Be a Global Girl Boss: Do What You Love, and You’ll Love What You Do
By Tamar Hela
There’s a saying that goes something like this: love what you do and you’ll never work a day in your life. And though Kelsi Xi of MYRRA Jewelry is no stranger to hard work, she clearly loves what she does and has found rhythm in how she lives her life as a Global Girl Boss.
Originally from Beijing, Kelsi moved to Australia when she was a teen to study and then moved to New York to develop and expand her business. She actually began her business, MYRRA, in Australia, where she lived for nearly 11 years, but went to the States to attend trade shows. After that, she moved to New York to do pop-up shops and events, and eventually expanded before she moved back to China.
Why New York? Easy! As Kelsi puts it:
“New York is the hub of the world . . . and I got so inspired.”
And though Kelsi’s business started with jewelry, she was inspired by more than just that; she also found inspiration in fashion and food. As she explained, Kelsi takes ideas from many different things and then incorporates it into her designs.
Now, Kelsi’s shop is in Shanghai, China. But in New York, she still has an employee who will do pop-ups during holiday times.
So, just how did she get started? Kelsi actually earned a Bachelor’s degree in Photography and worked as a photographer for a few years in Australia. But she didn’t like it anymore because it was really stressful, especially for weddings and other events. It was very physically demanding as well. She wanted a change.
Kelsi wanted something more tangible, so she started to design and make jewelry, and found what makes her happy. She loves having products that are well designed, high quality, and earthy, while still having a look of luxury.
She agrees that it’s okay to walk away from your original plan, especially as an entrepreneur, and find and do what makes you happy—what makes you come alive. It’s one of the things she lives by.
While living in Melbourne, she had lots of friends and a community that were very earthy, which was part of what inspired her in her designs. It was all a one-woman show in the beginning. Then, as she expanded, she incorporated other products from vendors. But it all stays within a particular theme: natural, subtle, earthy. Kelsi especially likes small jewelry and symbols, and those preferences and likes are referenced in her jewelry designs.
MYRRA is derived from the name Mira, meaning “Wonder” in Latin, “Ocean” in Sanskrit; as well as Miriam, meaning “Light” in Hebrew. Kelsi pointed out that jewelry has actually been around for a long time. It often had meaning in the past, like with the Egyptians, so she brings a sense of that to her collections. She uses symbols that have protection or spiritual meaning. So the brand is about being urban bohemian, and even though the shop is in a city, she likes to bring that sense of spirituality to the pieces.
What’s next? For starters, Kelsi plans to expand the business. MYRRA is the first shop in Shanghai and she would like to open larger shops in Shanghai as well as in China. And her shop is online too, which ships globally. In fact, she gets orders from all around the world.
While she is in an expansion stage, she has the good fortune to have supportive and business-minded parents from whom she can get advice. Her parents are very open-minded and don’t put a lot of pressure on her. They’re both entrepreneurs as well! Her father was in business before he retired. And her mother recently started a massage and body detox business with Traditional Chinese Medicine—and even opened the same week as Kelsi’s shop!
Growing up, her parents would always be talking about business—especially at dinner time, so Kelsi heard that and soaked it in. Now, anytime she needs business advice, she can go to her parents. It’s very clear that she has their support and was able to use them as an example to be so successful in her endeavors.
So what does a Girl Boss like Kelsi recommend to other Global Girl Bosses or those aspiring to be? For starters, she says to:
“Do something you’re passionate about, that you can see yourself doing at least the next 5 years. Make it the best it can be. Talk to as many people as you can to get advice. Network like crazy and help out others. And keep improving and making things better.”
Very wise words from someone who knows what it takes to be successful in doing what you love.
Be sure to check out Kelsi’s shop online, and if you happen to visit Shanghai someday, you can find her shop in the popular Jing’an District, just within walking distance of other luxury shops and malls (MYRRA Boutique, 631 Weihai Rd, Jing‘an, Shanghai). In her shop, you’ll not only find her jewelry, but simple and elegant clothing, essential oil candles, and oils for skincare—perfect for treating a friend or yourself!
Images Courtesy of MYRRA & Tamar Hela
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About Tamar Hela:
Tamar Hela is a California girl but currently lives in Shanghai, China, planning world domination one day at a time. She’s the Queen of How-To for Sticky Steps, a digital education company that teaches young professionals essential skills for the workplace. Her latest project is HELAhealth, where she aspires to connect travelers and expats to natural and alternative health options in Asia. And as if that’s not enough, she also moonlights as a freelance editor and writer (with 40 edited novels under her belt and 3 published works of her own), loves traveling and reading, and runs natural health and creative workshops in Shanghai. Find her at www.tamarhela.com.