Reprinted from the Hickory Daily Record

A clothing store catering to the needs of the Hmong population in the region will be open on weekends in Long View.  Mai Lee owns 3Mong Boutique. The idea for the business, Lee said was to have a place where people could purchase comfortable Hmong and Laotian clothing.

Lee said she chose the name 3Mong because, in the Hmong language, three can be translated to “us” or “our.”

Lee and her husband and business partner, Cheenou Yang, lived near Conover in the late 1990s and early 2000s. They have lived in Raleigh for the last 15 years. The couple decided to open a clothing boutique in Long View because of the large Hmong population. An estimated 14,000 Hmong people live in North Carolina, with a concentration in and around Catawba County, according to wunc.org.
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An example of a skirt and top sold at 3Mong boutique.

Lee said traditional Hmong clothing can add 30 pounds of weight to the wearer.  “Traditional (Hmong) clothes are very heavy, with lots of layers and coins,” Lee said. “After a long day, it’s tiring. You can’t wear that kind of traditional clothing every day. So we wanted to have our boutique be a place where people could get Hmong fashion to wear every day.”

Yang said he believes traditionally coins were worn on clothing as a way of showing wealth.

The boutique will carry wrap skirts, dresses, jackets, cardigans and kids’ dresses. It will also have accessories, such as bracelets and earrings and skin care products. Prices for women’s clothing and dresses will run from $55 to $130. Skirts will range in price from $35 to $50 and accessories will be $13 to $75.

3Mong Boutique will also carry a line of skin care products by Yasmi, who is a popular Hmong singer, songwriter and actress, according to Yasmi’s website.
Clothing from the store will come from Laos, Lee said. The couple said they believe in supporting the local Hmong community as well as makers and workers in the southeast Asian country.
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One of the dresses for sale at 3Mong Boutique.