The grandma from the elderly Taiwanese couple who became Instagram icons for dressing up in outfits assembled from the clothing customers forgot to pick up from their laundry store, has died.
87-year-old Sho-er died on the morning of Tuesday May 23, according to a post shared on the couple’s Instagram @wantshowasyoung, which is run by their 34-year-old grandson, Reef Chang.
“Our dearest and loveliest grandma had left us in the morning of May 23. As the closest family, even though my heart feels all kinds of broken, but knowing from now on she has no disease and pain, we will accompany her to walk though the last section of her life journey, to return her life dedication for us,” Chang wrote.
86-year-old Wan-ji and 87-year-old Sho-er, shot to fame in 2020 when their Instagram went viral.
The couple were married for 64 years and were operating the Wan-Sho Laundry Shop for almost 70 years, Chang told Almost in July 2020.
Chang said ever since he was little, he had noticed that customers often forgot to pick up their clothing from the laundry shop.
He then came up with the idea to dress his grandparents in the leftover clothes because he wanted to remind people not to leave their clothes behind as it results in losses for laundry shop owners and encourage them to support his grandparents and those in their industry.
“Part of it was also because I saw that my grandpa and grandma’s lives were very boring, and they were sitting around everyday doing nothing so I wanted to bring some fun and excitement into their lives in their later years,” he said.
Chang said Wan-ji and Sho-er initially didn’t believe that people would like the outfits because they personally considered them “old clothing.”
@wantshowasyoung now has more than 626,000 followers, and his grandparents often made suggestions on the outfit colors and combinations, even saying things like “This is how I used to wear it,” he said.
Chang said none of them expected the Instagram account to take off internationally.
“For my grandparents, they would have never thought in their entire lives that so many people would fall in love with them,” he said.
Chang said he reads every comment and message to Wan-ji and Sho-er and that the couple were very happy to hear the support and encouragement of people from all around the globe.
“A special thank to everyone who has accompanied us on this amazing journey over the years,” he wrote in the latest post. ”Because of you, my family and grandmother have left many unforgettable memories. I believe that people who have had the opportunity to get along with grandma will always remember her cheerful smile.”