Lixia Qian is a marketing and outsourcing powerhouse with over 12 years’ experience in supply chain control for dozens of the world’s most popular brands. Lixia has been listed on the NASDAQ screen in New York’s Times Square by Payoneer.com for being amongst the top sellers on Amazon from China before she was chosen as the Goldman Sachs 10k women Fellowship winner, which held candidates from over 11 countries. She is also nominated for the Future women leader award, which only accepts 7 candidates worldwide.
Most recently, Lixia partnered with Bob Oré and created Bob Oré Blue Collection, an affordable luxury fashion brand that is quickly expanding all over the world with operations already in the fashionable cities of Beverly Hills, New York City, and Montreal.
How did you get started in this business?
I opened my first USA company, Tensale LLC, in 2017 before I met Bob Oré in Beverly Hills. Both of us shared the same belief that luxury brands were slipping out of reach from the majority of consumers as their prices continue to rise with every year, so we decided to partner up and create a luxury designer brand that is very affordable without compromising quality. That brand is called the Bob Oré Blue Collection.
How do you make money?
We generate revenue through sales of our products, found at https://bobore.com/ . We have three physical storefronts located in Beverly Hills, New York City, and Montreal, Canada, but all our products are also available online.
How long did it take for you to become profitable?
Since our bags are such high quality and we sell them far below what our competitors ask, it’s taken years before we were able to see a profit. However, knowing that we’re living up to our mission of providing luxury grade products for very affordable prices has made it all worth the wait.
When you were starting out, was there ever a time you doubted it would work? If so, how did you handle that?
Of course, there will always be doubts, but I’ve done a lot of research and found confidence in what I’ve found. There are almost no luxury handbags for such a price, and I saw huge potential with this market and catalog. With the due diligence I put into the business, I knew it would pay off if I was patient and believed in my preparation.
How did you get your first customer?
It was one of Bob Oré’s many friends. Once word got out that we were selling our own bags for such a great price, they quickly began selling out.
What is one marketing strategy (other than referrals) that you’re using that works really well to generate new business?
Recently, we’ve been gifting our products to celebrities and influencers to organically see what they think and that has proven highly successful. We just had Camila Mendes post photos with our Marshmallow Croissant Bag to her 26.5 million followers, which was very exciting and inspired us to continue doing what we’re doing.
Camila’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/camimendes/
We also held a pop-up with Danielle Bernstein at Snowfields in New York which was also very successful. We love doing pop-up events because once people see the quality for the price, the bags sell themselves.
Danielle’s Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/weworewhat
What is the toughest decision you’ve had to make in the last few months?
Bob and I have spent years putting this together and are absolutely dedicated to our dreams and goals, so there hasn’t really been too tough of decisions being made. However, we’ve run into tough times during the pandemic and the US-China trade war, but we’ve always managed to push through.
What do you think it is that makes you successful?
Resilience. Especially when the trade war happened between the US and China, where I’m from. Success may seem out of reach at times, but resilience is necessary to keep you on track to reaching your goals.
What has been your most satisfying moment in business?
Seeing how our customers react to the quality of our bags and how affordable they are.
What does the future hold for your business? What are you most excited about?
I’m most excited to see our vision come to fruition, to continue challenging myself with each step, and to encourage and inspire women from developing countries such as myself. Years ago, I was a very backward woman who never went abroad and stuck to traditional culture – playing the role of a quiet, obedient woman who was devoted to serving their families rather than becoming independent and driven. Now I consider myself a citizen of the world and all I’ve aspired to do with the Bob Oré Blue Collection was to give the opportunity of enjoying quality fashion to all women without them having to break their bank. I’m also very excited to expand and create more jobs and opportunities for people, especially normal people like me.
What business books have inspired you?
“The Everything Store: Jeff Bezos and the Age of Amazon”, by Brad Stone. Aside from this book, Amazon changed my entire life.
What advice would you give to your younger self?
I’d tell the younger me to always be brave. Being brave is how I’ve achieved so much.
Are you willing to be a mentor? If so, how should someone contact you?