Between the global pandemic, supply-chain issues and product shortages, world travelers have been unable to connect with cultures, people and products from other countries. Yes She May, the bespoke online boutique, is here to offer a gateway for these explorers.
Launched in June 2020 by Mei Xu — who is the company’s founder and CEO, as well as an international businesswoman and a Forbes 50 Over 50 honoree — Yes She May includes many businesses by the women that she has met during her travels as the founder of Chesapeake Bay Candle. She says that she is thrilled to now shine a light on these trailblazing women designers and share their unique creations with friends and families.
“Most women don’t feel confident to go out of their state to sell their products, let alone their country. The idea of sourcing from Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia — it’s intimidating,” said Xu. “That’s why I made this platform, to open up that kind of community where women can help each other.”
The online platform showcases and supports women-owned businesses all over the globe and offers a wide variety of products. From clothing and makeup to blankets and home furnishings, Yes She May has curated a diverse store dedicated to elevating and supporting women entrepreneurs.
Merchandise includes fine Italian leather handbags by Alexandra De Curtis, all designed to weigh no more than a cup of cappuccino; Shanghai’s premium silk sleepwear by Sola Seta, designed to shape a unique point of view through bold mixed prints; Morocco’s hand-tailored leather puff ottomans by Milsouls and Mia Peru’s alpaca cardigans, which are made to support mothers and communities in the Peruvian Andes.
“I became inspired by the way these products were conceptualized, designed, produced and displayed,” said Xu. “I just wanted to have more of those products around me, and I also wanted to share them with my friends.”
When the COVID-19 pandemic brought travel to a halt, retail stores began to shut down, and sales plunged; many women-owned businesses were disrupted.
“This was when I recognized the opportunity to help independent women-owned businesses I met, and pounce on my dream to share more unique and well-designed products that aren’t available here in the United States,” continued Xu.
Since its launch amid the pandemic, Yes She May has partnered with approximately 100 brands from more than 25 countries and five continents.
“We want brands that at once speak to a contemporary lifestyle of a modern woman, but still, we want to bring that cultural heritage aspect,” Xu said.
Xu said she always advises women entrepreneurs to think as big as their male counterparts.
“Even when women are successful, they are hesitant to think big and globally. They get bogged down with shipping questions and everything. Men don’t do this,” said Xu. “Don’t be afraid to think bigger.”