This Entrepreneur Wants To Make Traditional Chinese Medicine Cool. Here's How
Mazing Lee co-founded Lify Wellness after suffering health problems in her twenties and is now working to reinvent herbal wellness
Mazing Lee made a pivotal career change in 2014. She left her job in luxury fashion, where she oversaw a 100-strong team, and joined her sister Connie's design consultancy, which was looking to expand its operations. But as she worked on the expansion, the stress triggered a bout of hormonal problems and led her into depression.
“I was overwhelmed by the pressure to excel and build a reputable brand in a short time from scratch,” she says, adding that she would also constantly look for approval from others.
In her search for a solution to her deteriorating health, she turned to Traditional Chinese medicine (TCM), where she became inspired by the idea of food as a form of remedy and the ancient wisdom found in TCM principles. She dived deeper into the branch of medicine when she took a TCM programme for Women’s Health by The Chinese University of Hong Kong. “I learnt a lot, [but I] found the herbal wisdom knowledge too complicated for people like me to practise in everyday life.” Her solution? Lify Wellness.
Harnessing technology to make TCM simpler and more accessible, Lify Wellness is Lee’s response to the problem she had encountered while trying to stay healthy—and one she could share with others. Through the startup, Lee and her sister created the world’s first-ever smart brewer, which makes herbal beverages tailored to the user’s needs.
“The name Lify comes from the words ‘life’ and ‘healthy’, which is what we want to achieve. Lify isn't designed to be just a product or a brand, it is also meant to be a personal and interactive companion that understands you and helps you to be well.”
Lee shares more on Lify Wellness and the health benefits of TCM here.
What is Lify Wellness' main purpose?
Our purpose is to reinvent traditional herbal wisdom with technology and accessible formats that allow you to manage your well-being at your fingertips. We see Lify as a platform that bridges the gap between TCM practitioners, health coaches and naturopathic doctors, and health-conscious individuals and companies. We organise corporate wellness programmes and workshops for people to understand their bodies better and how to live well. As we continue to grow, we’ll launch different products and services, ranging from beverages to mindfulness experiences.
How can TCM be more accessible to younger generations?
To cater to the needs of younger people, we launched the Ready-To-Drink Sparkling Tea Tonics, which tackle gut health and mental wellness. They are sugar-free, carbonated beverages brewed locally in Hong Kong, featuring super herbs and plants with oriental roots, as well as vitamin C and collagen. They can be enjoyed pre- and post-workout, or on the go. There are a variety of flavours that tackle different issues, from ‘Unwind’ that contains hibiscus and blood orange to ‘Recover’ that has oolong and goji.
We also have a focus on technology. Our Smart Herbal Brewer, for example, has an accompanying app to collect customer insights. Through the Lify Score Test, we obtain information about our users' emotions, body conditions, and lifestyle and dietary habits, all of which are used to tailor their beverages. The app also provides the health benefits of our formulations, which are created using scientific research and validation of the herbs and their active ingredients by herbal scientists and TCM experts.
What is next for Lify Wellness?
Our goal is to build up Lify’s brand awareness as being an expert when it comes to herbs and urban symptoms, with a particular focus on the wellness community, hospitality groups and food and beverage outlets. We have also created Lify Wellness Club, a physical pop-up located at the heart of Central Hong Kong, to serve as a "wellness oasis" for beverage tastings, healthy food concepts and collaborations with fitness brands to take place over the next six months. We might expand it to other locations in Hong Kong. We're also planning a series of wellness programmes and workshops with corporates and brands on topics such as sleep, mood and balance.
We are working to expand our business into the US as well, distributing new formulations that tackle issues such as stress and insomnia. And finally, we just completed our second round of seed funding and are currently looking for partners for our next round of funding, which will go towards helping us move into different market segments.