How running a business that aligns with core values is paying off
Running a business and being part of a community is a blessing for Cui Liu.
Cui Liu always had a passion for home décor, so having her own design business today is the realization of a lifelong dream.
Liu grew up in China and moved to the United States as a teenager, eventually graduating from Murray State University in Kentucky with a degree in international business.
Starting her own company wasn’t easy but Liu felt God gave her a gift of being able to design and be a leader. With her faith as her guide, and her fearlessness to try new things, she opened Cui Liu Designs in Murray, Kentucky, in 2015.
“We’ve made a lot of mistakes along the way,” Liu said. But the company has come out OK because she realized early on how important the right business plan was — a plan for running a business related to her core values.
Those values include being invested in her community — she regularly hires fellow Murray State University graduates, works closely with her local chamber of commerce and tries to inspire the next generation of leaders.
“We don't see giving back as something that should be done, but something that MUST be done. What drives us is to not only take care of our consumers by providing them with the best product and service possible, but to also give back to our communities, near and far.”
Cui Liu Designs works with large retailers across the United States to manufacture and import innovative well-designed high-quality home furnishings at a great value. They have dedicated teams in China, India, Vietnam, Indonesia and Malaysia.
Expanding the business
Liu expanded her company's line of offerings during COVID-19, developing UV sanitized water bottles, as well as health and beauty products.
“Right now, we’re in the furniture business but we want to expand to more service businesses.”
Liu says having a close relationship with her local bankers means she’s never felt alone in her journey. She remembers one time texting with her banker at 2 a.m. to ask questions about sending a wire. And they’ve been there to help her figure out cash flow, how to get small business loans and how to work with the Small Business Association in her community.
“They even called and asked, “how are you doing with your baby?” …how often do people do that?” Liu said. “People are willing to do whatever it takes to see someone like me succeed. We would not be where we are today without other people.”
Liu said she wanted to embrace entrepreneurship to be her own boss, to build something, to experience financial rewards, and to nurture and grow the next generation of leaders.
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