• Her Parents Wanted Her to Land a Cushy Job. She Wanted to Build Their Legacy

    1 month ago - By The Atlantic

    Editor's Note: This article is part of an oral-history series where Aaron Reiss interviewed the young-adult sons and daughters of Chinatown shopkeepers about how they are helping to keep their families' businesses alive.
    Olympia Moy, a 35-year-old with a background in nonprofit work and advocacy, who helps manage her parents' music school, Florentine School of Music, Art and Academics, shares the struggle of reconciling her own legacy with that of her parents. “My parents would have rather I had come back for a cushy job and a steady income. I came back thinking of their business as...
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  • The Burden of Being the Oldest Son of Immigrants

    The Burden of Being the Oldest Son of Immigrants

    1 month ago - By The Atlantic

    Editor's Note: This article is part of an oral-history series where Aaron Reiss interviewed the young-adult sons and daughters of Chinatown shopkeepers about how they are helping to keep their families' businesses alive.
    Jason Luo, a 24-year-old entrepreneur who graduated from helping resolve problems with English-speaking customers in his parents' JieLi Laundromat to running his own gadget store, Niu Shop, nearby, explains the shift from rejecting his family's business to embracing it: “It's like multiple personality disorder. You'll become thankful and grateful to them sometimes. And...
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  • Using Technology to Preserve the Culture of a Chinatown Shop

    Using Technology to Preserve the Culture of a Chinatown Shop

    1 month ago - By The Atlantic

    Editor's Note: This article is part of an oral-history series where Aaron Reiss interviewed the young-adult sons and daughters of Chinatown shopkeepers about how they are helping to keep their families' businesses alive.
    Alice Liu, a 24-year-old community advocate, lends a hand at her parents' small shop, GTW Tea and Water, which sells Chinese cultural goods including teas, Buddhist items, and tourist tchotchkes. Over the years, she's helped her parents in all kinds of ways, including with food prep at a restaurant they once owned. “I have vivid memories,” she recalls, “of sitting over a...
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  • When Being the Boss's Son Isn't Enough

    When Being the Boss's Son Isn't Enough

    1 month ago - By The Atlantic

    Editor's Note: This article is part of an oral-history series where Aaron Reiss interviewed the young-adult sons and daughters of Chinatown shopkeepers about how they are helping to keep their families' businesses alive.
    Ken Ma, a 32-year-old MBA who is being groomed to become the CEO of his parents' optical empire, Mott Optical Group, recalls the difficulty of taking over as a “boss's son” in a family business: “I thought, I am the son of the owner, I can't make mistakes. People are looking at me, I have to set a good example, I have to be flawless, I have to be knowledgeable about...
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