How One Entrepreneur Is Helping Families Learn Mandarin Chinese
As a new mother, Peipei Zhou had a need: She wanted to sing to her son in Chinese. Growing up in Shanghai, her mother sang classic songs, and Zhou wanted to pass along the tradition. Unfortunately, she had forgotten many of the nursery rhymes. By organizing local singalongs with fellow Asian American families, she learned her community had the same need. This was the initial inspiration for Bao Bao Learns Chinese (available on Amazon), an interactive sound book for children wanting to learn Mandarin. Bao Bao Learns Chinese features three songs from the East, and three from the West. With the press of a button, you’ll hear Zhou’s voice singing the tunes while you and your little one sing along, following in Mandarin or Pinyin.
Zhou believes children everywhere can learn Chinese, and she’s worked over the last year and a half to make that vision come to life. As a mom, wife, daughter, board member and full-time employee at Facebook, Zhou says she sacrificed a lot of sleep to bring her book to market. The book was an instant success in the ever-growing Mandarin-learning community. Since her launch, Zhou has been steadily expanding distribution from just online to including retail. The next chapter for Bao Bao Learns Chinese is a second book in the series, due out in Spring of 2020.
Zhou sat down with Jessica Abo to discuss her advice for aspiring entrepreneurs, why her side hustle was important. She also explains why you should always dream big.