Ancient science, modern business
4 April 2011
In her store full of jade figurines, tranquil fountains and numerous stacks of how-to books, Joanie Lung is beaming. And why wouldn’t she be? The Hong Kong native practices and procures items for use in Feng Shui, the ancient Chinese science that brings “good energies” from the natural, outside world inward.
Joanie’s holding a Feng Shui planner, mapped by professional gurus. She points to a date marked with a black suitcase icon. Today is bad for business transactions, she says, so just wait until tomorrow to spend all that cash.
“It takes a lot of technique and knowledge,” Joanie says of the more than 5,000-year-old science. “Knowing you do the right Feng Shui can bring you luck. If you are not doing good Feng Shui, it brings bad.”
Joanie owns “World of Feng Shui,” a business she runs with her husband, Peter. The business works in two ways: as a storefront and as a consultant service for homeowners and business owners who want to channel in good vibes. Although they were hit by the recession, the couple say they’re weathering the bad times just fine.
The couple’s marketing technique is tried and true: Do a good job, work hard and people will talk, Joanie says. It’s all word of mouth.
And lucky for the Lungs, luck in Las Vegas isn’t just happenstance these days. It’s a necessity.
“We’re in the city of entertainment, so we get clients from all around the world,” Joanie says. “We’re a world destination, and we’re located five minutes from the Strip.”
Peter says he’s worked with everyone from lovelorn apartment dwellers to Strip casino operators who hope to please customers.
“It’s all in the arrangements,” Peter says. “Maybe [gamblers] lose, but they’re happy to be there.” It’s about feeling good where you are, he says, and harnessing good energies in the right locales. Peter does this by rearranging furniture and displaying traditional Feng Shui symbols, among other techniques.
The Lungs opened their business on Spring Mountain Road more than 10 years ago after moving to Las Vegas from San Francisco. Their shop is one of 60 “World of Feng Shui” stores worldwide; there’s an identical store owned by the Lungs in Honolulu.
Joanie and Peter hail from Hong Kong. They speak Mandarin Chinese, Cantonese dialect, to each other. They mainly conduct business in English.
About half of Peter’s clients are people wanting help with their home lives. The other half are businesses. After all, Joanie says, you spend so much of your day at work, why not be happy there, too?
“Different people have different goals,” Peter wisely says. “Love, luck, finances. People enjoy harmony.”
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