The business of branding is an exciting endeavour that can potentially build empires. Prism Creative Founder and Creative Lead Rosann Ling, however, uses her gift to conveying a brand story by zooming in on purposeful projects. She explains: “I’ve always had a curiosity and passion for design and for doing good, so after a decade of being a designer in various fields, I’ve finally found my place in helping purpose-driven businesses and organizations in branding so their impact can go even further.” While the life of a business owner is often perceived as a job that never ends, Rosann emphasizes that time for being present or taking a break factors in to success.
- What keeps you busy these days?
I’ve been working on some really exciting branding projects: a new yoga studio in Hong Kong and a charity for foster children. Outside of work, I also volunteer as an arts and crafts teacher at Love 21 Foundation, a charity that empowers the Down syndrome and autistic community through sports, nutrition and creativity.
- What is it about your work or career that you enjoy most?
I am a brand strategist and designer partnering with Wellness entrepreneurs, social enterprises and NGO’s, so I feel really blessed to be working with clients who have such huge hearts and inspiring visions. I have a very collaborative working relationship with my clients, seeing each project as an opportunity to learn about something new. Because of this, clients often become close friends and people who I love learning from.
- What do you consider to be “hazards of the job?”
As business owners, often we are made to feel that our success and worth are tied to how many hours and how hard we work. I used to think of being busy as a badge of honor, but I realized it was because I was worried about looking like I wasn’t working hard enough. This can lead to constant burnout and sometimes even resentment towards our work. So I think it’s really important to be able to stay present and pay attention to how we feel in our businesses and in our bodies, so we know when to take a break when we need. We can’t pour from an empty cup.
- For women who aspire for similar careers, what would be your advice?
Try everything that sets your soul on fire, because that’s where your creativity will lead you. Don’t be afraid of learning new skills or starting over –– being agile and well-rounded is a valuable asset for a creative today. Surround yourself with women you resonate with and who will challenge you to grow in the right ways.
- What are the career milestones that inspire you to break the glass or mould?
Running a creative agency as a woman, I felt a lot of pressure to build a business in an assertive, aggressive way in order to be recognized. It really intimidated me. And in fact, it held me back. I came to the realization that there’s no rule book for running a creative agency. I can build one with heart and feminine leadership if that’s what I wanted. You define your own success. Today we are a small team of three and I love the way Prism is a safe space for all of us to develop our skills and do great, meaningful projects together. Personal development remains the topmost important thing that I’d like to be able to provide for my team, and I plan to continue growing the agency organically like this.
- How do you balance work and family life? What are activities that enable you to bond with family?
I used to struggle with this one a lot. But after working with a business coach for the last two years, I’ve learnt that balancing work and family life means prioritizing the things that matter to you. This became especially important to me after my niece Naomi was born; to be present and cherish every moment with family. Balance is an ever-evolving thing — there is no golden formula for it. It’s all about finding what works for you, at this moment, and accepting that there will be days when you can be really productive, and days when you just want to take it easy and spend it with your loved ones. And that is totally okay.
- How do you unwind or rewind? Any favorite spots in your current city that you consider as your me-time haven?
I love taking the tram in Hong Kong. It’s my favourite way to unwind and appreciate the beauty of my home city. I would plug in a good podcast and enjoy the time solo. I also love doing barre and appreciate the tight knit, supportive community I’ve come to know. Fridays are often my creative days and if possible, I try to visit a gallery to get inspired.
- How would you describe your personal style? What are three your wardrobe essentials?
I’m all for the timeless and minimalistic style, because I like to keep things simple and used to spend way too much time deciding what to wear every day! Having items that can be dressed up or down makes it so much easier. I think every woman should have a smart blazer, a black bag and a pair of white leather sneakers.
- What for you makes for a good investment piece? Kindly cite examples of pieces in your current wardrobe.
A good investment piece is one that’s timeless and one that brings a bit of magic into your everyday. In heavy rotation at the moment is my tailored black blazer with satin trim from Sandro and a black Celine Nano bag. Both are pieces that make me feel confident, chic and feminine at the same time.
- What do pearls mean to you?
To me, Pearls represent love and strength that’s passed on through generations. My grandmother gifted me her pearl ring when I graduated from university and it means a lot to me. Whenever I wear it, I am reminded of her elegance, strength and love.