Conversation with Luella Pu : Interior Designer / Serial Entrepreneur
Crafting an enriched and vibrant life that's worth celebrating
Success to me is not a destination. It's a forever ongoing process, a state
Today’s guest , Luella is A ultimate life designer, who not only curates space through the lens of interior design but also crafts a life within the container of good life.
She is an interior designer based in UK with10 pages of her work featuring in the local prestigious publication ‘style at home’. As a serial entrepreneur, she pivot into different business, leading up to a diverse and thriving venture profiles.
Her initial interest in human sciences led her to study both sociology and marketing in university, infusing her with invaluable institutional knowledge. Solid academic background coupled with her Restless, the best word to encapsulate her personality, set her all up for a trajectory of hustle.
In her freshman year at university, she launched her first buying-agent business. Like many young people, she faced resource and capital constraints, but she identified a market gap with her keen eye in the field of e-commerce which was still in its primitive landscape (way prior to social media age). She rode the wave of emerging e-commerce industry to get very first taste of venture success with her business acumen and savvy skills, I consider. One key message she shared is that you don't need to have a roadmap first to get started. A path aligned with your heart will unfold into clarity and truth through the journey. Over time, you can refine skills that may not be your strong suit at first. Also in university, her second business, a textile company, honed her skills across the entire spectrum of running a business, from logistics and sales to customer service and even IT troubleshooting, all of which typically require a team. However, she managed everything on her own for two years before making her first hire. Restless isn't only manifested through her ongoing creativity but also in the finest level of her execution. She was so dedicated that she was working on a yoga ball until the very last day of her pregnancy. While she may have been a bit of a micro-manager at the initial stages, her goal was always to get her employees on board through thorough training and guidance. Her textile business is curretnly thriving. Luella shared a crucial lesson from her 'pivot': the things you learned from your first life can be translated into your second life as long as you stay reflective, consciously thinking back about what you've learned and the skills you've acquired. This way, you'll never waste a single second of your time. I wholeheartedly support what she said. Especially during the early establishment days of our careers or businesses, we often find ourselves doing things we perceive as boring, but it's possible that we just haven't developed the perspective to see the learning hidden underneath. When we intentionally practice deconstruction and introspection, we learn to put a different lens on things, which will take us to the next level of growth. Luella, always restless, wasted no time and embarked on her next endeavor. This time in the realm of interior design, which is also my current passion. More precisely, she's delving into the property business. She started interior design as a side hustle and, with her husband, co-founded FangTing, a property business that has been running for over 10 years now. Luella takes the lead on the interior design and branding side, while her husband focuses on finance and investment. Another core partner oversees asset management. This business is quite complex, involving property scouting, renovation, styling, and finally listing properties for rental. Luella's number one golden rule in property investment is that you make money when you buy, not when you sell. As an interior designer, Luella always conducts rigorous research into the geographic makeup, potential tenant cohorts, and the lifestyle associated with those groups. Her approach to interior design is grounded in the heart of serving tenants' styles and needs. As the business founder, she is mission-driven, aiming to provide not only high-quality and safe housing but also to curate homes that nurture the tenants' souls. She's an illuminating character, always placing the well-being of her employees and clients at the core and forefront. I believe that empathy has led to the flourishing of her business, perpetuating its success. At the age of 22, while her buying-agent business was at its peak, Luella received a wakeup call: earning money couldn't be her sole motivation for living. It was a vulnerable and painful moment, but it led her to a consistent drive: consistently challenging herself and trying new things. Here are some key pieces of advice from Luella that I believe can apply to both our professional life and personal growth. She said:
Don't settle for things that make you comfortable. Always step out of your comfort zone and take on opportunities that make you feel unsure. Consider living your life as if you're playing a video game. You want to progress to the next level, not stay on stage one forever, right?
Life comes with numerous hurdles, regardless, so embrace them to add new meaning to your life. Eventually, this will lead to a enriched and vibrant life that's worth living and celebrating.
In the Part Two, we zoom our lens into more personal and mindset-oriented topics. Luella shares intimate insights into her experiences with relationship-building, parenting, self-care, and more. although we are at different life season, I was deeply resonated with her and empowered by her through this conversation, and truly I feel compelled to send her messages out.
