Gong Huali promotes her succulent plants via a livestreaming platform in a greenhouse in Zhenwa village, Yutai county, Jining, East China's Shandong province. [Photo/WeChat account of Jining Radio and Television Station]
Gong Huali, a Beijing office employee, has converted her pastime into a source of income and is guiding villagers in Jining to a better life.
While working in Beijing, Gong grew fascinated with succulent plants. She described the plants as providing her with a break from the hectic pace of city life.
Gong and her husband left their well-paying careers in 2015 and moved back to her husband's hometown in Zhenwa village in Jining's Yutai county.
The couple eventually established a "kingdom of succulents" with a plantation covering over 30,000 square meters, despite the difficult process. Gong mainly sells her succulent plants via livestreaming on We-media platforms, such as Wechat, Douyin and Kuaishou. The annual sales revenue has exceeded 2 million yuan ($313,800).
The couple established a succulent plant cooperative in the village in 2019 to teach local residents how to plant succulents and offer jobs for impoverished people. Gong said that in addition to big cities, rural areas also have ample space for people to realize their dreams. She expressed her hope that through unswerving efforts, she can plant a path to prosperity for more villagers.