In this week's Tatler 10, we speak with June Lau, the founder and designer of Novel Fineries, the world’s first pocket art accessories label.
Lau has always had a fascination with butterflies and managed to turn her passion project into a full-time job, creating colourful handmade creations that add a contemporary twist to a suit or blazer.
In our latest edition of the Tatler 10, a regular column where we pose 10 questions to Hong Kong-based entrepreneurs about their businesses, we asked Lau about what Novel Fineries means to her and what she loves most about running her own business:
1) What does Hong Kong mean to you?
I’ll always have a special place in my heart for Hong Kong, mainly because my family and friends make it such a special place for me. I was born in the US and educated in the UK; so while I was growing up, Hong Kong was always my go-to holiday destination and happy place.
2) Summarise your business in one sentence
Novel Fineries is a story of hand craftsmanship that rejuvenates heritage art forms. Each wearable art piece has been designed to preserve and innovate traditions.
3) What is your proudest accomplishment?
I spent my entire savings and poured my heart and soul into building Novel Fineries, which has been successful commercially, through industry recognition and accolades as well as in its goal to rejuvenate heritage art.
See also: The Tatler 10 with Sue-Lynn Woo-Hwa
4) What do you love most about running your own business?
When you run your own business, you are given the opportunity to make decisions and create challenges for yourself. It is a never-ending learning curve, where you grow a little every day. What is there not to love? Another perk is, nobody gets to yell at you if you made a mistake. You just have to fix it.
5) What advice can you offer budding entrepreneurs?
There are going to be bad days and truly amazing days in your journey. Something might not always go your way, arrive on time or be exactly how you want, so make sure you always have a backup plan. Never give up because it’s hard—there’s always a different way to do things.
6) As an entrepreneur, what do you think sets you and your business apart from the competition?
We are the world’s first luxurious pocket art in the form of butterfly wings, there is nothing like us out there. Our strengths of revitalizing heritage art and delivering world class handmade products really set us apart.
7) Who inspires you and why? This can be one person or different people.
My parents both worked hard to get to the place they have and I owe them everything to be able to do the job I love today. To me, that’s inspiring—starting from nothing and building a life together.
8) Looking back do you wish you had done anything differently?
Nothing at all.
See also: The Tatler 10 with Anthony Haynes
9) What's your end goal?
My end goal is to create awareness of dying heritage art form through my designs. I want to be able to create and preserve history.
10) What are your words to live by?
Just be yourself—nothing more, nothing less.
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