Hong Kong: Where It All Began

Hong Kong holds a very special place in my heart. It was there that I arrived as a fresh-faced 20-year-old, en route back home from a year off in Australia. Instead of staying for just a month, I ended up spending three transformative years in the city. Not only did I make lifelong friends, I also met my husband, John of 33 years, and where my journey as a jewellery designer first began, designing cufflinks for my mother’s fish business and then my very first piece of jewellery – my own engagement ring, ironically in a jewellery store in the Mandarin Oriental, where we have had a shop for over seven years!


John did his very best to persuade me to get the ring from another jeweller – where I knew he had done a barter deal against cufflinks (a little business that we had started together, before Links of London) – so you can imagine, I was not going to be persuaded to barter!


It was wonderful to be back in Hong Kong a few weeks ago, after such a long break over Covid. I was there to launch my bespoke service, and after completing several commissions in Hong Kong over Zoom during lockdown, it was so lovely to finally meet some of my longstanding clients and many new ones in person. 

These past four years have posed some real challenges for our incredible team in Hong Kong, with the 2018-19 riots and disturbances, followed by some of the most stringent COVID policies anywhere. It’s been only six months since Mainland Chinese travellers were allowed back into Hong Kong, which is the lifeblood of the city’s tourism, and being back felt different, but the city still exudes that infectious energy that initially captivated me when I first arrived.


I lived in Hong Kong for nearly 4 very happy years, and we eventually had eleven shops in Hong Kong, which meant we used to visit twice a year. Despite the changes that have unfolded over time, including the narrowing of the harbour due to land reclamation and development, the view from the room at the Mandarin remains as extraordinary as ever. The city still exudes that infectious energy that initially captivated me when I first arrived.


During my recent visit, a serendipitous introduction to the wonderful Michelin-starred chef, Vicky Lau, led to us hosting a private lunch for journalists in Vicky’s restaurant, The Tate Collection, the perfect place to announce our collaboration on what will be a beautiful, meaningful locket inspired by the simple Fig which holds great personal significance for Vicky and represents wisdom and fertility. I’m excited to share that it will be ready to launch in time for Chinese New Year. 

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