May Yang, BANGLADESH
Founder of LIDIA MAY
Dhaka is the capital city of Bangladesh and home to more than 14 million inhabitants. Among them is May Yang, also one of the few Chinese Americans who call this city their home.
Born in Chongqing, China, Yang immigrated to the United States with her parents at the age of 10 and was raised in Los Angeles. Since then, she has lived in cities like Hong Kong and worked in a corporate law firm in New York prior to taking on a development role for a non-profit organisation in Bangladesh.
“My heart has always been with doing development work in areas of poverty alleviation and disaster management. Doing that gave me a lot of meaning and purpose,” said Yang during the interview at her office and workshop for her accessories label, Lidia May.
While working for the NGO, she yearned to create more impact in the lives of the locals. That opportunity came when she learned about the Lidia Hope Centre, a small slum school serving families that reside in the slum areas.
“I came to Bangladesh seeing two extremes. On one end, a lot of poverty and poorly made systems and things. On the other end, a very vibrant art scene and very rich tradition of hand-made goods. Including, a growing community of people who are well travelled and appreciate the finer things in life.”
LIDIA MAY was set up as a socially conscious label that would market and sell quality accessories made by women from the slums who are trained and counselled by the the Lidia Hope Centre.