Home > Entertainment > Celebrities > LSA SG Exclusive: Bling Empire’s Kelly Mi Li is glowing in her maternity photoshoot
LSA SG Exclusive: Bling Empire’s Kelly Mi Li is glowing in her maternity photoshoot

Kelly Mi Li needs little introduction. You’ll recognise her from Bling Empire, but the 37-year-old is more than just a pretty face on the Netflix reality series. A serial entrepreneur, self-made millionaire, producer, and philanthropist, the Kunming native can now add another role – perhaps her biggest to date – to her growing resume: being a mother. In an exclusive with Lifestyle Asia Singapore, Kelly has unveiled the stunning shots from her maternity photoshoot, and to say she’s glowing would be an understatement.

Fans would’ve already heard about her exciting life update, but the multi-hyphenate has been keeping busy since her announcement last November. Besides inspiring women at The Wrap’s Power Women Summit last December, she’s also been busy planning a baby shower worthy of a ‘bling baby’. Held at the Waldorf Astoria Beverly Hills, the star-studded affair saw fellow Bling Empire stars Kane Lim and Kim Lee attend, as well as Natalie Lee from Love is Blind and Mary Fitzgerald from Selling Sunset. Katherine Ho from Crazy Rich Asians even performed Kelly’s favourite song, Yellow, as well as other songs for the guests. But perhaps the most exciting news was that she was expecting a baby girl come late March with partner William Ma, who also attended the joyous event.

Even as she enters her third trimester, Kelly makes motherhood look effortless. We caught up with her on her life as a soon-to-be mother, how motherhood will change her, which fellow cast member from Bling Empire she would trust the most to babysit, and her latest business venture (hint: it’s with her mom!).

LSA Singapore Exclusive: Bling Empire’s Kelly Mi Li’s maternity shoot

Congrats on your first baby! How has your pregnancy been so far?

Thank you! My pregnancy has fortunately been very smooth. I didn’t get a lot of the common symptoms like morning sickness, weird cravings, or swollen feet. Thank goodness! 

When’s your due date? And are you excited or nervous for the big day?

I’m due at the end of March. I’m a bit scared of the pain but actually very excited to start this chapter of my life. 

Everybody’s super excited to know – are you expecting a boy or girl?

We’re expecting a baby girl! 

Have you guys decided on any baby names so far?

We have a short list of names so far, but we haven’t decided on one yet. I feel like we’ll know once we meet her.

What has been the biggest struggle for you?

Tiredness and pregnancy brain are real. I’ve always been a highly motivated and “on top of everything” type of person, but since I got pregnant, there have definitely been days where all I do is sit on my couch and eat snacks.

You’ve been open about your mental health journey on Bling Empire. What are some of the most valuable lessons you’ve taken away from therapy?

The old me would’ve felt unaccomplished or guilty for taking breaks, but I’ve learned to not be too hard on myself. Making time to relax and focus on self-love isn’t selfish and is something we all need.

How do you hope motherhood will change you as a person?

I believe being a mother is part of a woman’s life experience that can’t be replaced by anything else. I’m excited to experience the unconditional love that parents have with their children.

Details of your other half have been kept under wraps. Could you tell us more about him and how he’s helping you with your first pregnancy?

I’m definitely enjoying the extra care and foot massages he has been giving me so much that I almost don’t want my pregnancy to end haha. In all seriousness though, he’s been so amazing and supportive through everything. Since he has two psychology degrees, with one in child development, I couldn’t ask for a better life partner to raise our baby girl with. 

What are you looking forward to the most after having your baby?

Being able to eat sushi again with a nice glass of sake. And of course, more importantly, bonding with my daughter and building our family. 

You wear a lot of hats, from being an entrepreneur and film producer, to investor and philanthropist. Which do you enjoy doing the most, and how will motherhood change your priorities? 

I’ve always loved working on cause-based projects, so philanthropy and giving back to our AAPI community through my non-profit Golden Voice Society has been something I’ve really enjoyed. I think motherhood will help ground me even more and remind me which priorities matter most. 

Is there anyone you look up to when it comes to raising a child?

I look up to my mom because she sacrificed a lot raising me as a single parent and has taught me so much. Raising my daughter will be a mix of cultures between traditional Asian values my mom taught me and the individuality of Western culture that I personally experienced myself.

If you had to choose anyone from the Bling Empire squad to babysit, who would it be and why?

Probably Mimi. She’s very caring, and I think her love for fashion and amazing closet could be a fun way for a little girl to learn about self-expression. 

Having a baby is a big step! What’s the next big project for you? 

My next project is about family, culture, and food. It’s no secret how much I love spicy food. On season 3 of Bling Empire, the audience saw my mom show her love through cooking using our secret family hot sauce. Since filming wrapped, I’ve spent more time learning how to cook from her, which is something I’ve always been horrible at. We bonded through cooking together and became inspired to share this sauce, Hot Jiang, with the world! We’re both really excited to start this journey together.

What’s the biggest life lesson you’d want to impart to your child?

I want to teach her to understand and be able to talk about her emotions. This isn’t a skill that we normally learn in Asian culture, but it is so important. I want to make sure my daughter knows how to process and understand her feelings and that her voice always matters.

Lastly, will there be Bling Empire season 4, and will we see more of you in it?

We are waiting to hear back from Netflix. We definitely still have more of our culture and stories to share!

Credits for Kelly Mi Li’s maternity shoot:

Photographer: Raen Badua 
Hair: Carolina Yasukawa 
Makeup: Archangela Chelsea
Talent Assist: Gloria Wilder
Photo Assist: Miles Caliboso

LSA SG Exclusive: Bling Empire’s Kelly Mi Li is glowing in her maternity photoshoot

Shatricia Nair

Managing Editor

Shatricia Nair has a passion for motoring, beauty, and wellness, and is perpetually knee-deep in the world of V8s, retinols, and latest fitness trends. She has nine years of experience writing for digital media, and her bylines have appeared in Prestige, and Augustman. She'll do (almost) anything for good chocolate chip cookies.

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