Sanghun Lee (Huni)
- Founder of WiroHeart organization
- Founder/CEO of WiroArt.com
- TEDx Youth Seattle organization,
marketing & design team volunteer
- Currently attending Northeastern University
Major: Business Administration and Design. Concentration in Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship
Minor: Design and Innovation in Engineering
Potential Master: Experience Design (UI/UX)
How I got started and where I am going
Hello, my name is Sanghun Lee, and I am the founder of the WiroHeart org & WiroArt.com
This whole idea of WiroHeart started as a small club in my high school during the Covid19 pandemic. At that time, I realized that many students were extremely bored and unmotivated since the school was doing virtual learning, where students spent most of their time at home. The idea that came up to my mind was to create a fun little art competition within the school that students could participate in the comfort of their house.
Long story short, I started a virtual art club that held monthly art competitions where we submitted, showcased, and voted for artworks, all virtually. Students and teachers really enjoyed the monthly competition.
While managing the club, I found out that some students had difficulties buying art materials and participating in the competition due to financial barriers. That led me to found a non-profit, WiroHeart, to support underserved and unprivileged student artists. Our primary way to support underserved student artists has been holding an art competition on a rolling basis and awarding winners with Amazon gift cards which they can use to buy necessities, including art materials.
As time went by, I wanted to give more direct and faster solutions for underserved student artists, and that's when I came up with the idea of creating a brand/platform that features emering/student artists' artwork on its product for them to earn commission and have a broader audience.
After getting funding for this idea, I have put all my energy into founding the WiroArt, which supports emerging and student artists by featuring their paintings on the WiroArt Prints and WiroArt Totebag, allowing them to earn a commission for each sale of those products on which their art is featured.
The brand provides space for people to support and invest in emerging/student artists. People can purchase the limited WiroArt prints and WiroArt ToteBags featuring their paintings. Every sale pays the artists, helping them continue their art journey. We have set our mission to make art accessible to everyone, both the artists and the buyers.
My long-term goal is to build physical art galleries worldwide where emerging/student artists can exhibit their artworks, get support, and let their creativity be seen by more people!
I want the WiroArt gallery to be the place where people can just casually come in, enjoy great coffee, feel emotions looking at the beautiful and meaningful paintings by student artists, buy one of them if they truly like it, relieve some stress, awake the sensitivity of our human souls through artworks, and make the day a little better with the whole experience of the space that connects the energy of the student artists and the people wanting to find time to heal themselves within a busy life.
"I'm on my journey of helping this world to be a better place where everyone can enjoy art. Both the artists and buyers."
My Journey In Detail
I was born in S. Korea
Moved to the USA
(My social-entrepreneur journey started with the Covid19)
During Covid19, all of the local stores were out of masks, and some stores had been selling masks for extremely high price, which made me want to do something about it.
Reached out to more than 50 mask manufacturers around the world and told them what was going on in our local area where a lot of shops unethically sold masks for expensive price.
Found 2 manufacturers that offered a good discount on bulk order. Chose one with the lower MOQ and imported 2000 masks
Made a contract with a local laundry center to place the products in their store by giving them a certain percentage of commission
It was sold out within two weeks. The mask was high quality surgical masks and it was sold for way cheaper than others
If you want to know more, please read the article/interview of me explaining the processes in detail
Private labeled and designed the package
Got more interested in business and I taught myself a lot of things about business: especially the e-commerce and online marketing
Started my first e-commerce store
Started my second store
Tried total of around 6 stores
All of them failed
Ended up losing most of my savings...
Each store that I created and launched took me around a thousand dollars as the both building and marketing budget.
During that time of the failure I lost my dog and one of my friend
I was really depressed with all the bad things that had happened in short period of time
Struggled for couple of months
After feeling better with good quality therapy and a break, I decided to earn back the money that I lost by doing a part-time job and an internship at Toka Art company based in Seoul, South Korea. (created posters and exhibition phamplets for artists.)
Started another store (LuiShield.com)
The measurable outcome was really good with a few sales
The revenue was around $600~1300 per month with approximately 20% profit margin
Wanted to do something good with the money that I was making
Realized a lot of student were suffering from the virtual learning environment due to the pandemic
I started to think about what I can do to support my high school community as they were exhausted doing virtual learning, taking classes at home
I realized there was no active club in our school during the virtual learning environment, so I decided to create a club that could virtually hold a fun activity through Zoom
Created a virtual art club at my high school and held monthly art competition
The participation rate was really high and everyone enjoyed it!
Every month, I showcased the artworks created by students during assembly time when everyone got together through Zoom. We all voted for the artworks that we like the most, and the club awarded winners of the monthly competition with Amazon giftcards and certificate.
Check out our student's winning art pieces!