Where were you born? I hail from the Caribbean — San Juan, Puerto Rico.
Where else have you lived? Alabama, Virginia and New York City. I have also lived in Barcelona and London before moving to Hong Kong.
How long have you been in Hong Kong? I’ll never forget the date we moved here — March 14th, 2011. It’s been five-and-a-half years and they have gone in a flash.
Which part of Hong Kong do you live in? I have always lived in Nappy Valley….um, Happy Valley that is.
Children and ages? I have three munchkins: Amelie is seven; Nico is five; and my baby girl Lucia turns two next month.
Are you working in Hong Kong and what do you do? I’m currently the most entrepreneurial I’ve been my whole life. I launched an artisan, dairy-free ice cream company, Wild Mylk, earlier this year. It consumes every bit of my time. Currently, I wear all hats at this startup: I’m the admin, marketer, photographer, vendor at markets and boss in the kitchen. It’s the hardest thing I’ve ever done — its way out of my comfort zone. In addition, managing and supporting a young family gets thrown in to the daily mix. Multitasking and hustling are my lifeblood. At times I feel a bit crazy and the “hot mess” mom. But I feel lucky to have a supportive husband and three kids that are super happy to cheer me on. I hope that they will have learned by example the importance of hard work, sacrifice, patience, resilience, stamina and gratitude.
What work did you do in your past lives? My formal education was in architecture. I graduated from Virginia Tech with a masters in architecture and urbanism. Shortly after graduating, I desperately wanted to move to NYC. I ended up landing a job with a wonderful firm that mentored me for four years, till I left for Spain.
I also ran The Little Flying Studio, a graphic design studio in Hong Kong, right before having my third child. It was a rewarding experience and one that lead me to meet a great many wonderful and inspiring mothers in this very group. I mainly worked with small to medium businesses and had a few corporate clients for a while.
I was also a part time professor at Raffles University for the interior design department.
What brought you to Hong Kong and why have you stayed? We moved to Hong Kong because my husband found a role in banking. The idea of living in Asia was something we had contemplated and when the opportunity came we didn’t even hesitate.
What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms? I don’t necessarily have a pattern. I do look when someone in my network posts something. I also visit the group when I see that there are 20+ new posts I haven’t read, so I can catch up.
What posts do you comment on and why? I’m probably on the reserved side when it comes to contributing. Mainly I jump on replying to any post where I’m certain of a recommendation, a referral and an opinion. I do avoid posts on parenting because I’m still trying to figure this out and every now and then feel like a complete rookie at it!
What is the best thing you have learned from Hong Kong Moms? That Hong Kong has one of the most supportive expat communities I have ever known. It’s the only place where making friends and meeting people has felt so easy.
What is your favorite Hong Kong Moms post? I really enjoy seeing successful lost and found posts. I look forward to those that recommend places to travel to and stay that are kid-friendly. I’m enjoy the comic relief in funny videos and memes on parenting. I find really heartwarming the ones where moms are exhibiting kindness, support and give non-judgmental advice on topics like pregnancy, breastfeeding, menopause, etc.
What is your biggest Hong Kong fave? I love living in a safe city. And I love Hong Kong’s public transportation and how easy the airport experience is here. I also appreciate having a helper. I wouldn’t be able to exercise any flexibility if I didn’t have this incredible support at home. Last but not least, I think the entrepreneurial energy here is infectious and a wonderful place to venture into having your own business.
And frustration? The pollution sometimes really gets to me, literally. I got my first ever bronchitis here! I also haven’t gotten use to the loud and deliberate belching I hear too often. I dislike seeing rude people not giving up their seat for someone that clearly needs it more than them.
I really hate it when people skip the taxi queue. It once made me lose my temper and I became this mad woman; the man that cut the line, got into the front seat of what was my taxi. I was so blinded by rage that I got into the back and started shouting at him. My last words before he got out were, “Get out of the f*cking taxi NOW!” Needless to say, not my finest moment and I vowed to never let it get to me like that again. It hasn’t.
What is your craziest Hong Kong experience? Deciding to start Wild Mylk! Also, training in open waters (I thought I was going to be eaten by a shark) for an aquathon last year, getting a really large tattoo (my first one), and unexpectedly falling in love with weight lifting.
What kind of friendships have you made through Hong Kong Moms? I have met so many entrepreneurial women that have really inspired me through this group. It’s easy to get really busy here so, it’s not like I see them frequently, but when I see them I really enjoy their company and look forward to great conversation. Plus, I don’t have the most active social life — I’m a super tired mom!
Which Hong Kong Mom would you like you to see featured next? So many! I would like to see Melissa Collins Gut of Pinnacle Performance — one of the strongest women I know; the lovely Julie Forte, manager at Baumhaus and mother of two super girls; Anthea Murray, founder of Nut and Co, who is going to be a mom very soon; and Emma Kwan, founder of 360 Health and Fitness.