Cover Elva Ni (Photo: @misselvani/Instagram)

In this edition of Tatler’s Secrets of Success series—the all-access pass to the city’s most notable business magnates and entrepreneurs— Elva Ni reveals the best advice she’s received and the career path she’d choose in an alternate universe

Elva Ni’s career trajectory changed when she won the Miss Chinese Toronto pageant aged 18. The win catapulted her into the world of modelling and acting. By 2006, Ni had already starred in countless films, including All’s Well, Ends Well in 2011, The Bounty in 2012, and The Best Plan Is No Plan in 2013, as well as adverts for brands including Galaxy Macau, Ocean Park and Bank of China.

Today, the Asia's Most Influential honouree is one of Hong Kong’s most sought-after influencers. With years of experience in the fashion and beauty industries, she is now focusing on her passion for wellness by committing herself to natural health and beauty. She founded the yoga studio Be Earth, which she hopes will motivate others to incorporate yoga in to their lives.

Here, Ni discusses how her mentor Ana Forrest changed her thinking habits, and why she’s determined to live life with no regrets.

Describe what you do in one sentence.

I’m an inquisitive hard-worker who wears many hats.

How does your work make a difference?

I promote living a balanced and healthy lifestyle. I inspire women to thrive in today’s society and give them tools to be more confident and strong—whether that’s through physical health, mental health or appearance.

What do you put your success down to?

I’m always been devoted to my work and it’s been the key to my success.

What are the top three ingredients for a successful business?

Passion, effective communication and determination.

Do you have any mentors? If so, who are they and what is the best piece of advice they have given you?

My yoga guru, Ana Forrest.She said that when you shift your perception of life from victim mode (“everything bad always happens to me”) and judging mode (“this is great, this sucks”), and shift it to a desire to more fully discern the truth, then you are walking with beauty.

What qualities do you look for in a person when building your team?

A sincere and positive person who is always authentic and true to themselves.

What has been your biggest career obstacle to date? How did you overcome it?

I opened my yoga studio a month before the pandemic. The yoga studio has been closed nine months out of the two years. I hope to improve and do better with our studio when we reopen.

Do you have any business regrets? If so, what?

Not at the moment. Any mistake is always a lesson. 

How did you get into the wellness space?

My health and wellness journey began when I started my yoga practice. I noticed a change in both my mental and physical health. I hope to inspire and motivate more people to incorporate yoga into their lives and experience the balanced life I’m having.

Fashion, beauty, acting, wellness: what was your first love?

Beauty. I was into makeup and beauty products when I was in high school. I loved putting on makeup and creating different hairstyles for me and my sister.

How do you plan to develop your business over the next five years?

I hope to open more locations of Be Earth Yoga studio and I hope to inspire more people to practice yoga.

What is one surprising thing about you that most people don’t know?

I really enjoy doing thrill rides and activities like roller coasters and sky diving.

In an alternate universe, what career path do you think you would have chosen?

I would love to work in the field of art. Maybe as a painter, singer or dancer.


Elva Ni is an Asia’s Most Influential honouree from 2021. Discover the changemakers, industry titans, and powerful individuals who are making a positive impact on the region in the Asia’s Most Influential list from Tatler.

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