Where were you born? Nottingham, UK
Where else have you lived? Before moving to Hong Kong, we spent almost 10 years in London.
How long have you been in Hong Kong? Just over five years.
Which part of Hong Kong do you live In? Happy Valley
Children and ages? Caleb, eight and Isaac, six.
Are you working in Hong Kong and what do you do? I run my own consultancy firm, Bespoke Consulting, and work with small businesses to guide them on marketing plans, social media strategy and developing their future plans for growth. Prior to that, I founded Hong Kong lifestyle platform The HK HUB in 2012 and sold it at the end of 2015.
What work did you do in your past lives? I worked for a large publishing company and specialized in creating financial conferences and events. After the arrival of our eldest son, I spent three years as a full time stay-at-home mom in London before we arrived in Hong Kong in 2011.
What brought you to Hong Kong and why have you stayed? We were originally due to move to Hong Kong in 2007 with my job, but our plans were put on hold when we found out a little unexpectedly that we were going to have our first child. Then, after Isaac arrived in 2010, we decided that we’d give it another try, and were relocated with my husband’s then-employer at the start of 2011. Our original plan to stay for two years has somehow become five, and we’re certainly here for the foreseeable future. My husband, Tom, switched jobs a few years ago; I’ve founded and sold a business, and am now working on my second; and our children are benefiting hugely from the opportunities and experiences of living in Asia.
What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms? I check in first thing and then a few times over the course of the day.
What posts do you comment on and why? I try and pass on referrals and insider knowledge whenever I can, particularly restaurants, activities, doctors/specialists. I’ll throw in the odd bit of parenting advice where I can, but I try to sit on my hands when some of the more controversial threads pop up!
What is the best thing you have learned from Hong Kong Moms? I’m continually impressed by the level of support that women offer to one another on the ups and downs of parenting. The forum has also taught me a lot about different cultural attitudes to parenting and hopefully I’m now a little more tolerant to taking on other ideas. I’ve also discovered loads of great things to do and places to try thanks to the amazing recommendations of other members of the group. I’m continuously amazed at the wealth of talent amongst the groups members — from the women running their own successful business to those in senior corporate positions. It’s a melting pot of successful and inspirational women.
What is your favorite Hong Kong Moms post? Generally anything that Amber Malinowski or Sonia Lee-Nazzer post tends to be hysterical and attract similarly hysterical responses. The “Brazilian blowjobs” was another highlight.
What do you ask Hong Kong Moms? I tend to ask for recommendations and tips for things to do and places to visit. Despite running The HK HUB for several years and knowing Hong Kong very well, there’s no substitution for real-time, personal recommendations.
What is Your Biggest Hong Kong fave? And frustration? I love the convenience. Who doesn’t?! Being able to drive just 10 minutes from our place in Happy Valley and be in the greenery and trails of the country park is something that never gets tiresome. I also love that there’s always something new going on — a theatre production, a restaurant opening, an unusual activity for children or a sporting event, there always seems to be something exciting to try.
The opportunity to have a helper as part of our family has certainly been a huge plus. Our helper, Nora has been with us almost from the beginning and has helped us navigate the ins and outs of the city. She speaks great Cantonese and has been known to unleash it on an unsuspecting taxi driver or handyman! It’s sounds a cliché, but she’s truly part of our family and I don’t know where we would all be without her.
My frustration list is long, but I’ll try and keep it brief! Despite living here for five years, I still walk at London speed, and so do tend to spend a lot of time feeling very frustrated at the aimless amble that many people seem to employ when walking down some of the city’s busiest thoroughfares. And don’t get me started on the madness that ensues in Central when thousands of office workers go for lunch within minutes of one another! Add to this, trying to avoid losing an eyeball to an umbrella regardless of whether it’s a beautiful sunny day or a torrential downpour, and I’m in a permanent state of frustration.
The other major bugbear is the waste that seems to be taking over the city and its beaches. There seems to be a never ending stream of trash everywhere I look; special plastic bags for umbrellas piling up the bins on a rainy day, Styrofoam boxes floating in the sea and rubbish-strewn trails in country parks, the city really needs to wake up and realize that we all need to consume less, and be more responsible for our waste.
What is your craziest Hong Kong experience? I’m not sure I want to incriminate myself too much in front of so many!
Does anyone ever recognize you or your name from Hong Kong Moms? I have had a number of people recognize me from the forum in the last few years. I do have a slightly weird first name, so people tend to remember it or at least wonder where it comes from and how they should say it (pronounced mah-gaan)!
What kind of friendships have you made through Hong Kong Moms? I’ve met so many amazing people through Hong Kong Moms, including both friends and business contacts. I can thank the forum for friends and contacts who hail from all corners of the globe.
Which Hong Kong Mom would you like you to see featured next? Laura Perez, mom of three, entrepreneur and founder of Wyld Mylk; Catherine Stewart, mom of three and owner of The HK HUB; Melissa Collins-Gut, personal trainer and all around incredible athlete, plus mom of two who works at Pinnacle Performance.