Sioban Guilfoyle

Where were you born?  Westminster, London.  Just before I turned one, my family moved back to my father’s home country, New Zealand, where I spent my growing-up years, with a stint or two in Australia.

Where else have you lived?  The Philippines, and now Hong Kong is home.

How long have you been in Hong Kong?  It will be 10 years in April, 2017.  Wow!  How is it 10 years already?!

Which part of Hong Kong do you live in?  We live in beautiful Pok Fu Lam, with the most amazing views across the Lamma Channel.

Children and ages?  Barry and I have three children. Piet, 25, is a professional skateboarder. Our two daughters, Elizabeth and India, are 11 and 8 respectively. Elizabeth attends the ISF Academy in Cyberport and India is at IMS in Stanley.

Are you working in Hong Kong and what do you do?  Barry and I own Glow Spa and Glow Salon in Central and we are in partnership with Hollywood Hair, which works out of the Glow Salon.  I work at the spa most days, looking after the operations of the two businesses.  I like to meet our clients and put a face to the business.  I make a point of answering the phone myself and being as available as possible to our clients.  Our aim is to ensure that all our clients receive fantastic personal service combined with professionalism and skill.

What work did you do in your past lives?  I’ve had quite the career, starting with my mom’s sandwich shop when I was still at school right through to working for Citigroup Australia as Head of Channel Development for (credit) cards and personal loans.  I did some contract work for the Citi upon arriving in Hong Kong, but then took a break for a couple of years until India, the youngest, was at primary.

What brought you to Hong Kong and why have you stayed?  My husband Barry was offered a role by a bank and we decided it was a great opportunity so, we took the plunge and moved from Sydney after 12 years in beautiful Little Manly Beach.  Barry had been to Hong Kong a few times after leaving university and always had fond memories of the city. He took to Hong Kong like a duck to water.  It took me a little while longer to acclimate but it really does feel like home.

What time of day do you check Hong Kong Moms?  I’m dipping in and out all day long.  Hong Kong Moms is such an amazing resource with so many personalities miraculously all getting along!

What posts do you comment on and why?  There’s so much great content on Hong Kong Moms!  I try to limit myself to those threads where I think I have something of value to add or just feel compelled to add something to the conversation.  Discovering new small businesses; finding something that makes me giggle; commiserating with someone who’s maybe not had the best day; reassuring, guiding, advising newcomers to Hong Kong — there is something relevant and engaging almost every day.

What is the best thing you have learned from Hong Kong Moms?  How much support there is from the other Hong Kong Moms — for new arrivals, small businesses and the wider community of women here in Hong Kong.  I have been overwhelmed by the support shown for my own business from the Hong Kong Moms community — there are some very special and loyal moms (and a few dads) in this group.  For a country which has a reputation for being difficult or unfriendly, Hong Kong Moms proves Hong Kong has a heart.

What is your favorite Hong Kong Moms post?  There was one lovely lady looking for advice on Brazilian blowj*bs. My husband thought something terrible had happened, I was crying so much.

What is your biggest Hong Kong fave?  Hearing the amazing “only happens in Hong Kong” stories — like returned wallets or taxi drivers that recognize you, incredible misunderstandings and outstanding acts of kindness.

And frustration?  When the thread gets a “little judgy” or when some members see “doings things differently” in Hong Kong as “doing things wrong.”

What is your craziest Hong Kong experience?  I have attended a few EXTRAVAGANT parties in Hong Kong — sometimes they start crazy… but they almost always end crazy!

Does anyone ever recognize you or your name from Hong Kong Moms?  Yes!  All the time.  When I’m meeting people socially or having a chat with a client in the spa/hair salon or even when on the phone with a client, they’ll recognize my name and frequently say, “I’ve seen you on Hong Kong Moms!”  There’s an immediate connection when they realize we’re both Hong Kong Moms — which is fantastic!

What kind of friendships have you made through Hong Kong Moms?  I have met a few people socially, usually friend-of-friend, and we recognize each other from Hong Kong Moms.  Mostly I have “friendships” with people I have never met; yet we know each other very well having chatted back and forth via Hong Kong Moms for several years.

Which Hong Kong Mom would you like you to see featured next?  Mawgan Batt and/or Kate Farr the Accidental Tai Tai –- both great and long term Hong Kong Mom personalities.

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