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Across China: Chinese woman's thriving online roses business
 
Date:2018-04-09  Source:Xinhua
 Li Min, a woman from east China's Jiangsu Province, has made a fortune by opening an online store to sell locally produced Chinese roses.

Li, 28, lost her left arm in a car accident at the age of seven. Despite only having one hand, Li managed to open a flower shop on Taobao, China's biggest online marketplace, with yearly sales reaching 1 million yuan (about 158,000 U.S. dollars) last year.

An online shop was once out of the picture for Li.

Graduated in 2012 as an apparel design major student, Li dreamt of finding a job in the fashion world. However, it was difficult. "The missing arm had hardly been a problem for me, but at that time, I realized that it was," Li said.

Setbacks in securing a dream job made Li, an optimistic and confident person, feel frustrated. "I went back home, idling all day long and feeling sorry for myself."

One day, when Li saw her mother's graying hair, she decided to make a change.

Li's hometown, Xinhe Township in Shuyang County, east China's Jiangsu Province, is a major growing area of Chinese roses. "Why not open a shop online to sell the flowers?" thought Li.

Determined to lead an independent life, Li opened her online shop without help from her parents.

She does all the work at the shop by herself -- purchasing, uploading products, sales, packaging and customer service. On learning the county government was organizing free courses on e-commerce to support local people, Li signed up.

"At the beginning, packing flowers was extremely challenging for me. The thorns always hurt my hand badly," Li said. "I worked ceaselessly from seven in the morning until eleven at night. After a day's work, I used to leave the computer and go straight to bed, having even no strength to deal with the packaging waste piled high on the floor."

Li's hard work paid off. Her online shop thrives with as much as 400 orders in one day.

She is also considering giving back.

"I got tremendous help from the government and the village folks during the startup of my business, and now I want to contribute more to society," she said.

Li successfully ran for the vice head of the Communist Party of China organization in her village last year.

"I thought it a long shot at the time and it really excited me when I got the position."

Li plans to use her knowledge and experience in e-commerce to help more people in her village increase their income and live better lives. She believes that, as every flower is different, so she has her own unique advantages in helping inspire others. 

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