Member Spotlight: Jennifer Yemu Li, Element 7 Style

Jennifer Yemu Li, Founder / Designer at Element7


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Jennifer Yemu Li, Founder / Designer at Element7

All photos provided by Element 7 Style

A: Tell us about yourself? 
J: That's a pretty broad question but I'll try to summarize that. I'm an (serial) entrepreneur, soldier,
and running the mob. 

A: Your company Element 7, please share with our readers about it and it's mission?
J: Over the year and a half of launching Element 7, we've matured into a badass lifestyle brand.
The kind of women who come to Element 7 are what we call "the professional badass".
We currently sell 100% Canadian made body chains and are expanding to other products and
curating other designers in the fall/winter of 2014. We're all about female empowerment,
'mob mentality' when it comes to encouraging women and girls to support each other.
It's that girl gang mentality that we really push through the brand and encourage our followers
to do too. All positive stuff. We're really more than an online store, it's a lifestyle. 

A: What's it like working with your friends? How do you resolve conflict or difference of opinion when it arises?
J: It's fun, I don't take things personally and we all have the common goal in mind.
We've also had the incredible opportunity to be part of 
Spring.Is, a purpose driven activator.
You can find out more about them and what they do at 
A: You're a serial entrepreneur, what other businesses have you had or currently is running?
J: People assume I really know fashion (but I don't even come from a fashion or retail background)--but I would say 15% of Element 7 is fashion and other 85% is community building, business strategy, PR and a whole bunch of other things. I'm very active in the tech community and a huge supporter of the innovative minds and ideas out there.
A: What inspired you to start this business?  And how are you different from traditional

J: At my core I'm all about community and am very purpose driven. Running the mob has made
me get in touch with so many beautiful women (and men!) from all over the world and it's insanely
rewarding to be able to bring them together and work with them. I think the retail world is changing
and it's not just about good deals and putting clothes on a rack or website; it's about that voice you
have in the market and who and why anyone is willing to listen. We speak to the girls who need to
be empowered and to the women who are already confident.


A: The fashion industry is very competitive and trend based, what strategy do you have to
stay relevant?

J: Trends come and go, communities adapt and stay.
A: What are some of the challenges you face as the founder / owner?
J: The biggest challenge to any start-up is scaling, how do you go from a three person team to a
company that's doing 100 million net sales a year? We're not there but we will figure it out; which is
why being in an activator like Spring really helps with understanding that part of creating a successful
start up.  

A: What inspires your design?
J: Our badass bishes. 
But seriously, it's true. We listen to what our customers have to say and how our followers respond to
what we put out there. We try to keep things fresh and innovative, but at the end of the day the hardest
(and most important) thing is to listen. 

A: How do you find balance as business woman?  
J: I have my days where I feel like I'm doing 110% for 5 consecutive days and then I'll crash. But I've
gotten better at balancing my life and being healthy both mentally, physically and emotionally. Always
take the time to unplug for a few hours or days--but I try to never waste time. 

A: What's your secret in stay positive?
J: My unruly and uninhibited confidence. Having a group of like minded entrepreneurs help a lot, and
even better if you surround yourself with successful ones or a mentor.

A: What's your regular routine to stay healthy in body, mind and soul?
J: Not sure if I have a very clear answer for this, I work out, read, eat and sleep. I'm in the army too
which kind of gives me a 'break' from my reality as a entrepreneur because it throws me into a
completely different environment. I look forward to training in the field with the guys on occasional
weekends or doing our weekly parade nights.

A: What is your definition of success?
J: Achieving your purpose. 
A: Any future plans for Element 7?
J: Expansion into carrying new designers, multiple huge blogger collaborations as part of our MOB
BOSS series, supporting our local girl gangs.

A: What do you do for fun?
J: I'm really dorky aside from my business, I play the piano and draw (very Asian) but it's good for
stress relief. I'm also big on nature walks and road trips. I also look forward to going to Costco in
Bellingham now that I have my Nexus pass.

A: Fashion show is a key part of being in the fashion business, how has your experience
been participating in them and hosting them?

J: They're exhausting. If you have trouble sleeping, go and organize a fashion show and then you'll
have no problem passing out that night. Fashion shows are good for local presences but if you can get
press and social media posts from it--do it. Also great for networking; we haven't done them in a while
since we're mostly e-commerce focussed but they're definitely fun. If you ever get a chance to work
with us as a model, MUA or hairstylist you'll have a great time. I'm a huge organize freak and I will
make sure everything runs on time--I try to keep things as simple and smooth as possible. 

A: Are you involved with any charities?
J: We aren't but would love to be involved in any foundations or organizations that are female centric or
about empowering young men and women.

A: Anything last word of wisdom you'd like to share with our readers?
J: Stay focused, you only fail if you give up. 

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Last Updated ( Wednesday, 23 July 2014 )
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