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Lisa Li, Founder of The Qi; Female Founder Feature
Posted on March 30 2021
At ALLY Shoes we love celebrating strong female entrepreneurs. We are highlighting Lisa Li, Founder of The Qi. We loved finding out more about how she founded The Qi plus we did a fun collaborative photo shoot with her.
ALLY Shoes: Tell us about yourself and how you founded The Qi
The Qi: I was born and raised in a small coastal city in LiaoNing. I grew up with a single mom and she moved us to the U.S. when I was 14 to have a better life. I didn't speak a word of English and it was rough in the beginning. After college I ended up working in fashion for 10+ years and got really burned out. I started The Qi after a transformational trip to Shangri-la, Yunnan where I came across these incredible roses that the locals drink as a tea. It was the most beautiful thing I have ever experienced and I wanted more people to be able to try it and The Qi was born.
ALLY Shoes: How has being an entrepreneur affected your family life?
The Qi: This is a really good question. Being an entrepreneur can be really hard on personal relationships because often it occupies your 24/7. My husband and I both work on The Qi. So we try to set boundaries where once a week on Saturdays it's our date day where we explore the city, do fun new things, and try a new restaurant for dinner. It's also made us closer in many ways because before we started working together we didn't know each other's professional side as much. There was definitely a big learning curve figuring out how to work together and we've realized that our skill sets are completely complimentary to each other. So it's been working out great.
ALLY Shoes: What motivates you?
The Qi: My mom is a big motivation. She's sacrificed a lot for me to have more opportunities in life. Coming from humble beginnings I have always felt like an underdog and outlier in many ways. I used to wanting to prove myself, but now I just want to make a positive impact in the world. To bring more beauty and joy to everyone. And flower teas fit right in that ethos. Every time I hear from our customers on how much they love our flower rituals it motivates me wanting to make sure everyone can start drinking flowers so that they can all enjoy that experience.
ALLY Shoes: What is the biggest factor that has helped you be successful?
The Qi: Cultivating inner joy no matter the external events.
ALLY Shoes: What is the best advice you can give for someone who is looking to become an entrepreneur?
The Qi: I think mind set is really important. You have to find and cultivate inner joy. You have to figure out a way to sustain yourself mentally and emotionally for the long term through out the high highs and low lows because otherwise it's really hard to keep going and not get burnt out.