Ms. Mei Xu
Founder & CEO, Mei Xu & Co. LLC
Mei understands the challenges women around the world and here in the US face. As a child, Mei came of age in China during the post-Mao era and remembers President Nixon’s historic visit in 1972 to her hometown of Hangzhou. This visit set Mei on a trajectory to become a diplomat, for she was selected by the government to begin an intensive English language and Western culture training as part of China’s opening up to the world. History, however, would intervene, and disrupt Mei’s plans for she, like all students in the 1989 college graduating class, was sent to a remote work assignment following the Tiananmen Square protests. Frustrated and bored, Mei quit her job after one year, and decided to leave China to attend graduate school in the US.
Three years after her arrival in the US, this immigrant from Communist China became a capitalist, launching a small business in the consumer products and retail manufacturing space by making scented candles for the home. Fast forward two decades, and Mei sold that company – Chesapeake Bay Candle -- for $75 million dollars to one of the largest consumer products companies in the world – Newell Brands – aligning her brand with a $14 billion portfolio of iconic American brands like Rubbermaid, Elmer’s Glue, Sharpie Marker and Mr. Coffee.
While Mei was scaling Chesapeake Bay Candle, she also launched a second enterprise, BlissLiving Home, which designed and manufactured home bedding collections inspired by cultures and destinations around the globe.
Mei’s successful second act proved F. Scott Fitzgerald -- who wrote that “there are no second acts” -- wrong. But Mei didn’t stop at Act Two, as she is now onto her third act – the launch of www.meixu.com, an online community and future ecommerce marketplace to introduce to the world products and services made by women for women consumers.
I hope you will consider inviting Mei to speak at Women’s Entrepreneur Day. As someone who once made candles for a living, Mei can share inspiring remarks to other women entrepreneurs. As Mei likes to say, “A Candle Loses Nothing By Lighting Up Another.”