Geena Chen is the author of the first Asian Hustle Network book, Uplifted, which collects intimate recountings from Asian American entrepreneurs about how and why they started their businesses. A first-time author and rusty writer, Geena eventually quit her job at a recycling startup to focus on crafting Uplifted full time. Over the year that followed, she hired a storytelling coach, marshaled her self-education around writing, and rewrote the book 4 times, while exploring her own relationship to hustling and being Asian American. When it launched on Kickstarter, Uplifted reached its $10,000 funding goal in less than 24 hours with the support of the community (and so far sits around $24K – there are 2 days left!).
Geena trained in spoken word poetry and mechanical engineering at Stanford University, and she considers herself an independent operator working on projects she believes in. She spent most of her career in the circular economy, leading teams of engineers and designers across Taiwan and Europe. Together, they turned single-use plastic cups into furniture, plastic toys into restaurant trays, and old textiles into renewed textiles for the world’s largest consumer brands. One minute she would sit on Zoom calls like a corporate square and the next moment she would be exuberantly dumpster diving for materials. For her, shapeshifting and contradiction are the spice of life.
Lastly, she loves a good soft boiled egg as garnish to an otherwise boring meal, and she loves Bryan, Maggie, and the AHN team 💖.
Links from Episode:
- Instagram: @geenabeanzchen
- Twitter: @geenabeanzchen