Mei Xu is a Chinese-American entrepreneur, business leader and the founder and CEO of two global lifestyle brands, Chesapeake Bay Candle and Blissliving Home and MeiXu.com. Mei created Chesapeake Bay Candle in 1994, and grew it into a global designer, marketer and manufacturer of home fragrance products sold through major U.S. retailers on Amazon.com including Target, Kohl’s, and Bed, Bath & Beyond. Born in Hangzhou, China in 1967, Mei was selected to attend a language immersion boarding school set up by the Chinese government to train diplomats for Foreign Service. But after she graduated in 1989 during the Tiananmen Square protests, Mei and her classmates were transferred to the Chinese countryside for political “re-education.” Mei took the very unusual step of quitting that assignment, after a month, and applied for a visa to move to the United States. She and her husband settled in Annapolis, Maryland — near the Chesapeake Bay — and she attended the University of Maryland to get her Master’s in Mass Communications. After working in a medical export company, Mei and her ex-husband founded Chesapeake Bay Candle.
WHAT YOU’LL LEARN ABOUT IN THIS EPISODE:
- How working as a salesperson in retail can help you if you want to become an entrepreneur
- What are the skills that Mei looks for in prospective employees
- Why creative writing and problem solving are super important skills to cultivate if you want to get into entrepreneurship
- Why if you want to get into the ecommerce world you better enjoy shopping
- Why not to follow the money if you want to make money (instead follow your interests)