UCI’s Own Trin in Vendor Fair

Courtesy of Trin Accessories

Few things in life are as dependable as UC Irvine’s Vendor Fair. Every quarter, the scent of kettle corn takes over campus and with it comes the anime booth, the used book sales, the questionable clothes and unnecessary but adorable trinkets for every occasion.

This week, May 16-20, a new vendor joins the ranks. Trin Accessories will set up shop for the first time on Ring Road. Trin offers a selection of jewelry and hair accessories handmade by UCI students and roommates Trisha Mun, Traci Louie and Kristen Wong.

Trin started as a common hobby between the crafty roommates who would use materials found around the house to make things for themselves. Over the summer of 2010, Mun’s goal was to start an online store on Etsy.com to sell what they’d been making. When setting up the Etsy account, Mun chose a name they’d all been throwing around. Trin started as a joke shortened version of “Trisha Inspired.” Though, people commonly assume it’s a combination of all three of their names, a la N*SYNC.

“I wanted something short and sweet and it stuck. Cheesy, I know,” Mun said.

In November 2010, Mun, Louie and Wong were given the chance to sell their accessories at Christmas craft shows in their hometown of Torrance, Calif. Since then, Trin has been working on expanding.

“It is a lot of work to maintain a company and prepare for events, but I love it,” Mun said.

Trin’s products can be summed up by one word: adorable. In the past, accessories have included fabric flower hair clips and headbands, bird-themed necklaces and whimsical earrings. However, Trin doesn’t have a set style – what they sell is determined by what they want to make.

“It’s cutesy and girly and just stuff we would wear,” Mun said.

After getting compliments and interest from friends, craft shows and online, the girls behind Trin decided to try to get a spot in the Vendor Fair.

Though the ASUCI organized Vendor Fair encourages student applicants, it’s not a sure thing for everyone who wants to sell. Each vendor must have a valid California Seller’s Permit and must meet ASUCI’s criteria, which includes timeliness of the application, originality of the product and set prices. All accepted vendors must pay a fee for the week that ranges between $350 and $800, depending on the size of the booth. Student vendors, though, receive a student discount. They only had to pay $100. After submitting their application, vendors find out their location on Ring Road a week before the fair.

Though they didn’t find out the final details until recently, Trin Accessories has been in full production for the last month in anticipation. Their home was bursting with supplies ready to be made into hair clips, headbands and jewelry.

Aside from enlisting the help of friends to model for photoshoots and to man the booth when needed, Trin has remained a three-woman job. Locked away in their apartment, the roommates have pulled many all-nighters to get everything ready in time.

“It’s almost like studying for finals, but way more fun,” Mun said.  “[There’s been] a lot of roommate bonding too, which makes it worth it.”

What also makes it worth it is the challenge to keep on being creative and seeing people positively respond to it.

“It started as us wearing our own accessories and now that other people wear it, it’s amazing!” Mun said.

Trin started as a hobby and has grown into something more. But at the heart of Trin is an appreciation for the simple beauty of handmade goods. Every item is lovingly made and unique.

“We put our heart and soul in this and want people to see that,” Mun said.

Check out Trin Accessories on Ring Road, in between Aldrich Hall and Starbucks, all week.