DC: What’s your name, major, and graduation year?
Xu: Brin Xu, Sociology, 2022
DC: In two to three sentences, how would you describe your startup?
Xu: Fancy & Spicy is a popular food blog and cooking platform. It provides authentic Chinese food recipes, cookbooks, cooking events, and cooking consultation for anyone who has a home kitchen.
DC: At what point did you know you wanted to create your own startup?
Xu: Fall 2020
DC: What or who is your biggest influence for your startup?
Xu: While many people and companies have an influence on the startup, Airbnb has the biggest impact so far. Airbnb offers an online experience program since the quarantine. The program is timely but has only limited cooking events available. We figured out that an online platform dedicated to cooking would be intriguing and popular.
DC: In the new virtual world, how has your focus or ideas changed?
Xu: Fancy & Spicy started with a food blog, but soon we realized that more interactive cooking experiences are needed, and began to offer online cooking classes since last winter. In the future, we plan to offer different kinds of classes by recruiting cooking ambassadors, improving the quality of my recipes, and making healthy cooking accessible to everyone.
DC: What updates or significant accomplishments can you share with us about your company from the last six months?
Xu: This spring semester I was invited to be a formal instructor for the UMD Stamp Student Union. I offer a course called Essential Sichuan Cuisine. It has been so successful that we’re discussing a second contract with the Stamp.
DC: If you could give advice to any aspiring entrepreneurs, what would it be?
Xu: I think a startup is a process, so it is important to start doing things. Do not let perfectionism slow you down.