From Calgary to Hong Kong with entrepreneur Nicole Fung

From Calgary to Hong Kong with entrepreneur Nicole Fung

Nicole Fung is a Hong Kong based entrepreneur who credits the city as a major source of her inspiration. After moving from Canada to Hong Kong she was inspired by its food culture and started the now hugely popular food and travel site 'That Food Cray!!!'. Nicole is also the co-founder of Missbish, a fashion and lifestyle platform that celebrates female empowerment and inspiring women in culture. We spoke with Nicole on her move to Hong Kong, how the culture influences her work and some cray stuff she's eaten along the way.

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ON WHERE YOU’RE FROM

I was born and raised in Calgary, Alberta, Canada. I lived in Calgary and Edmonton before moving to Hong Kong. 

ON WHY YOU MOVED TO HONG KONG

I always wanted to move abroad. After graduating, I took 6 months off travelling in Asia and Australia. I fell in love with Hong Kong and decided to move there indefinitely. 

ON SOME NEW WORDS YOU’VE LEARNED

Mostly curse words LOL

ON HONG KONG AFTER MOVING THERE

Living in Hong Kong is completely different than having a vacation in Hong Kong. There was definitely an adjustment phase. I had to get use to the language and cultural differences (I can speak Cantonese, but not well), less space, faster pace, and how transient the city is. It took about a year to get used to and meet friends, but I love it. 

ON THE BEST THING ABOUT LIVING ABROAD

Living in Hong Kong has opened up so many opportunities for me. I went from working a 9-5 desk job in Finance to running two websites which allows me to work remotely. 

ON HOW LIFE ABROAD INSPIRES YOUR WORK

Life abroad is my work! I would not have had these opportunities if I hadn’t moved abroad. 

ON HOW CULTURE IN HONG KONG HAS INSPIRED YOU

The food culture in Hong Kong is what inspired That Food Cray !!! I was constantly inspired by the food and people around me which is actually why I started That Food Cray !!!

 

Collaboration between Urban Outfitters and That Food Cray !!! Photo credit: That Food Cray !!!

ON THE STRANGEST FOOD YOU’VE EATEN

The weirdest thing I ate was bull penis – it definitely did not look appetizing and it tasted like tendon. I was literally just in Cusco and had guinea pig for the first time which is a delicacy in Peru. We had it roasted, whole, and it tasted like a cross between pork and duck. It wasn’t as bad as I thought, but I’m not dying to eat it again.

ON THE INSPIRATION BEHIND STARTING MISSBISH

My partners (friends) and I saw a gap in the market. We were always looking at multiple sources to find things that we were interested in or inspired us. We wanted to create our own platform with content curated for women, created by women. We also wanted to create a website where women could look for inspiration, reading stories about strong, independent women from all walks of life. 

ON A FAVOURITE WOMAN IN CULTURE RIGHT NOW

I’m obsessed with Rihanna. I love her music, her style, and her attitude. She’s not afraid to speak up and express who she truly is. 

The food culture in Hong Kong is what inspired That Food Cray !!! I was constantly inspired by the food and people around me

ON CREATIVE INSPIRATION

Honestly, the women we feature on MISSBISH is where I look for inspiration. They all have inspirational stories and are all around badass women who work hard to get to where they want to be. 

ON CURRENT PROJECTS

We just launched a MISSBISH apparel collection! That has been my main project for the last year. That Food Cray !!! also launched a small capsule collection with Urban Outfitters! We’re working on creating more product for our readers!

ON WHAT YOU’RE UP TO TODAY

My day started at 4:00 am this morning when I started heading to the airport in Lima, Peru. I’m on a 3-hour layover in Panama City enroute to São Paulo, Brazil. I’m in São Paulo for less than 24-hours then headed to New York City!

 

MISSBISH lookbook (photo credit: Carmen Chan), and MISSBISH founders Gillian Wong, Lindsay Jang and Nicole Fung.

ON A FAVOURITE COLLABORATION RECENTLY

I’m obsessed with leopard print. My favorite recent collaboration is Supreme’s collaboration with Everlast where they released a leopard print satin hooded boxing robe. My friend actually helped me buy it and handed it over to another friend to bring back to Hong Kong for me. The Supreme mule somehow lost it and it makes me sad just thinking about it 🙁 

ON A BIG DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CALGARY AND HONG KONG

Hong Kong is a major travel hub. Living in Hong Kong has made travel so much more accessible. I can fly to places like Tokyo, Bangkok, Bali, Shanghai, and Taipei fairly easily and it’s extremely affordable! 

We wanted to create our own platform with content curated for women, created by women.. A website where women could look for inspiration.

ON SOMETHING TO DO WHEN YOU FIRST MOVE TO HONG KONG

Make friends. I was lucky enough to meet amazing people who have become my mentors and my family. 

ON FEELING LIKE A LOCAL

I would say the adjustment period for Hong Kong is about a year. I think being a local really depends whether or not you’re embracing Hong Kong fully. I live on the Kowloon side and speak Cantonese, so I think I considered myself a local about 2 years in.  

ON SOMETHING YOU WISH YOU’D BEEN TOLD

I wish someone had warned me about the adjustment period. I had a love/hate relationship with Hong Kong the first year I lived there and didn’t think I’d stay over 2 years. I’ve lived there for 8 years now  🙂

ON FINDING A PLACE TO LIVE

There are a ton of sites that you can check online. Pictures are deceiving though! Apartments in Hong Kong are usually tiny – you have to look at the space IRL before making any commitments.

 

Nicole Fung in Hong Kong, and the view from atop a hike to The Peek. Photo credit: That Food Cray !!!

ON SOMETHING TO BE PREPARED FOR

Hong Kong is not cheap. Make sure you’re financially prepared before moving to Hong Kong.

ON A MUST HAVE ITEM

My phone – it’s literally an extension of my arm.

ON VISAS

I was lucky enough to get an ID card that gave me the right to abode. Both my parents were born there which made the process super simple. Not too sure about the visa situation.

I think being a local really depends whether or not you’re embracing Hong Kong fully.

ON YOUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANT

Ronin

ON GOOD FOOD

Legit sushi and pho (both are limited in HK unfortunately :()

ON GOOD MOVIES

I don’t watch movies unless I’m on an airplane lol

ON GOOD DRINKS

I usually go to Yardbird for drinks and Racks if I’m going out out.

ON A STORE TO CHECK OUT

city’super (it’s a grocery store haha)

ON A FAVOURITE PLACE TO BE

Travelling – anywhere new or in Japan

ON GOOD COFFEE

Check out this list

ON SOMETHING FROM CANADA YOU NEED A FIX OF IN HONG KONG

The only things I crave from Canada are pho, Ketchup chips, and poutine. Unfortunately, I can’t find any of that in Hong Kong.

ON HONG KONG IN ONE WORD

Unique. 

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Nuggets in this interview

food and drink

Common Ground, Hong Kong

"Common Ground Coffee is known as a “slow-paced neighborhood cafe,” one of the few places in HK that actually feel slow-paced".

–Nicole Fung

food and drink

Ronin, Hong Kong

"Favourite restaurant...Ronin".

–Nicole Fung

food and drink

Yardbird, Hong Kong

"I usually go to Yardbird for drinks and Racks if I’m going out out".

–Nicole Fung

food and drink

City’Super, Hong Kong

"A good store to check out ..city’super (it’s a grocery store haha)".

–Nicole Fung

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