Profile Of A Chinese Millennial & Entrepreneur: Chelsea Lu

Having an entrepreneurial spirit and the urge to create one's own company is becoming increasingly characteristic of Millennials all over the world. Regardless of their country or continent, many young people seek to pursue their passions and create a name for themselves. This is the case for Chelsea Lu, a young entrepreneur in China, who after attending college and working in the U.S., moved back to China to create an Internet application. One of our Youth Advisory Board members, Bryan Spencer, interviewed her in the latest installment of his "Profile of a Chinese Millennial" series, highlighting this universal desire among young people to make a difference. 

Profile Of A Chinese Millennial & Entrepreneur: Chelsea Lu

Mark SaysBryan Spencer: So you're a 20-something year old entrepreneur in China. Can you tell me a little about your company? How did you form your company and what were you doing?

Chelsea Lu: I started this company after I quit my last job in digital advertising in the U.S. and came back to China. My sole motivation for quitting my job and coming home was to start my own tech company — the typical "Silicon Valley" style, and by that I mean focusing on building one consumer Internet application. I realize this was a pretty atypical path for a person on the buying side of digital advertising and with no coding experience. However, retrospectively, I think the seed for this adventure was planted during my first summer internship when I was working with a digital media team.

I especially remembered one guy from a startup that does verified code ad coming in for an introduction one afternoon. He was the co-founder of his own company and was VERY passionate about the product. To this day, I can still recall the goosebumps I got listening to him...in a good way.

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Millennial News Feed

Quote of the Day: "My favorite place to shop online is Sephora, because I love high end makeup and I love reading about what's new and watching tutorials on how it works.” –Female, 26, MA

We’ve seen everyone from food startups to fast-food chains label their food “artisanal” to appeal to Millennials—and there is good reason. It turns out there is generation gap when it comes to consumers’ reaction to “artisanal” and “craft.”  Millennials are more likely than older consumers to say that the labels “handmade/handcrafted, “craft,” and “small batch” tell them a product is high quality, and also more likely to say that descriptors like “artisan/artisanal” have some influence on their purchases. (MediaPost)

To sell wine to Millennials, brands have had to drop the exclusivity and embrace a more unpretentious attitude. Sparkling wine brand Chandon is relying on Instagram to get their bubbly message across to young females, making it their top social platform, over Pinterest. Their colorful, summertime images, featuring captions like “Today calls for Rosé,” are a part of their effort to get sparkling wine “out of the holiday rut.” (Digiday)

Older generations who hear about anonymous apps like Whisper and YikYak have one main question: why? Question and answer site Ask.fm’s recent study asked them, and found that 40% of 13-18-year-olds said anonymity online allows them to talk about difficult topics—only 4% said they would talk about the same things if their name was being used. (IBT)

New parents will do just about anything to get their kid(s) to go to sleep, as one self-published book is proving. The picture book The Rabbit Who Wants to Fall Asleep made the Amazon bestseller list by claiming to put children straight to sleep. Sales skyrocketed quickly, going from selling just 324 copies on August 16th, to 29,000 at the end of last week. It’s rumored that Random House has bought the rights to the miracle book. (Publisher’s Weekly)

Restoration Hardware is going after the teens “who ha[ve] everything.” Their new high-end post-childhood line RH Teen includes chandeliers, and fine art photography, and the brand hopes to capture young consumers as they are finding their own identity and becoming independent as decorators of their space. Unlike some brands, who are co-creating their products and marketing with young consumers, Restoration chose to launch RH Teen without focus groups or studies. (WSJ)

According to Pew, a third of Millennials frequently use their phones in public for “no particular reason,” and 13% say they frequently use their mobile devices to avoid interacting with other people. (Queue the “anti-social Millennial” pieces.) But another study might shed some more light on their “for no reason” phone use: 60% believe their smartphones enhances their leisure time. The research hypothesizes that young consumers are using phones for moments of “micro-leisure” throughout the day. (Washington PostSocialTimes)

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