Siu Lui Shirley Choi 蔡筱蕊, has a brilliant mind and a keen focus on conservation, global warming, saving our oceans and our planet’s ecosystems. She has created seven apps to educate children to become more aware of conservation required to save our planet for years to come.
She is developing children’s ebook apps as an educational resource for parents and teachers who want to teach children about the value of global conservation. The apps are designed to stir a child’s imagination and empower creative thinking and resolutions.
The latest app recently released is “Gulangyu The Musical Rescue”, this free ebook app is about Xiao Rui – an 8 years old young Chinese girl from Gulangyu. Xiao Rui travels around the world with her baby dragon Henry and multilingual parrot Na Na to find out the causes of climate change and global warming. She is out to change the world and rescue her home Gulangyu and the earth. The story can be found on, happydiamondmusic.com.
She is a classically trained musician and composer. She uses her talent scoring music for apps, short films, and commercials. She is a writer for several media platforms relating to music and technology. In addition, she conducts interviews for her blogs. Music has been a part of her life since she was a four-year-old child. That is when she began training as a classical pianist. She has a piano diploma from the Royal School of Music in London. U.K. She also has a Music degree and studied with Grammy award-winning film composers from UCLA through its extension program.
During her free time, Siu Lui Shirley Choi 蔡筱蕊 spends at least two hours a day five times a week doing yoga. The rest of the time she is playing piano, writing articles and composing music.
How did you get started with The Happy Diamond Music Studio? What inspired you to do so?
I love to travel and when I visit other parts of the world when I need inspiration I go to places that inspire me. I love the ocean, so I go to California and Australia. I also go to London because I love musicals. Most of the time I go to musicals on my own. I find it very inspiring because I often feel very “small” when I see extraordinary singers and musicians performing on the stage, I am inspired by their performance and talent. I want to create something on my own. I visited South Africa, Cambodia and Myanmar earlier this year and found it very beautiful. Travel is very inspirational. Also, stories from different people inspire me. I once did an interview with Rachel Barton Pine – an American violinist who severely injured her leg in a train accident. Despite her tragic experience, she did not give up, rather she rose to inspire people to continue to strive to be their best self regardless of facing their own adversity.
How do your apps make money?
My apps are not making money because they are all for free. I am doing my part in promoting the importance of conservation, and I am fine with not making money. We have to start educating children when they are young. The ultimate goal for artists is when the work turns into a live gig or movie. In the long-run for my apps, if a production company wants to make a movie, would I like to sell? Yes, I would want to sell because it would mean my conservation stories could reach out to more people. More information can be found at happydiamondmusic.com. In the meantime, I am just happy to do my part to make a difference and raise awareness about climate change – even if I don’t make any money at all.
When you first started out did you ever doubt about how to address your business? If so, how did you handle it?
In the beginning, I had absolutely no idea how to become an app developer. Nevertheless, I knew if I put my mind do it, I would be able to do it. Yes, there was doubt, but I was not going to let it get in my way. I wanted to get my ebook app “Kakamega the rainforest story” out to the world – it is about three kids saving the rainforest and what human are doing to cause climate change. I knew it would educate young children about the importance of conservation. I am a composer, musician, music producer and a writer, I knew I could complete the project. I just didn’t want it to fade into oblivion for the next fifty years. I had the determination to put it to work. I also had to learn how to bring attention to happydiamondmusic.com.
What is one marketing strategy you use to generate more interest in your apps?
I think the strategy that works well is understanding the technology it takes to develop an app. I think I positioned my app in a very niche but important place, which is in conservation. I didn’t want to do something like “Finding Nemo” or to try to compete with Disney. I wanted to focus on conservation. “Kakamega The Rainforest Story” addresses global warming another “Migalolo Ocean ebook” focuses on saving the sea. My position in the market is a very niche area. When I promote the apps on social media I am very effective. I go directly to my target audience.
What is the toughest decision that you have had to make in the past few months?
The toughest decision I have to make is the allocation of resources. My production company does not have a lot of resources to be able to spend on marketing. How to allocate resources is extremely important to me. Many start-ups are gone within five years. I am in this for the long run. I need to decide how much to spend in the most important markets. Do I burn it all in China or do I allocate the marketing budget for marketing my apps around the world? 90% of my downloads are coming from the American educational system. The rest is spread between the UK and Australia. China is only a small portion of the downloads. The toughest decisions are in how to reconcile my marketing resources.
What do you think makes you successful?
What makes me successful is that I don’t take no for an answer. If I set my mind to something I am very determined. I am also the kind of person who is open to new ideas. I make my own decisions but I like to get input from other people as well. I think perseverance, determination, and commitment with hard work are the four elements that anyone needs to be successful.
What has been your most satisfying moment since the opening of your production company?
I got an email from a mother of twin girls. The email brought tears to my eyes. The email said my girls love my character and story, (Migalolo Ocean ebook).” They really enjoy reading your apps and singing your songs. They really enjoy your story. One of my daughters is blind. The twins spend time going through my apps, and singing the songs and really just enjoying their time together”. It really warmed my heart.
Amid limited resources, my apps Migalolo Ocean ebook and Kakamega The Rainforest Story were once ranked number 4th and 11th worldwide on iOS book chart overtaking Disney story time at one point.
What does the future hold for you and your firm? What are you most excited about?
I have to figure out how to use the content that I have already. I have three different avenues that I am pursuing. I am slowly building up an audio-book channel in Asia through different platforms. I am also looking for publishers such as the Cambridge and Oxford Press, to publish my apps as books. I am also looking for a movie production company that may be interested in turning my apps into a movie online or onscreen.
What books have inspired would you recommend?
I read almost everything that I need to learn about online. For instance, I knew nothing about apps and I knew nothing about SEO and ASO. I Googled how to make your apps successful. I learned many foreign terms to create my apps. It is not a novel but it is where I read articles by entrepreneurs who taught me how to develop apps.
What is a recent purchase you’ve made to help with your business?
My apps can create a difference in the world. If I can teach children the value of preservation of the earth that turns into my investment/purchase. If children learn why they should think twice before using plastic or why simply throwing things away unconsciously should be reconsidered, or the importance of saving the rain forest then I have accomplished my goals. I want to make a difference in the world. Gratification from making my apps knowing that I am making a difference is not something I can nor anyone can quantify in absolute terms
Can you share something about your newly released app?
It is called “Gulangyu the musical rescue”. It is a FREE app for iOS and Android. It is a story of a pedestrian-only island off the coast of Xiamen, Fujian Province in southeastern China. Xiao Rui, an 8 years Chinese young girl is the main character. She awoke one night because she had heard large waves coming. An earth fairy enters her room and asked if she wanted to save the world. When the child agrees to help. She is told by the fairy that she must tell her six ways that are causing global warming. The Gulangyu Musical Rescue story is about Xiao Rui travels around the world with her baby dragon and a multilingual parrot to save the world from global warming.