From outside look inside, she appears to be the woman who ‘ has it all’: thriving business, happy marriage and son to be proud of. But she has very been candid about immense amount of efforts it took to reach this solid point in her relationship ,which may go beyond many people’s capacity to stick through. But the reward is worth it because the right partner also become your best mentor. Two persons trive to achieve best version of themselves towards common goals which is absolutely blessing and beautiful. That being said, personal growth should continue to perpetuate and remain intact regardless of one’s relationship status (married or single ). We are often drawn to those who radiate from the inside out. When individuals exude positivity , they not only attract the right person but also find their supportive village. I am a firm believer that your vibe attracts your tribes. Ongoing personal growth is also Luella’s secret ingredients to maintain marriage’s longevity and fluidity. Another mentality shared by Luella is treating your partner like your child, allowing both individuals to grow and evolve together from a selfless place rather than one outpowering another.
When it comes to parenting, Luella emphasizes the narrative and awareness of self-love should be essential part of early childhood education. Self-love not only equips children with discerning intelligence but also prepares them with sense of responsibility. With self- love at its core, they grow up to become adults with the strength to walk away from toxic relationships, and the ability to treat others with respect and care. As much as Luella enjoys being a mum and discussing parenting, she refuses to label herself solely a mum or putting herself on secondary or hold mode . Instead of projecting the image of super mum who take care of everything, she reveals her vulnerability to her child. A Mum , therefore, is able to raise her child with an authentic and intimate sense of self-care.
We further extended our discussion into character-building and a shift of belief system. A mindset that Luella intentionally applies to her parenting is to reward her child’s efforts in attempting goals regardless of whether the goal is achieved or not. When evaluation parameters changes, children tend to focus on external endeavours they could put in ,rather than internal attributes like IQ level, which they can’t control. When children are operating on the mentality of 'process matters more than outcome', they are more likely to take on high-stakes challenges. Eventually, persistence and perseverance are built into children’s character. It becomes inner strength that translate into their adulthood. I am also an adult version of living by this mentality. If I have my heart set on something, I will execute to my highest level within my capacity. I am not attached outcome but 100% committed to the process.
I also deeply resonate with another powerful parenting mindset tool shared by Luella : Dismantling our fears. The story of her guiding her son to confront fear rather than shunning away was mind-blown. She highlighted that just because we may not be naturally gifted in certain areas, doesn’t mean we should walk away from them entirely. Working out the audacity to face our fears provide an opportunity to unlock our full potential. The goal is not to be master in all domains. Even just 'dabbling' gives us a glimpse of what’s happening around and provides us with fuller ranger of common sense and higher awareness. Later on down the road at least we won’t take by situation without any saying about it. These two mindsets 'valuing the process over the result' and 'facing our fears', also work hand in hand. When success is not the sole goal, naturally human are more fearless to in addressing their weaknesses. The experience of making transformation by confronting and overcoming fear leaves deep mark on a child. It shifts their belief system from I don’t believe I can to I will give a try’ which will benefit them for lifetime.
Through my personal growth journey, I also want to add in is if we really are trying to deeply see, take in and understand the world, on all dimension possible, you know, intellectually, aesthetically , etc., inevitably we have to push the edge of envelope a bit to expand its width and depth . Walking through that fear can be intimidating and uncomfortable , but if we always stay in our comfort zone, surrender to our fear, not going to try something dreadful , we also deny ourselves a potential moment of joy and happiness. The feeling of excitement and the idea of the potentiality are worth pursuing throughout life, I believe. The world is a dark place, let's face it. We need to cultivate and create as many moments of light as we can just for our own sanity, far less for making the world just better.
Here is Luella’s version of success:
I did everything I possibly can, I loved everyone I can to my maximum, I also loved myself. Success to me is consistently challenge myself, doing something I probably feel shocked10 days ago that I didn’t know I can do now, and I can unlock new chapter in my life as I age. The essence of living a life is to grow, learn, to reflect, to be a better person for myself and my family , so success to me is an ongoing never-end game.
As I came to the full circle of this podcast journey with Luella, one thing that will always stay with me is her restlessness,which leads to an enriched and vibrant life. It was such a deelpy powerful conversion I will never forget. I want to extent my deepest thanks to her!