We dedicate this special section to the makers of Beijing – the entrepreneurs, crafters, and the movers and shakers who provide new ways of experiencing this great city. We know there are many out there who have exciting endeavors in mind but are just waiting for the right moment. So we hope that you find inspiration in each maker whom we’ve invited to participate in this feature.
“Cheers!” Let’s raise a glass to… good health? Check. Long life? Yes, of course! Wine in moderation may be good for the health, at least that’s what some studies have suggested, so some people like to drink it to stay youthful and gorgeous. Those qualities are obvious when you see Claudia Masüger, founder of CHEERS Wines, whose infectious laughter and grin will keep you sparkling! Aside from the smiley “ü” in her name, Masüger has embodied this joy and brought it to many people with her affordable imported wines, available from her 66 franchise outlets all over China.
beijingkids: What made you bring Cheers to China?
Masüger: In 2008 I traveled to Beijing with two suitcases of wine samples. I was looking for an adventure and I thought China would be the perfect place. After doing research and wine tastings on the streets, I have realized that there is a big potential in China for great price/value wines from all over the world. The idea of making wine drinking fun and affordable was born.
How did you face the first few challenges that came along your way?
Challenges for an entrepreneur like me is a driving motor that makes me learn and grow on a daily basis. I mostly face tough moments with a smile and an open mind. I believe that there is always a way to solve it when I stay positive. Most major challenges turned out to be an awesome opportunity at the end. One of my first big troubles was when the entire warehouse of the B2B wine distribution company that I was running burned down back in 2010. Thanks to that unwanted break, we had time to develop a new concept and created the CHEERS retail stores with which we changed the wine market in Beijing. Sometimes when challenges get too much I would open a bottle of wine and all will be fine!
How do you involve your customers in building your brand better?
The most important part for CHEERS success has been the people who stand behind the brand. Our mission, “Cheers makes you smile,” goes through the product selection, the service in the stores and online channels as well as the fun wine education we provide. The constant positive feedback I receive from our communities around the stores and from the market is overwhelming and touching. Since we allow our customers to open own retail stores with our franchise concept, we have grown up to 66 stores.
We know that Beijing is a land of opportunities so what can you tell people who are planning to set up small businesses here?
Love what you do, be persistent, stay positive, flexible and open minded and always smile!
What’s that one thing that makes you stay in Beijing?
China is a dynamic market and changes constantly. I love the adventure and especially the people!
Say cheers to a good life with CHEERS Wines! Contact them at 400 005 5500 or cheers-wines.com.
This is the digital version of the Making the New Beijing feature article in the beijingkids November 2018 Beijing Makers issue
Photo: Lens Studio