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Can I Laugh On Your Shoulder?

Apr 14, 2021

My guest this week is Adisyn Pyles, co-founder and CEO of Freeleaf, an international social enterprise making beautiful products while providing employment and holistic care to at-risk, abused and exploited women.

2:29 – Adisyn 101

  • She moved to China in 2011 and started Freeleaf in 2016. She knew she was passionate about women’s empowerment and poverty alleviation.

6:30 – Starting Freeleaf

  • Adisyn didn’t want to start a business and she had no business experience, but she knew she wanted to serve vulnerable women.
  • She wanted to highlight traditional art and design as part of her business.

10:11 – How her products have evolved

  • She started with home décor and wanted to create something unique, brighter and statement pieces.

13:11 – What has surprised Adisyn

  • There have been so many surprises along the way, including how difficult the job is at times and how tough it is to develop a product. She’s also surprised by the community they’ve development at the company.

15:53 – What she loves about China

  • Although she's an introvert, she loves the pace, energy and opportunity in China. There’s such fast movement.

17:25 – Leaving China

  • Adisyn and her family decided to leave China when Covid hit last year. They expected to be in the U.S. for a couple weeks until the pandemic was over, but it has taken longer.

26:23 – The core of her business

  • During Covid, Adisyn has had to focus on the core of her business and the core of her family and let go of larger expectations, hopes and pressures.

29:42 – Her staff in China

  • Adisyn has kept in touch with her staff in China, but it has been challenging. They have faced a lot of the same problems working women in the U.S. face, including finding childcare during a pandemic.

34:08 – On the horizon

  • Adisyn wants to develop new products, but the process has been taking a long time. She wants to create more home décor products.

37:30 – Get to know you

  • Child’s movie that scarred her for life? Bambi, The Lion King
  • Favorite Chinese dish? Spicy shrimp


“I knew I was passionate about women’s empowerment and poverty alleviation.” – Adisyn


About Adisyn Pyles:

Adisyn Pyles is the co-founder & CEO of Freeleaf, an international social enterprise making beautiful products while providing employment and holistic care to at-risk, abused, and exploited women. Combining her passions for women’s rights, collective freedom, and finding beauty amidst chaos, Adisyn co-founded Freeleaf alongside JiaYi Lan in 2016. 

With an MA in International Community Development, a tenacity for excellence, and a commitment to sustainability, Adisyn has led the Freeleaf brand through considerable growth—employing over 20 women in the last few years, being recognized by the Kerring Foundation as one of the top 5 social enterprises in China, and being highlighted as a female founder by the Spanx Red Backpack Brigade. 

Adisyn and her family have had a wild year, being displaced from their home in China by COVID since January and welcoming their second son in October. They are currently living in Austin, TX waiting out the pandemic and eagerly looking forward to returning to their lives and work in Asia.