, Girls’ Generation Meet-Up in LA, SSF Seoul Meet-Up and other ones but I really enjoy the ones where I’ve gotten a chance to meet Girls’ Generation fans in person^^ Oh and on top of that I’m a huge fan of our charity projects, it’s really powerful when you can see fans unite for a great cause^^

Any interesting experiences when interacting with members?
Haha my experiences with members are always memorable/interesting to the point where I can’t remember them to be honest….

What about Girls’ Generation is so special to you as opposed to any other artist, or anything else for that matter, that you’ve dedicated so much time to them and started an empire (let’s just call it what it is) about them?
I really wish I could answer this but truly it’s gotten to the point where they’ve left me speechless. I can’t describe what about Girls’ Generation I love, because honestly even their biggest flaws I’ve grown to love and cherish so it’s gotten to the point where my bias for them has overshadowed everything else and I just want to support them and their dream. But with that being said the fact that I do love their flaws, show that I do know they exist and acknowledge them. I also acknowledge their mistakes (or even situations or songs or performances I don’t quite like) but that doesn’t mean I dwell on it because I don’t feel like it’s necessary. Plus I’ve had the honor to meet them and their families and it’s just incredible really what kind of environment they are surrounded by. They’re truly great girls with amazing personalities that just want a chance to share their talents with the world and make people happy through their craft. It’s really admirable so why shouldn’t I help spread this? On top with that I think it’s because I’ve been a fan since really early and have been able to see them grow so much that I almost feel attached to them. It’s hard to replace that feeling… it’s kind of like I grew up with them so my affections towards them just continues to grow because I’ve been following them for so long and have seem them go through so many different stages and styles.

As for the “empire”, really with Soshified, it’s a passion. It’s a beautiful thing when I read tweets/emails/messages to me about how Soshified has affected their lives positively in even the smallest of ways. Nothing really beats that feeling of making a difference in someone’s life. For some Soshified is a community for which they’ve met friends that share a common love, for others it’s a bridge to Girls’ Generation, while for me it’s my home. It also helps that I have an incredible staff that fills all the holes that I lack (quite frequently).

Are you surprised at the following and the impact that Soshified has had around the world? What are your future plans for Soshified?
I’m constantly surprised with the amount of love and support that Soshified is able to receive. But to me the most endearing part is the impact that Soshified has had on so many people. Personally, I’ve traveled to a few locations before to see Girls’ Generation perform and each time my trip would have been dull/boring if it wasn’t for the SONEs that I meet on the trip (through Soshified) that I still keep in contact with. I really find it incredible that complete strangers on this site can meet at an event and automatically feel welcomed/comfortable with each other. I find that really beautiful and inspiring and I want everyone to be able to have that experience. Future plans for Soshified? There’s really never an exact plan, there’s things I want to be able to accomplish here and there but just inner thoughts for now

Soshified has many different facets and has been involved in a wide range of activities and projects. Looking at the site itself there’s the forum, news and feature articles, radio, Styling, and social lounge just to name a few. In regards to projects, there are care packages to the girls, the Visual Dreams photographs, the various charitable donations to many different organizations, etc. It takes someone with a massive amount of dedication, well-roundedness, and creativity to be able to come up with all of these, or to at least get the ball rolling for others to flesh out these ideas. Where does the inspiration come from?
I want to say that I’m constantly inspired by the other members of this forum (and especially our own staff). I mean straight to the point every staff position on Soshified is indeed a volunteer commitment. We don’t have the resources to pay our staff, so virtually everything they do is with their own passion and I believe that’s what so inspiring. If they’re willing to pull their weight, then I should at least be working at the same level, if not more. Same goes for the members that post on our community and keep it alive and constantly give us input. Really we do read and try to make everyone happy because you’re our number reason for why we have survived these years. To sum it up there’s a great quote by Winston Churchill it goes: “Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.” So I want to thank everyone for having that courage to continue year after year with us despite our many levels of ups and downs^^

As for creativity, I’m not sure if I’m the most creative person, but I will say that I have had my fair share of moments but really I believe it’s all up to great timing and good execution. As great as a plan is, if you aren’t willing to commit or make sure it gets done, at best a plan on paper is always what it will be. You have to fail a bunch of times to see even the slightest of results of success and I do believe over the past years, I’ve failed a lot but I’ve been smart about not showing anyone those and highlighting more on the successes. Moral of the story is that you should indeed live life to the fullest and seize any opportunity that comes your way. Even if it’s not a full-blown success, you can say you learned something from the experience.

“If you are working on something exciting that you really care about, you don’t have to be pushed. The vision pulls you” by Steve Jobs is a quote that I constantly try to live and empower the people that work with me with and hopefully that gives you an idea of where my inspiration comes from essentially.

Have your parents ever made comments about your passion for the girls and Soshified? What do they think when the many boxes of goods arrive at your house each time?
Funny story actually when I first started the fandom, I had a balance of SNSD goods & other Korean groups/dramas but slowly I was removing things that weren’t related to Girls’ Generation on my walls when I got to college. So basically my Mom has never seen my apartment filled with SNSD posters & materials. As for gifts, not really my parents but sometimes I roommates go ‘WTF’ at all the random packages we get at our apartment. Even while I was away like 5-7 boxes were sent haha.

Massive, massive thanks goes out to Oanh for participating in Soshified Spotlight this month, and for everything else she’s done for this forum. As usual, you can submit nominations for future Soshified Spotlights if you’d like to participate or if you’d like to get to know a fellow member better. Instructions on how to do so can be viewed at the Soshified Spotlight Solicitation announcement.

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