The creator and ceo of Blissliving Home has turned a corner. The wholesale/retail company she founded in 2007 last year shifted to a licensing business model. New lines on the launch pad include bedding and window fashions from Ellery Homestyles, a full range of bath from Avanti Linens, and interior paints from Prestige Lifetime Paints – all inspired by Mei Xu’s exploration of Mexico City.
Home & Textiles Today: How do you define you personal style?
Mei Xu: Global sophistication! From a young age I have had a taste for a certain style that is about great textures in fabric, excellent tailoring, feminine shapes, and solid colors, and jewelry that is not bold but interesting.
Home & Textiles Today: What’s the latest thing you bought for yourself that you really love?
Mei Xu: I was in Paris for the Maison et Objet show in January and stopped by the Christian Dior store on Avenue Montaigne. There was this lovely white taffeta silk dress with pink, lemon, and black embroidery that just spoke to me.
Home & Textiles Today: What’s your oldest possession, something you would hate to part with?
Mei Xu: Shortly after I started my first company, Chesapeake Bay Candle, I purchased a Coach lady’s briefcase in a British tan color. The vintage Coach-style buckle and the supple leather instantly gave me confidence as I stepped out to make my first sales call.
Home & Textiles Today: What’s something about you most people would be surprised to hear?
Mei Xu: I am a homebody. Despite my passion for business and travel, when I return home to Washington, D.C., I like to spend as much time as possible at home.
Home & Textiles Today: What is your favorite place?
Mei Xu: This is a question I find difficult to answer. But I have to say I did enjoy Mexico City, the destination that has inspired the latest Blissliving Home collection. Mexico City is so rich in history, culture, and tradition, and it is home to the amazing painter Frida Kahlo. She is not just an amazing artist but also an outstanding style icon. I loved exploring her life and work at the Frida Kahlo Museum and the House Studio.
Home & Textiles Today: What’s your favorite meal and where do you like to have it?
Mei Xu: I loved this wine pairing dinner hosted by Chef Jose Andres I recently had in Washington, D.C. Jose Andres is truly amazing in both his creativity and his passion. There is nothing he is not afraid of trying or mixing. You always get to enjoy something unexpected and yet divine!
Home & Textiles Today: What are you currently reading, watching, or checking out online?
Mei Xu: I am reading the book “Far From the Tree” by Andrew Solomon. It explores parenting, children, and search for identity that is not always following conventional wisdom. I found it immensely touching and engaging to read.
Home & Textiles Today: If you hadn’t chosen the career you have, what would you have been instead?
Mei Xu: I think I would have worked for an international organization such as the World Bank or the United Nations. Many years ago when I was a student at the Foreign Studies University in Beijing, I actually did work for the World Bank for a few years. And I was planning to continue to build a career with them after I moved to the United States in 1992. I guess things don’t always happen as you plan.
A PDF of the original article in the March 22 2015 issue of Home & Textiles Today can be downloaded via the link below.Download Article