Arti Mirchandani

Where were you born? In Canossa Hospital in Hong Kong.

Where else have you lived? I’ve been here my whole life, except for university, which was in Melbourne.

Which part of Hong Kong do you live in? I’m a real city girl, I’ve always lived in mid-levels.

Children and ages? I have one daughter, who is eight-and-a-half (she’s told me the “and a half” is very important).

Arti with her daughter, sister Shonee, and mother

Are you working in Hong Kong and what do you do? Since 2002, together with my sister and mom, I’ve run our family business, Bookazine. My mom and dad started Bookazine in 1985. His family had always been in the book industry, and I have to admit, I never thought I would work in this industry. Having said that, I love it. Anyone who knows me, knows that I am so passionate about what I do. My main role is sourcing all the products we carry, so it’s like shopping every day. Hong Kong Moms has been a great resource for me as I have discovered so many talented women and their products.

In 2014, partly because I was struggling with balancing work and mommy-ing, I opened Partytime. I used to always leave planning my daughter’s party to a week before and I would be exhausted from all the running around by the day of her party. It used to drive me crazy that in a place with so much of everything, it was impossible to find decent birthday candles. When I’m working at Partytime, it’s always satisfying to speak to other moms and hear how happy they are to be able to go to just one store and find it all.

What work did you do in your past lives? My first job was as a graphic designer for Hong Kong Tatler. After a year and a half there, I took some time off “to find myself” (I’m still looking). I eventually landed another job as a special needs assistant at the Peak School. I loved this job for two reasons: Firstly, because I met some of the nicest and most amazing educators and I learned so much from them — it was such a lovely environment to work in and I would leave each day feeling happy; secondly, because my dad would often drop me to work even though it was completely out of his route and he would joke that even though I was on the lowest salary, I was being chauffeured to work in a Benz. I will always hold those mornings spent with him very close to my heart.

Funny thing is one of the little girls that I taught at the Peak School is now a customer at Bookazine. Whenever I see her, I feel very old!

What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms? First thing in the morning, around lunchtime (unless I am working in one of the shops), before bed and when I have been tagged.

What posts do you comment on and why? Posts where I believe I can add value by either helping a mom find something they are looking for or helping with a situation I have been in and worked through.

What is the best thing you have learned from Hong Kong Moms? I’m always amazed how many good people are out there willing to give up their time to help others. Being part of Hong Kong Moms feels like a real community.

What is your favorite Hong Kong Moms post? It’s so hard to choose one. I love all the “the power of Hong Kong Moms” posts, “the beaker” and “peppermint army”.

What do you ask Hong Kong Moms? Usually “where can I find something?” Or recommendations for a doctor/dentist/optician. I’m actually about to ask for a recommendation for a dermatologist for kids.

What is your biggest Hong Kong fave? The convenience, everything is so accessible. And my family is here, I would be lost without them.

And frustration? The humidity! My hair doesn’t like it either.

What is your craziest Hong Kong experience? I used to always catch taxis from outside the Fringe Club and one time when I got into one, the taxi driver actually knew my address before I could tell him. He had remembered taking me home previously. I was very spooked initially, but he turned out to be very friendly and we exchanged life stories in those 10 minutes.

Does anyone ever recognize you or your name from Hong Kong Moms? All the time. It always takes me by surprise when I’m working in one of the shops and someone comes up to me and says, “Are you Arti from Hong Kong Moms?”. I always get a little nervous thinking about which comment they have seen!

What kind of friendships have you made through Hong Kong Moms? I’ve met some really amazing and inspiring women through Hong Kong Moms and also made some great business connections. Some of Bookazine and Partytime’s best-selling products are created and produced by Hong Kong Moms.

Which Hong Kong Mom would you like you to see featured next? Tracey Nicole Batty of  Pure Professionals; Amy Djokovic of My Little Princess; and Felix Chang of Slack Lifestyle.

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