In the spirit of International Women’s Day, we got up-close and personal with our very own Girl Bosses, Co-founders Mazing and Connie - sisters who grew up with their own respective interests and flair but came together in entrepreneurship for a common love of wellness.
Before we begin, we would like to invite you to meet the girls in person on 21 March over afternoon tea at the Mercedes me Store x Lify “Mindful Escape” pop-up cafe! We’ll be chatting about wellness, technology, entrepreneurship and more!
Afternoon Tea with Lify Co-founders
|Date:||21 March 2020 (Sat)|
|Time:||3:30 pm to 5:00 pm|
|Location:||Mercedes me Store - Shop 38 & 40, G/F, 48 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong|
Now let's get into the conversation...
(Check out their personal profile at the end of this post!)
What inspired you to create Lify?
Mazing: During the early days of being an entrepreneur starting out our experience store, I was rather stressed and encountered hormone imbalance which had negative effects on my body condition. I started consulting Psychiatrist and Traditional Chinese Medicine practitioner at that time and slowly realised how emotions could impact our body. I believe that body, mind and soul are all interconnected and it’s so important to constantly reflect and strike a balance in life. At that time, I had the idea to create a smart wellness solution that could demystify the complexity of TCM and enable people to enjoy a mindful moment in life by sipping quality, natural herbal blends.
Connie: I always wanted to design something that is truly integrated into people’s daily life with a good purpose. Lify has set a perfect starting point for me to explore endless possibilities - a brand that advocates better living by means of technology and design integration. Creating a new lifestyle is not easy but it’s a challenging yet exciting project! Also, it’s a culturally relevant topic that we are engaging with - bringing together the old and the new and reinventing the culture that has lasted for centuries - the wellness “養生” wisdom in our culture. The dream to grow globally and preaching such an idea to other cultures is also key to my passion!
Did you always know you would be an entrepreneur?
Mazing: I have always been an ambitious, result-oriented achiever. Growing up, my vision was to create an impact in the world and community. I was recently reminded by a childhood friend that I talked about creating my own lifestyle brand while passing through the department store during my secondary school days.
Connie: I think so! I’m a dreamer and when I find passion I go for it without thinking twice. At the same time, I’m more on the creative side, forcing me to learn and strike a balance between being a designer and an entrepreneur, so-called designpreneur.
What’s it like running a business with your sister?
Mazing: It’s transparent, challenging and rewarding at the same time. Our personalities are quite different but she knows me best and we are thinking more alike. After running a design consultancy and experience store together and now with Lify, we have been working together for the 7th year this year.
Connie: Oh, tough question, especially when I’m the younger one (LOL). I guess besides having different personalities, we do share similar core values and perspectives towards life, and that makes us align on major decisions and our company’s direction. People say it’s a beauty to work with family, I can’t agree more.
Do you argue with each other?
Mazing: Yes - sometimes the arguments can be quite intense, but we always cool down and get over it the next day. We know that we always have each other’s back and no matter what happens, we are arguing to achieve the best outcome.
Connie: I would rather say we discuss for the greater outcome. We both have strong views and sometimes even tunnel vision in our ideas, so it’s always good to have “discussions” to open up opportunities that we can’t see when we are only doing it alone by ourselves.
If you could steal one character trait from your sister, what would it be and why?
Mazing: Her persistence in problem-solving. She will try her best and is committed to make sure she finds a solution, usually a very creative one. She learns quickly and thinks from a very different perspective which always surprises me. I think perseverance is a very important character trait with her current role, being the mastermind of Lify R&D.
Connie: I would say, people, people and people. Mazing has an amazing network of people around her and she knows when to leverage her connections when needed. Her outgoing character is something that is rooted inside her, making her an expressive and interactive leader at the company - always making conversations with the team and partners.
The start-up life is not an easy one. How do you keep yourself healthy both emotionally and physically?
Mazing: I always share that having a support system is crucial, especially when you run a start-up. I am very grateful for having my husband, my family and friends around so I can talk to them anytime about my feelings. To stay healthy physically, I try to stretch when working from home these days and get some fresh air if possible on a hike or stroll on the weekends. Emotionally, I feel that having some me-time is also beneficial for me to reflect as I socialise and interact with others often as an entrepreneur. Once in a while, I will try to shut down from the internet and spend quality time with my loved ones, by simply cooking a meal at home or watching movies together. Oh, and of course, it's always nice to have a sip of Lify wellness at these times!
Connie: To keep myself creative and innovative, I need streams of inspirations. I travel a lot, and I love to discover new gems and places with my friends alike. I love laughing a lot - it’s really therapeutic. I used to be a competitive athlete during my college days, and now I love bonding with teammates doing sports together, sharing joy and tears in recreational leagues. This really releases me from all the work stress as during those game times, I only focus on the game itself with my team, without jumping thoughts to how the next branding campaign of Lify looks like (which I dream about almost every night!)
Mazing Lee, 32
CEO & Co-founder of Lify Wellness
- Business faculty graduate of The Chinese University of Hong Kong
- Before Lify: managed a diversified portfolio of luxury brands in Singapore and Italy, co-founded The Contact Store, a lifestyle experience centre with Connie
- Studied Traditional Chinese Medicine for Women’s Health
- Enjoys mindfulness practice and dance
Connie Lee, 29
CIO & Co-founder of Lify Wellness
- Educated in Industrial Design at Design Academy Eindhoven, the Netherlands
- Founded Contact Design Group in 2013 to specialise in product innovation fusing technology and user experience
- “40 under 40” by Perspective magazine; one of 100 Designers by Kun Shan University Annual International Design Symposium; Finalist in Shenzhen Design Award For Young Talents
- Avid tennis and basketball player