In Prestige Online’s “Getting to Know” series, we ask Hong Kong’s favourite personalities what they’re like outside of work — and get a little more personal.
What is Hong Kong entrepreneur Sarah Fung up to when she’s not managing HULA, her online fashion marketplace business? Our #PrestigePersonality lets us in on what it’s like being her own boss, her taste in music, and the lingerie business she once owned.
What are you doing this weekend?
I’m actually on vacation in Japan right now with my husband and a couple of friends. We’ll be travelling to Kyoto, Shirahama, Kobe and finally Tokyo. It’s my first time outside of Tokyo, which is so interesting although it is still one of my favourite cities. The only thing that bothers me about Japan is the amount of plastic they still use, everything is double/triple wrapped. On the flip-side, they are so on-point with other sustainable lifestyle choices such as buying into the pre-loved market and the way they still honour and teach handmade crafts and traditions.
What was the last meal you had?
I’m always happy eating Japanese food. Tonight we went to a kaiseki, [a traditional multi-course] dinner which consisted of 13 courses, each deliciously and carefully prepared. I love the detail and time they put into everything; the life I live makes me so impatient nowadays, so it is nice to step back, breathe and chill at times. I especially love this illustrated fish book we saw them use at the restaurant, with ear-marked pages of the fish we were eating — so old school!
What’s on your playlist right now?
I have quite a broad taste, which ranges from soul, funk, indie, hip hop, pop and electro — dating back to the 1970’s up to the current day. In general I love uplifting music and listening to female vocalists that make me want to dance.
Music is important to my life as I came from a musical family. My mother was an amateur Chinese opera singer and was in a local pop band in London, whilst my father played traditional Chinese instruments. My sister and I were singing from a really young age. My mother would bring us up on stage as an encore to her live set. There is no way I could do that now, but a good karaoke session is always good to blow out those cobwebs!
My favourite songs on Spotify right now are:
- “Everybody Loves The Sunshine” – Roy Ayers
- “Passionfruit” – Drake
- “Woman” – Rhye
- “Dreams” – Fleetwood Mac
- “Boys Don’t Cry” – The Cure
- “Because I’m Me” – The Avalanches
- “Keep it Up” – Milton Brown
- “Blue Lights” – Jorja Smith
- “Wait a Minute!” – Willow
- “White Tiger” – Izzy Bizu, Marcus Layton Remix
- “Brain” – The Jungle Brothers
- “Love Is Contagious” – Taja Sevilla
What are you most likely to order at a bar?
I usually find cocktails too sugary and always order the wrong ones! I would order classics like a dry martini, a good gin and tonic or something with spice. However I usually stick to champagne, as I can drink a good few glasses without the hangover or I would pick a really good wine like a chablis, sancerre, sauvignon blanc or a Spanish red.
What’s your guilty pleasure?
Ice cream! I especially like mint chocolate chip (such a retro flavour), or anything nutty and I love the texture of a mochi ice cream. Although I am definitely more a savoury gal, I love creamy foods (which are of course fattening!). During the week, I’m almost vegetarian and eat a lot of superfoods with a lot of hummus — oops, another creamy food I should stay away from!
Tell us something that not too many people know about you.
Although I mention in my biography that I used to have a lingerie brand in London which sold to high end stores like Selfridges, Collette, Browns Focus and Henri Bendel, most people have never seen it, especially since I moved to Hong Kong 12 years ago.
Having a brand like this was so much fun and there were hardly any inhibitions, especially as I was so young and carefree. What was special about it was the overall branding — brought together with the synergy of my best friends that worked on the campaigns and shot by renowned photographer Valerie Phillips.
Having a business prior to HULA helped me understand the challenges and has given me more resilience to experience failure and the constant hurdles I face. The experience is so different from then and now — imagine doing business without social media for instance!
Show us your most recent photo.
This was taken in Kobe by my dear husband. I love the way it looks so retro and how my salmon pink jacket matches the back drop.
Who was the last person you called?
My sister Vivien. She is my best friend and my rock. We have been close since we were kids (bar a few years whilst in my horrible turbulent teen years!). Even though she now lives in London we luckily still get to see each other a few times a year and touch base on the phone every few weeks. I am really lucky to have a sister that is a best friend and those who get on with their siblings know how special that is!