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  • Chris McMillan

Disabled entrepreneur weaves a career.

China Daily

23rd November 2023

Disabled entrepreneur weaves a career

Overcoming years of struggle, Yang Kaiqi, who has half a left arm, embraces embroidery to earn a living

Yang Kaiqi believes that in a way, she's lucky that she grew up with a disability, rather than being a person who developed one later in life.

Born with half a left arm, she has never known what it's like to have two hands.

"I have met people who became disabled due to accidents and have trouble adjusting to their new reality, so luckily for me, I was born with a disability," she said.

The 35-year-old from a small village in Huaihua, Hunan province, has never placed limitations on herself. She now runs a Xiang embroidery store in Changsha.

In Chinese, Xiang is a short name for Hunan.

Xiang embroidery is one of the four best-known styles of the craft in China, along with Su embroidery from Suzhou, Jiangsu province; Shu embroidery, which is popular in Sichuan province and Chongqing; and Yue embroidery, which is famous in Guangdong province.

Featuring rich colors and sharp images, the Xiang style has a history of more than 2,000 years.

Yang said she has been interested in the craft since she was a child, when she learned some of the basics from one of her neighbors who is an embroiderer.

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