Danish-born Asta Fris-Lodahl (age 6) is in full flow when we meet at House of Knowledge International School and Kindergarten’s Quanfa Campus (HoK). She regales us with stories, breaks into song, dance, and impersonations, even restyling my hair at one point. A natural performer and entertainer, she and older sister Laura (8) are genuine movie stars! Both girls had roles in upcoming feature film The Last Race , acting alongside British star Joseph Fiennes. Asta’s dad Jesper Lodahl is CEO of Smartots, and mom Charlotte Friis-Lodahl is a product marketing consultant. The Lodahls moved to Beijing in 2004, when Friis-Lodahl’s work for Nokia brought her to Beijing.
The bowling alleys at East Gate Plaza Bowling Club in Dongzhimen is the most frequented by expats however the staff speaks Chinese only. Both places are clean, and there are packages available that include soft drinks and snacks in the price. Shoes rental is available at both locations.
Age suitability: 8-17
Price range: RMB 100-250
Features: Words to Live By - Jasmine Xie channels lessons from school into entrepreneurial endeavors
Twenty-year-old Jasmine Xie knows a thing or two about time management. Though busy finishing her last year at the University of Edinburgh, the international relations student is also running the branding and creative marketing agency she founded at age 19.
Xie’s company, Nova Universal, connects young creatives with companies and small-to-medium enterprises in need of marketing and branding services. Campaigns have ranged from branding for start-up fashion labels to an Insta Meet at EAST Beijing where members of Instagramers Beijing led a photo walk around the hotel to increase publicity for both parties.
A native of Vancouver, Xie and her family moved to Dalian when she was 13 years old. After transferring to Saint Paul American School (SPAS) two years later, she completed enough credits to skip Grade 11 and founded the student media department in Grade 12. We emailed this young overachiever to learn more about her development as an entrepreneur.
Some of our readers may remember Alyssa Lam as Ziggy Stardust from the cover of the beijingkids February 2014 cover. We reconnected with her and her mom, Karen, after putting out a call for child entrepreneurs. It turns out that Alyssa – now 13 and in Year 9 at Dulwich College Beijing – has been busy with her own baking business. We recently caught up with mother and daughter to find out more.
Alyssa, how did your interest in baking start?
Baking is one of my favorite hobbies; when I’m bored or have nothing to do, the first thing that comes to my mind is baking. My mom taught me how to bake my first cake when I was about 6 years old. I had so much fun, I started watching YouTube videos and buying baking books. When I had spare time, I would try to use those videos or books to bake a cake. Sometimes it would look absolutely disgusting but would taste great – and others not so great.
The employment market for moms can be tough. Finding a job that is satisfying, well-paid, enables you to draw on your skills and experience, and that can also be done while raising a family isn’t easy. This is why many expat women become entrepreneurs and set up their own businesses. In doing so, these moms have found ways to carve out a business niche for themselves, opening up employment opportunities that just aren’t available in the conventional job market.
Most of us at some point see an opportunity: an unsatisfied demand in the market or an existing product or service which could be improved. Entrepreneurs are the ones that actually act on these opportunities. They have self-belief that their idea and vision can be made real through hard work and the capacity to learn the lessons of the market along the way.
beijingkids spoke to three entrepreneur moms, all of whom have built successful companies. Running your own business is not easy, but these moms have managed to do so with a mix of creativity, commitment, and sheer determination.
Ireland skipped the industrial revolution. While the 19th century saw the rest of Europe gear up and mechanize, its economy remained largely agricultural. Family farms and businesses are the cornerstones of Irish culture: their lower-tech, smaller-scale natures are major components of it’s unspoiled landscapes and tight-knit communities today.
Blank Canvas: Students from Etonkids International Bilingual Kindergartens’ Central Park Campus fill October’s Blank Canvas
Su Chun Hao, 5, China
Germans Sabine and Erat Erhard moved to Beijing with their three daughters in 2012. Madeleine (age 7), Luisa (6), and Ellen (4) all attend House of Knowledge (HoK), where Sabine works as a teacher in the German preschool. Erat is a senior electrical maintenance engineer for Daimler.
Calin Fashion Academy is open to students ages 13 and up, and offers courses to improve technical skills, conceptual development, and build professional portfolios in fields ranging from fashion styling and illustration to makeup art. While these courses are short and intensive (two week summer and winter camps are available for ages 13 and up) the company also offers one-time events perfect for birthday parties of eight to fifteen people of all ages.
Anita Boladeras creates and sells one-of-a-kind jewelry from her home-based shop in Dongzhimen. FLORA & FAUNA’s products are created from a range of organic materials including seeds, stone beads, minerals, metals, wood, glass, shells, and leather. Her hand-made pieces are unique, sustainable, and affordable.