Netflix’s Bling Empire quickly became a fan favorite last year, when Anna Shay, Cherie Chan, Kim Lee, Christine Chiu, Kevin Kreider, Gabriel Chiu, Kane Lim, Kelly Mi Li and more captivated audiences by living it up — and butting heads — in Los Angeles. The second season of Bling Empire, which premiered on May 13, featured a few newcomers, including Dorothy Wang, Mimi Morris and Leah Qin, who has quickly become a standout. Here, Qin dishes the details on sharing her lavish life with loyal viewers.
Tell Us about yourself.
I was born and raised in Beijing, China. Growing up, I didn’t come from a lot of money and strove to have a better life. Having a male child is more desirable in China than a female, so I constantly tried to gain respect from my peers and a male-dominated environment. My parents divorced when I was 8 and seeing my mom raise me was tough and difficult without a father. Striving to make a difference, I made a bold bet to come to America – a place where topics of freedom prevailed (compared to China), particularly around gender equality, rights for women, with the goal of providing a comfortable retirement life for my parents by working hard. I was determined to make a difference. I focused on personal growth with sheer determination and discipline for a better life. I surrounded myself with successful business mentors aiming to learn and grow. I was exposed to real estate early on, which allowed me to continue my studies in the U.S. I received my MBA and passed the CFA Level 2 Exam. I also received my real estate license and pursued my real estate career as a developer post grad. I managed my own portfolio ever since.
What can you tell Us about this season of Bling Empire?
I’m so excited about this season for a few reasons. Every Bling star really shows who they are. There’s moments of depth — showing who they are beyond their character. In the same way, I aim to show you the authentic and real Leah and her growing up story. It’s going to be an exciting next season.
What can you tell Us about being a real estate investor?
In China, I worked for some of the top real estate developers. I experienced each project firsthand from the ground up and learned what it took to develop a full skyscraper. One of my proudest accomplishments was my work on the luxury lifestyle, commercial / high end condos in Beijing, The Grand Summit. I then moved to the U.S. I have developed various projects in the Los Angeles area, specifically in Beverly Hills, Hollywood and Calabasas, including a 30,000 square foot single family mega mansion that at the time was the most expensive house in Calabasas. Recently some of my projects have been leased out by some of the world’s top social media influencers due to their amazing backdrops and style, which lends itself to great content creation. Due to this, many of these influencers have become close personal friends of mine.
What was the most surprising thing you learned from filming Bling Empire?
“Fashion definitely has nothing to do with comfortable.” It takes a ton of time and effort to make a scene – from doing three hours of makeup and hair, to rocking the high heels to the production site, and getting your mood ready, but also having fun on screen. You sometimes forget to eat. You get back home, so tired to remove makeup and pass out. The Bling cast is so funny, cool and talented, and crazy in their own way. I knew most of the cast members prior to Bling and was so excited to meet new cast members! Lots of laughs, tears and memories. Also, it was really interesting to see what makes the show and what doesn’t!
Any secrets from this season that you can share?
I hope to share my life story, an underdog story that is funny, loving and heartfelt and told to inspire. I hope to inspire others, the underprivileged and the underrepresented to know that struggle is temporary. Sacrifice is an unattractive idea but a necessary one to fuel one’s growth. It all pays off in the end. In an unpredictable world, you can’t have a master plan. You can only gauge whether you’re on a meaningful path. Trust the process!
Any other exciting projects coming up?
I’m exploring new opportunities beyond real estate. The market is currently high! I’m currently involved in two ventures. I’m launching a premium spirits brand with respected entrepreneurs with the mission of elevating Asian culture this summer while also working on a chic classic fashion brand!
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