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Like a flower, resilient entrepreneur always grows toward the sun

By DU JUAN | China Daily | Updated: 2024-02-15 10:56

Qian Jing, founder of Lucy Q Jewelry [Photo provided to China Daily]

"I never imagined that I would one day become a jewelry designer, as I never studied such majors as arts or design in universities, nor did I have any training in this regard. If not for the wonderful people I encountered in my life, my journey would have become quite different."

After graduating as an English major at Renmin University of China in the 1990s, Qian Jing embarked on her professional journey by first stepping into the corporate world at a Fortune 500 American company operating in China.

Qian made a bold career move at the age of 27 and joined a French company where she became the head of the company's PR and Government Affairs department in China.

Qian, more commonly called Lucy, carries an entrepreneurial spirit in business and her personal life.

Retired journalist Chen Yi, who has known Lucy since the beginning of her career in multinational companies, considered her "a woman of remarkable resilience akin to a sunflower, never withers regardless of where she is planted, but grows toward the sun in all seasons."

In 2007, Qian made another significant career decision by establishing a consultancy firm, leveraging the years of experience and networking she had accumulated from working with multinational companies in China, providing consulting services to both foreign and domestic enterprises.

Her life transformed in 2006 when she started volunteering. She met Sarah Randt, the wife of the former US ambassador to China, who co-founded the Dandelion School in Beijing's Daxing District, a charity school dedicated to providing quality education for children of migrant workers.

As a volunteer, Qian assisted the school in organizing charitable fundraising events. She noticed how Sarah always exuded elegance and captivated everyone's attention during these events. Sarah adorned herself with exquisite traditional Chinese dresses for every occasion, complemented by dazzling jewelry pieces.

More than a decade later, Sarah highlights her outfits with a jewelry brand created and designed by Qian. Knowing Sarah's fondness for large and uniquely shaped baroque pearls, Qian designed a gold-wrapped exotic pearl necklace and earrings set.

From the bottom of her heart, Qian considered Sarah her mentor, even though Sarah never specifically taught her about jewelry fashion. Before meeting Sarah, Lucy had no understanding of pearls and was unaware that China is the world's largest producer of freshwater pearls.

"It is through knowing her that I gradually came to appreciate the various types of jewelry: necklaces, earrings, brooches, rings, and the magic they'll do to brighten up your outfit," she said.

With an ever-turning mind, Qian continuously seeks new opportunities for herself in her pipeline. In 2016, she founded Lucy Q Jewelry.

Upon seeing her wearing her brand's finery, her former neighbor exclaimed, "How did you become a jewelry designer?! You never used to wear anything like this before!"

Shortly after its launch, Lucy Q Jewelry won the recognition of celebrity fashion publisher and writer Hung Huang, who began selling Lucy Q designs in her store Brand New China (BNC), a boutique that housed original designs by Chinese fashion & accessory creators.

"Even though BNC closed later on, I always feel the inspiration from Hung Huang that China should have its own fashion designers, and an ordinary white collar woman like myself could also become a jewelry designer."

Qian believes that by understanding her clients, she can provide trendy accessories to women who love life.

"By saving their selection cost and offering the most efficient solutions, I provide them with high-quality products at a better value than brand boutiques and more time-saving compared to online shopping," she said. "Professionals often lack time, yet they frequently need to find gifts for their bosses and colleagues who are leaving or celebrating birthdays. Selecting gifts is not an easy task and requires effort."

Seeing the demand, Qian selects gift choices based on clients' preferences.

"Typically, I recommend at least two solutions, allowing them to choose the one that resonates with them. As someone with a corporate background, I also ensure the solutions are within the budget limit and in line with the codes of conduct at multinational corporations. I provide a total service that includes classy wrapping and packaging of the products using deep blue velvet or other material that spares my clients time in this regard, in addition to the value-added services such as floral cards."

Qian often encourages her friends, saying, "Never give up on yourself. Life is not only to please others but also to nurture your own spirit. Be elegant throughout your life: beautiful at 20, captivating at 40, and irresistible for the rest of your life!"

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