Photo credit: Tatler Asia, Women of Hong Kong
Since its launch in July of 2021, Women of Hong Kong has grown its membership to 3,500. The all-inclusive women’s community has been making strides in creating a safe, supportive space where females in Hong Kong could expand their networks. At the heart of this most inspired initiative is founder, Sarah Vee. A prime mover in amplifying the women’s empowerment movement, the mom and visionary holds the role of community to high regard.
She shares, “While striving for the best version of myself, I learned the power of influence within a community and the value it could bring to every individual who took the chance. Imagine a life where women didn’t second guess themselves? Where women were confident but kind, empathetic but knew their boundaries? There were so many ways for women to be empowered to become the best version of themselves within a network of women who would share their knowledge, provide support and resources.”
The motivating story of Sarah continues to grow, and this week’s special feature, the Woman of Pearl reveals future plans for Women of Hong Kong. She also talks about pearls and why they deeply resonate to women whose lives are driven by purpose.
1. What keeps you busy these days?
Aside from wearing my mom hat, I’m working daily on how to make the Women of Hong Kong community better for our members. this is a top priority for me. We’re always looking for ways to give back! We’ve recently partnered with inspiring girls and are working to roll out “Visionary Memberships.” It’s a free membership exclusively given to the women in the city who may need more support, such as migrant workers, refugees and young women in educational institutions.
I’m very much focused on two things for Women of Hong Kong: members connecting with one another, and members attaining knowledge through one another to grow as a collective.
I’ve recently also joined AMMBR group for an exciting project to create a truly open Metaverse. This offers a well governed virtual reality space for institutions, organizations, brands and people who value freedom to choose in a safe environment. We call it Metasense. We’re in the early stages of WEB3 and it’s exciting to imagine what’s next for us.
I make sure to close off my early mornings (I wake up at 5:30am) and late evenings to make sure I have enough time for myself, and this can include studying for a Psychology diploma, journaling, training or simply catching up on household chores I've missed out on. Solo parenting a household isn't for the weak and at times I wish there were more hours in the day!
2. How did you come to find your current career or life’s work?
I went through a stage in life where I looked at myself and didn’t like who I was seeing. I wanted to change that. I’m still in the process of it!
During that period of finding the best version of myself, I learned the power of influence within a community and the value it could bring to every individual who took the chance. Imagine a life where women didn’t second guess themselves. Where women were confident but kind, empathetic but knew their boundaries. There were so many ways for women to be empowered to become the best version of themselves–a network of women who would share their knowledge, provide support and resources. It all unfolded from there, and since then, I don’t ever think I could work a day in my life if it didn’t mean it would help people.
3. What is it about your work or career that you enjoy most?
I absolutely love witnessing women connect and support one another–not because they have to but because they genuinely want to. Maybe the younger version of me wished I had that type of support. Hearing what the women in our network have to say about other women or about what they got out of the community is so fulfilling. Whether it is business opportunities, a new found friend or support in their personal lives. It’s why we do what we do.
4. For people who aspire for similar careers, what would be your advice?
Learn communication skills.
Do the work required for you to get to a place where you genuinely love yourself. When individuals carry that level of self-love, you perceive the world differently. You can tackle anything head on with integrity.
You cannot build a community when you don’t prioritize becoming a better person.
5. What are the career milestones that inspire you to break the glass or mold?
The moment I received an award from Hong Kong Living for outstanding achievements, it hit me. The realization that I can do what I set my mind to, that I’m capable and that there is no right person for the job. It comes down to how willing you are to get it done.
Prior to this I didn't believe in myself, or that I even have the right to build this community. I often questioned myself and my worth through the early stages of Women of Hong Kong. I carried insecurities and constantly had to fight off self judgment.
At the end of the day, it’s all in the mind. If you believe in yourself, and you believe you can, then you’ll build that path towards achieving it. There are people less qualified than you, doing things that you want to do, simply because they decided to believe in themselves and take action.
If you believe yourself to be incapable, or that someone else could do the job, then you will build a path steering you away from the opportunities you’ll wish you had.
6. How do you balance work and family life? What are activities that enable you to bond with family?
What works for me is being clear about what is my priority. I try to balance that accordingly. I also need to be very honest with myself when it comes to time management. I learned that when you say YES to one thing, you’re saying NO to something else. Your time is not unlimited so treat it like money!
As for family activities, It’s really important to nurture the relationships with people you love. Make time for it. I check in on how my son’s day has gone. Our conversation ranges from asking how he feels. Did he feel like he failed at anything today and what he could learn from it?
I have at least 30 minutes of a day of focused activities with my son. These activities range from short bursts of arts & crafts sessions to watching something together from TedX for kids or the latest Marvel episode (we’re currently watching Moon Knight!). My partner and I carve out time to nurture our relationship by making sure we have time to check in with each other in a few days.
7. What is your self care indulgence? How do you treat yourself or reward yourself at the end of each day or long work week?
My self-care indulgence is carving out time to shut the world off, and putting my phone on airplane mode. Things I do for myself can range from saging the house, beauty routines. I engage in activities with myself, which can range between pole dancing, reading a book, watching a show or diving into podcasts about self-development. I’m currently obsessed with an audio book app calledBlinkist!
This might be out of the norm but I wake up at 5:30AM, because I prefer to carve time out for myself in the mornings before giving any attention to the world around me!
8. What is everyday luxury for you? Kindly share an example.
I am a big believer in staying close to the things that make ME feel alive. Candles, essential oils, sage, palo santo sticks, incense sticks and anything to do with scents!
I can’t go a day without The Blomstre’s “Apple Maple Bourbon” and “Peppermint Macchiato” candles or Hiraya Scent & Co’s “All Day In bed” candle. You’ll only understand my love for them when you smell it–they’re so divine and lush.
9. How would you describe your personal style? What are three your wardrobe essentials?
My personal style has changed so much over the years. Currently, and probably my most favourite style, is that I like looking polished without coming off as intimidating–casual jeans, a solid colored top with a blazer with my hair in a bun.
10. What comprises a good investment piece? Kindly cite examples of pieces in your current wardrobe.
I’m in love with Frey’s tailored suit jackets for women. They give your overall look that extra “oomph” and the brand’s pieces go great on a lot of outfits.
Frey’s founder has women in mind when creating these pieces and makes sure to create built-in functional elements such as lined pockets (for phones and business cards) and buttons that actually work (can you believe it) in case us ladies have to roll up our sleeves when getting our hands dirty from the hustle.
11. Why are pearls special to you?
Looking at pearls reminds me of how they’ve come to be. The process each pearl represents the hard work, consistency, patience and dedication required to create a piece of treasure in your life.
Pearls don’t lie on the seashore. If you want one, you must dive for it. Life’s rewards will not fall on your lap, and no matter if the cards that were dealt for you are tougher than others, you must have the strength and perseverance to want to overcome them. You must want to win for yourself.