10 Jul Lierre Over the Past 10 Years
Before becoming the owner of Lierre.ca
, one of the most trusted suppliers for acupuncture needles
and cupping sets
, Xiaolei Wang was a student training to become an acupuncturist at Rosemont College.
Wang started his studies at the college in 2007, where he met other aspiring acupuncturists who later became one of his regular customers for acupuncture needles and clinical office supplies
. Back then, Wang only sold products he brought back from China like human anatomy models
and medical charts,
and acupuncture needles
. Many acupuncturists and his fellow classmates relied on him for acupuncture supplies
because of how limited they were in Québec before the Internet.
In 2008, Wang spent his summer visiting factories in China that manufactured acupuncture needles. Bringing various types and brands of acupuncture needles back with him in Canada, he sent them to be tested by certified acupuncturists and chose to work with the factories that received the best feedback.
By the end of the summer, Wang officially started to sell acupuncture needles in Montreal with only a pen and paper to keep track of his classmates’ orders. He became one of the first sellers in Québec to carry acupuncture needles in bulk, ranging around 500 boxes of acupuncture needles every import.
With his small business flourishing, Wang began branching out by selling TDP lamps
and many types of cups for ancient Chinese cupping therapy from silicone
, rubber to plastic
(also known as Kangzhu) in 2009.
“Back then, massage therapists wouldn’t buy cupping sets because they didn’t see the cups as a tool for massage,” said Wang. “They thought it was not part of their domain.”
The lack of demand for cupping sets in Québec led Wang to expand his customer reach toward the United States. He then began shipping acupuncture and cupping supplies abroad by post. In addition to the Internet’s increase in popularity, he wanted to start up an online store and had the website development begin in 2010.
By July 2011, a few months after completing his studies at Rosemont, Wang opened his first boutique in Papineau Ave. called Lierre
. The name is a French word that derives from a plant known for its medicinal properties as well as its resilience against any environment, the ivy. He chose the name Lierre because it embodied how he perceived the company and how it blossomed despite the hardships.