Re-Imagineer: William Li, Contributing Editor T&C and Elle Décor, Emmy-nominated co-host of Lucky Chow, co-founder of The Hao Life

1) You are the perfect example of a serial Re-Imagineer, someone who understands reimagining your life. Your first big move was leaving a 15 year publishing career to join Ralph Lauren Home, where you spent over 8 years. Your final assignment was Global Brand President. Upon reflection, what was your biggest learning in moving from one industry to another?

When I decided to leave publishing I was terrified that I wouldn’t be able to succeed in any other industry. Having spent a decade and a half at one company/field, I was afraid my skills were too specific and wouldn’t translate. Well I couldn’t have been more wrong. While there was definitely a learning curve, almost every skill I developed working in magazines transferred to retail. So my biggest learning about the transition was it’s easier to move into a different field than you’d expect. It all comes down to confidence in yourself and having an openness to learn. All else falls into place.

2) In your next Reimagination, you became co-Host and co-Producer of a documentary series on PBS celebrating Asian culture through the lens of food. How did you learn about this entirely new industry to become a part of the entertainment world?

Having grown up in Chinatown with a mom who was a genius in the kitchen, I have always been food-obsessed, especially in a broader cultural context. Marrying that with my passion for storytelling, co-hosting and co-producing, a show about Asian food and culture came kind of naturally. The same goes for being a Contributing Editor to Town & Country and Elle Decor. It marries my interests with an outlet for narrative.

3) Now you are the co-founder of The Hao Life, offering modern plant remedies rooted in Chinese wisdom. How did you become interested in this subject and what is your vision for its future?

When Danielle (my partner) and I were growing up, the kitchen cabinet was the medicine cabinet. Everything our mothers and grandmothers needed to cure an ailment was right there in the form of traditional Chinese herbal medicine. As Danielle and I were entering our 50’s, we increasingly turned to traditional Chinese wellness modalities to stay healthy and vibrant. Having said that, herbal medicine is not easy to use, often requiring hours of brewing before the often bitter “medicine” is ingested. The Hao Life makes that all easy in the form of tablets. We take time-tested plant remedies and supercharge them with modern day adaptogens to address the needs of today’s wellness consumer.  While we are focused on supplements right now, we hope to expand to other form factors and offer experiential events in the near future.

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