8th March 2023 | IN INDUSTRY NEWS & BUSINESS | BY SBID ShareTweetPinterestLinkedIn On International Women’s Day, we wanted to recognise female entrepreneurs in the industry. This year, we would like to shine a spotlight on Honghui Liang, the Managing Director of Liang & Eimil. A husband-and-wife team of two, Honghui and Frank established their company to bring much-needed modernity to the interior design industry in a world dominated by ornate furniture and shabby chic homes. Liang & Eimil takes pride in creating expertly crafted designer furniture, lighting and accessories. They offer clients innovative solutions for interior design and hospitality sectors. “We pride ourselves on the fact that we constantly innovate and bring new designs to our customers, exploring new materials and styles.” Honghui Liang, the Managing Director of Liang & Eimil Commemorating the feminine spirit, Liang & Eimil sheds light on the affects that build the environment every day, not just on March 8th. The choice to highlight Honghui and her dedication to embrace equity was taken for this year. Join us as we investigate methods for fostering inclusion, inspire you to start your own business, and offer you curated content that includes an exclusive interview. Entrepreneurship & Leadership According to Honghui, being a successful entrepreneur requires dedication, hard work, and perseverance with a strong will. It must serve a purpose. She is most proud of building Liang & Eimil from the ground up during a ten-year period. Honghui explains how she has always been very independent ever since she was a child. She is a doer and achiever, always keen for an adventure. In 2009, she relocated to London to join her husband, Frank Eimil’s business and says, “I adore interior design and the pieces my husband creates. He is a wonderful designer, and I am good at running a business, so we are a perfect combination”. She adds that she is extremely proud of the brand they have both built together, claiming that their complementary skills are the key that has led them to where Liang & Eimil is today. Featuring Liang & Eimil’s Kendal Sofa and Alga Occasional Chair. Image courtesy of Hexadot. Prior to moving to the UK over ten years ago, Honghui worked in a variety of fields. She was a consultant for many Italian companies looking to expand into China, and she also ran her own business with a friend in the oil and gas industry. She says, “I am enjoying more of what I am doing now because I believe I am creating something meaningful.” Liang &Eimil’s mission is to bring luxury lifestyle into the lives of people and change the way they live and feel at home. Their objective is to make an ordinary day a memorable one, with the luxury of comfort, elegance and enhanced way of living. When asked about the gender shift in leadership roles, Honghui believes she has seen a transition from male dominant to more female leaders since starting the business, as she noticed an increase in the number of companies led by women. “I believe the difference between male and female leaders is that women prefer a more collaborative approach of leadership by nature, whereas men tend to lean towards a command-and-control style.” Featuring Liang & Eimil’s Utopia Bedside Table. Image courtesy of JMI Studio. Featuring Liang & Eimil’s Archer Occasional Chair, Ponte Dining Table, Convergent Shelving and accessories. Embrace Equity On the topic of fair and equal working environment, Honghui encourages impartiality by ensuring that no hidden characteristics are used to discriminate against employees. She also proposes that equal access to benefits and working conditions for all employees, as well as fair and consistent hiring and promotion procedures be established. Lastly, fair processes and procedures are to be set for dealing with employee grievances and disciplinary issues. Often, there is the double-bind dilemma for women in leadership. Gender stereotypes frequently undermine women’s ability to lead. Men are seen as being strong, decisive and assertive when they take charge, while women are seen as competent but unpopular when they do the same. Women leaders frequently exert twice as much effort as males for the same accolades. Honghui thinks this needs to change as she stated, “to give more women the chance to succeed at all levels, in all occupations, and in all spheres of life, it is time to rethink what it means to be a leader. We ought to evaluate each employee according to the same criteria.” Featuring Liang & Eimil’s Polter Sofa, Tassimo Side Table, Polka Side Table, Drop Wall Lamp and accessories. Challenges The most difficult challenge they faced was when their warehouse caught fire. All their inventory was destroyed, but they remained calm and overcame the hurdle. They were lucky that everyone around them were very understanding and supportive, including their customers. “While faced with a challenge, it is important to discuss transparently to arrive at a solution.” Work life balance is also another of Honghui’s constant battle. Being a family orientated individual, Honghui tries to spend as much time as she can with her family while balancing the two things that are most important to her: her family and her business. But how does she manage it? She says, “It’s nearly impossible to strike a balance with only 24 hours in a day, so I devote more time to my family by sacrificing on my sleep.” She expects to be able to devote more time to her family and children as more mid-level managers join the team and Liang & Eimil expand. Featuring Liang & Eimil’s Iconic Occasional Chair. Image courtesy of Kerv Interiors. Featuring Liang & Eimil’s Polter Sofa, Tassimo Coffee Table and accessories. Her Interior Style As SBID is the accreditation body for interior design, we had to talk interior. As Honghui enjoys reading, her most important pieces of furniture in a home are chairs and shelving. “Reading a book in a comfortable chair with shelving to display all of your favourite books and most treasured photo frames of your loved ones, where you can keep all of your beautiful memories, are most precious.” Honghui’s favourite interior style is a cross of Art Deco and Mid-Century Modernism. Her home includes a variety of colour schemes as every room should tell a different story. From Liang & Eimil’s over 1,500 product line, Honghui’s favourite piece is the Brutalist sideboard as she likes the texture, use of the geometric patterns and the subtlety of its golden brass trims. Liang & Eimil’s Brutalist Sideboard. Advice for young female entrepreneurs Honghui advises young female entrepreneurs who want to start their own business venture and succeed in business to “Identify a market. Take action to start out courageously. Take the chance and push yourself. Keep your vision clear. Be observant. Have faith in yourself and always stay positive.” She adds, “It’s important to create a great team by hiring good people. Take advice from your employees and consumers as well as from your mistakes.” Honghui’s last message for aspiring female entrepreneurs is to have a purpose and be passionate. “Always maintain your confidence. Empower yourself to face challenges and risks without fear. Be creative as it allows you to concentrate on reforming and breaking through instead of solving problems. Be collaborative while also developing self-awareness. Self-awareness enables us to see things through the eyes of others. Determination. You will always go the extra mile and do whatever it takes to make it happen if you have a strong determination.” Cover image: Featuring Liang & Eimil’s Lapis Sofa, Lapis Occasional Chair, Montier Mirror, Luca Floor Lamp, Icardi Pendant Lamp and accessories. About Liang & Eimil Liang & Eimil, a British brand that specialises in furnishing design for the residential and hospitality sectors, believes in making ordinary moments remarkable. Renowned for producing expertly crafted furniture, lighting and accessories, they take pride in offering innovative solutions that can be tailored to any interior design aesthetic. Visit Profile If you’d like to feature your project news here, get in touch to find out more. If you’d like to become SBID Accredited, click here for more information.