Thrive Beijing: One Year After Our Launch

It’s officially been one year! One year since we launched our website and started the rewarding challenge of building Thrive Beijing.

Over the last 365 days we’ve brought you 48 Monday Mixes; 20 Articles; 50 Motivational Moments; 48 Featured Fridays & 20 ‘Chinese in 10 seconds’ and for that we need to shine the light on a few people who helped us make it happen.

Shout Outs

A huge shout out to our resident DJ @ossmusica and takeover DJs, JustSYD, Dj Dirty Dishes, DJGreen B and Darcy who help to brighten up our Monday mornings. Our Pyro account has received over 25,000 total plays!

A big thank you also to our contributing writers! Albert Christopher Lee, Meredith Sides, ND McCray, Deshawn Peterson, Lise Wagnac, Timothy Lobban, Kayshell Jennings, Ginger, Lavinda Richards and Alexandria Williams. Because of your work, we’ve received 7617 views on our website which is beyond what we ever imagined for Thrive.

We obviously cannot forget to thank you too, our readers for following us and for your words of encouragement. We have days when we feel tired and vulnerable but we always screenshot and share with our team your words of encouragement – it seriously pushes us when we feel your love.

About Our First Year

Our first year has been one for the books. We can whole hardly admit that while we put a lot of thought into Thrive Beijing before we started there are times when we are just figuring sh*t out. It’s been thrilling to rediscover our greater capabilities and to learn alongside others doing the same. Some of our favorite moments in general this year have included hosting our launch party at Equis; Powering the launch party for Beijing’s first Africa Week by Kente & Silk; and collaborating with Elementary Chinese, BLKGEN, JingJobs, BlackEXPO. To mark the occasion of our first anniversary we’ve decided to share with you what the experience has been like so far from the perspective of our three founding members.

Boitha – Thrive in a year

When Lisa initially told me about her idea to start Thrive, I was excited and instantly knew I wanted to be a part of it. However, when she asked me to come on board as one of the partners I did not anticipate that we would have as much of an affect as we have in the past year. We have also had so many opportunities present themselves through the brand and it has been astounding.

Collaborating with Kente & Silk on the launch of Africa Week was such a proud moment for me. There we were, two black female owned businesses pushing through the glass ceiling. A lot of learning moments while planning and during the event, but it was an overall successful undertaking.

I am excited about the upcoming year. We have met some incredible people in this city who have such inspiring stories that we hope can be shared with our readers and inspire them as well.  In the coming year I am looking forward to meeting more goals, continuing to learn about entrepreneurship and pushing ourselves even further.

Nicky – Highlights from the past year

I can’t believe it’s already been one year since the launch of Thrive Beijing. When Lisa approached me about starting Thrive Beijing, I was very excited to offer advice and suggestions.  Little did I know, I not only had to talk the talk, I also had to walk the walk. Being part of Thrive has taught me so much, but the greatest lesson has been dedication and staying motivated even when we don’t receive immediate gratification from the seemingly hard work we put in. Working with Boitha and Lisa is such an amazing experience with each of us being from different parts of the world our mix of cultures and personal experiences makes our team extremely dynamic.

One of the highlights at this stage of being a start-up for me is positive feedback. It is always so uplifting when someone reaches out to us and acknowledges something they like. I am always eager for Featured Friday, simply because of the feedback from our followers.

As for memorable moments, it still feels like not so long ago since my team and I were making all the preparations for our launch party. We sat for hours in a room filled with gift bags trying to accurately distribute the numerous contributions from our sponsors and brand the bags. I remember at one point falling asleep while peeling off a Thrive Beijing sticker only to be told by my partners that “now is not the time for a rest, we still have 99 more bags to brand.’’ This memory will always be etched in my mind!

I look forward to continue working alongside the ladies on the upcoming projects and events that we have planned, while also making greater connections with those vibrant like-minded entrepreneurs who also have so much to offer Beijing.

Lisa – On the other side of fear

Honestly, I could have never imagined that a simple idea I had a few years ago would have turned into something this big. In the past, I’ve had many ideas but I always seemed to talk myself out of bringing the majority of them to life. In taking the leap with Thrive Beijing I learned so much about business, tech and my own capabilities. It’s been a surreal experience to overcome the fear of ‘what if something goes wrong’ and I really believe that the entrepreneurial spirit of Beijing and the people who reside here positively influenced us to just start.

My favorite Thrive Beijing moment is hands down the night before our Launch party in December 2017. We started working on the event about a month before but with Taobao times, a lot of work had to be done in the three nights leading up to the event. My apartment basically became a factory in those three days. 100 gift bags took over half of the living room not to mention the other party items.  The night before the event we were a hot mess but we were determined. We laughed uncontrollably at some of the challenges we had met thus far and tried to continue making jokes to motivate each other to stay up just a little bit longer to finish that one last thing. We finished all the prep at 5:00 am only to wake up two hours later to get to our regular 8:00 am to 4:00 pm jobs. While the launch was amazing I never laughed as much as the night before the party.

Of course we’ve also met a lot of challenges too: we are new to coding and we have our moments with doing business in China and learning about various aspects of our industry. The team makes all the difference though. I truly admire Nicky and Boitha’s ability to handle challenges really well. They always focus on the positive and on the next step rather than dwelling on the negative.

Read More About Thrive Beijing in the community

As Featured in Time Out Beijing: Meet Beijing’s new generation of African change makers

As Featured in IOL: South Africans are thriving in China

As Featured in Global Times: Beijing’s Thriving Business Women


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