Jill Carter

Where were you born? New Jersey, USA, baby (famous birthplace of both Jon Bon Jovi and Bruce Springsteen)

Where else have you lived? My childhood was spent in suburbs of Philadelphia, then later Connecticut and New York City — greatest city on earth, not counting Hong Kong of course. After meeting my British husband-to-be Andy in New York, I relocated to London, where we lived for five years and had our eldest daughter.

How long have you been in Hong Kong? Nearly 6 years now.

Which part of Hong Kong do you live in? Pokfulam

Children and ages? Grace (6 years old) and Olivia (5 years old)

Are you working in Hong Kong and what do you do? I am honored to be a photographer to many Hong Kong Moms, dads and children.

What work did you do in your past lives? I had a 14-year career in corporate marketing and communications, mostly working for the IT division of Siemens. Siemens relocated me to London to take on an international role, and then the division was sold off, so I took a package (thank you!) and set up shop as a full-time wedding photographer.

What brought you to Hong Kong and why have you stayed? Andy and I were ready for a change, and wanted to live in Asia for a few years before settling down in the States. We were very lucky to have friends here, so we visited and liked what we saw. Like many, our plan was to be here for 3 or 4 years. When Andy was offered a job here, we accepted, packed our bags and arrived here six weeks later, with our dog Jackson, 1 year-old Grace, and baby Olivia in my tummy — I was 6 months pregnant. Initially, I was dazed and confused, stuffed into a tiny serviced apartment and wondering what the heck we’d just done. I cried on the phone to my father and sister every day, and searched Expedia for a one-way plane ticket out of here. It didn’t take long before we found a little more space, a wonderful helper Teresa, a few friends and were hooked. We fell in love with the vibrancy of the city, the walking trails, the warm weather, and the people. Now you’d have to drag us out of here kicking and screaming, we have no plans to leave.

What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms? I’m a creature of habit. Every morning when I’m free, I drop the kids off to school, visit my favorite coffee shop (Recharge in Cyberport), check Facebook and always Hong Kong Moms. If I’m editing photos, I check in during the day, and I usually check again at night when the kids have gone to bed and I’m watching TV. Often Hong Kong Moms is more interesting than Netflix. Yes, I’m an addict.

What posts do you comment on and why? I usually comment on the posts where people are looking for specific items or services in Hong Kong. Sometimes I’ll be shopping at Fusion or A&M and I’ll spot some random thing that someone was looking for, like carpet cleaning foam, and I’ll get way too excited. It’s the small things in life. I used to get stuck in on some of the more controversial posts, but I’m getting older and wiser…. for the most part…

What is the best thing you have learned from Hong Kong Moms? I’ve always enjoyed having a diverse group of friends, but I realized that I haven’t always been tolerant to others’ opinions if they are vastly different than mine. I’m learning to embrace the diversity, not just cultural, but also in thought and opinions. We don’t all have to be exactly the same. It’s a good thing.

What is your favorite Hong Kong Moms post? I am a sap for all of the posts where strangers help each other, and return lost mobile phones left in taxi cabs.

What do you ask Hong Kong Moms? Where to find items or electricians, traffic conditions in certain areas, that sort of thing. Hong Kong Moms are the best reporters.

What is your biggest Hong Kong fave? And frustration? I love the beauty of Hong Kong, I never get tired of looking at the sea, the mountains and the stickle-brick city. My biggest frustration is that being American, I love to take long drives for fun, and Hong Kong is just too small for that. After an hour, you bump into China and I can’t afford that license plate.

What is your craziest Hong Kong experience? A few years ago, I did a series of commercial photo shoots for a large logistics company here. There was one evening, after a very long day of shooting at one of their refrigerated food and beverage warehouses in Kwun Tong, I looked around and realized I was the only Western person in the busy warehouse and everyone was speaking Cantonese, and I just had a very overwhelming feeling of how-the-heck-did-I-end-up-here? I’m sure a lot of expats can relate to that feeling.

Does anyone ever recognize you or your name from Hong Kong Moms? Yes, quite a few times — it is funny.

What kind of friendships have you made through Hong Kong Moms? I’ve made so many friends through Hong Kong Moms. Back in the Marketing Monday days, *clears throat*, I met and became friends with people from whom I bought goods and services (Janet Walker on the dolphin boat, Lisa Terauchi’s jewelry, Japneet Chahal’s cakes to name a few). I’ve also met some of the other Hong Kong Mom ‘big mouths’ (they know who they are), and no surprise, we hit it off. And of course, I’ve also become friends with many of the clients from Hong Kong Moms, so thank you for that.

Which Hong Kong Mom would you like you to see featured next? I’d love to see my dear friend Alia Eyres, CEO of Mother’s Choice featured. She is the friend that introduced me to Hong Kong and to Hong Kong Moms, is an amazing mom, and inspires me to try to be a better person through her actions and kindness.

 

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