This week’s That Mama is Claire Sancelot – founder of brand new eco-fabulous web boutique, Lulu Hong Kong. We find out how she combines being a mum to toddler Lucie, a love for fashion, and a green attitude…
Where you do buy your clothes? How do you stay stylish as a mum?
I shop during business trips (when I have no kid with me and no husband) but I am not a big shopper. I spend money on classic pieces like my beloved shoe collection that I have built up over the past ten years and just have a bit of fun adding different funky pieces. In Hong Kong, my favorite stores are DVF, Club Monaco, Rue Madame and of course my own Lulu Hong Kong! I wish we could find more ethical fashion in Hong Kong — mainly beautiful vegan shoes. I cannot wait to have some Louboutins in a beautiful leather imitation.
How do you save time?
I shop a lot online. For Lucie, I buy her baby formula from BabyCentral (they carry a few organic brands). At home we try to be vegetarian except for Lucie and we get our fruits and vegetables delivered every Monday from Homegrown Foods (no carbon footprint, organic local food). We get our Nespresso coffee delivered once a month and for the past six months they also recycle and pick up the old capsules when they deliver. Plus their blend Dhjana is grown sustainably.
What are your organizational tricks and tips?
If I multi-task I usually make mistakes. I try to divide my day in a few hours-long blocks during which I focus on different tasks. If I receive emails while I am working I do not open them and finish what I started. It works pretty well for me but there is still a lot of room for improvement. Now, that I have employees I am learning how to delegate — at first it is difficult but it’s so necessary.
Where do you get your kids clothes from?
My daughter Lucie is only one year old and my niece Alice is 13 months older so Lucie gets Alice’s beautiful clothes (much better for the planet and the wallet) but I have to admit sometimes I cannot resist Petit Bazaar beautiful clothes and hair pieces!
What’s the one address/tip in Hong Kong you think all mamas here should know?
AsiaXpat is a great place to buy anything and everything (I scooped up a Jimmy Choo Clutch and Shanghai Tang tote for $1,000 each!) and in our house we try to live by the motto use, “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” as much as possible. This is the best thing we can do for our children – to protect and respect our planet.
Where do you go for hair/nails/face maintenance?
I used to fry myself in the sun from when I was 15 to when I was 30 years old, so now it is all about damage control. I try to have a facial every 2 weeks. My girlfriend Brigitte Weber from The Strand has a wonderful organic facial called ‘Naturelle D’Orient’. I get my mani/pedi at Indulgence — they have a bag just for my personal nail polish carrying vegan organic brands Sparitual and Deborah Lippmann. My hair stylist is Ivy Chan from The Upper Room. She has been taking care of my hair for the past 6 years. If I need some highlights I go to Emmanuel F for their fabulous organic colours.
How do you stay sane?
At lunch-time I try to go to classes at Pure Fitness and release all my energy during Body Pump, Boot Camp. I am just addicted to Body Combat. More importantly, my fantastic helper — I know my baby is safe and happy with her and it allows me to concentrate on my day.
What is your favourite activity to do with your kids in Hong Kong?
Since Lucie is just one, playgrounds and the Wise Kids Cyberport playroom are right now the most fun places on earth for her.
Favourite kid-friendly restaurant in Hong Kong?
One is a challenging age as Lucie wants to walk everywhere! After a fiasco at Nadaman one month ago, we are now having friends over for brunch or we go to friends who have children of about the same age so Lucie can play in a safe environment or she can go for a quiet nap and we can still have long chats and enjoy our friends.
Favourite date-night restaurant in Hong Kong?
We do not really have date nights since we both work in Central, we try to go home together in the evening and often on Friday nights we go out for drinks. We love terraces like Sevva and Zuma then ultimately depending on our mood drinks lead to dinner. We rarely make reservations so it is more where there is space at the last minute.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a parent?
Try to laugh as much as possible when you face the most difficulties. From our one year of parenting experience, what Lucie never does at home, she will do on planes, in restaurants, hotels or stores… During our latest flight she had to be changed three times from head to toe! We were running out of clean clothes, Lucie was naked in the plane with dirty diapers around her — you just have to laugh in those situations.
Can you tell us a little about Lulu and what inspired you when setting up your business?
I created Lulu Hong Kong because I could not find ethical fashion in Hong Kong. Ethical fashion is made respecting the people, the planet and the animals. We want the best for our children but if we do not take care of the planet and change the way we consume to be more sustainable way, then what kind of future will it be for them? Lulu Hong Kong tries to prove that we can still have fun with fashion just in a more sustainable and kind way.
Check out all the goodies on offer at Lulu Hong Kong, from eco-chic maternity clothes to innovative cloth diapers and much much more!
Fab photos of Claire and daughter Lucie taken by Ifat Kafry Hindes of Hindessight Photography.