This week’s That Mama is Karen Page, mum to two adorable girls and founder of Nine Months Maternity Boutique, that gem of a shop that is a pregnant fashionista’s dream come true with its steady supply of designer maternity wear (which does exist!!). We chat with ex-model about being a “mamapreneur” in Hong Kong, how she stays organised while juggling family and business, and what keeps her sane through it all.
How do you save time?
I work on a strict schedule during the week so that I can fit in work, exercise, errands, appointments, and time with my children and husband. Seeing friends for lunch saves time because I can eat and fit in some girl time simultaneously.
What are your organisational tricks and tips?
My iPhone keeps me organized. I keep everything on it and use iCloud to ensure that my laptop, iPhone and iPad are all synced. I also find keeping a calendar on the fridge ensures our helper is up-to-date on what is going on and when. And deciding on our weekly menu in advance makes it easy to do all the grocery shopping in only one trip.
I always feel saner after….
My Pilates class or a big glass of wine!
Do you have any tips for keeping the romance alive in your relationship?
Date night. It’s important to make time to reconnect.
Favourite date-night restaurants?
The Verandah in Repulse Bay. It’s close to home, dark and quiet which is perfect because my husband is easily distracted…oh, and the food and service are impeccable!
Favourite activity with the kids in Hong Kong?
Taking the kids and our dog Lola to Middle Island Yacht Club for some time on the beach and lunch.
Favourite kid-friendly restaurant in Hong Kong?
Café Causette at the Mandarin Oriental. They have an amazing kids menu with the best Mac & Cheese and also give out goody bags with pens, a puzzle and colouring book. It keeps Chloe occupied while I have lunch.
Can you talk us through your career pre and post babies? How did you get back into the swing of things after having children?
Before having kids I was doing product development for Red Earth Cosmetics. I’ve always been a sucker for makeup so it was a perfect fit for me. But once I got pregnant I realized how difficult it was for pregnant women to find something cool to wear in Hong Kong so the idea of Nine Months was born. Running my own business made it easier to get back in to the swing of things because my schedule was flexible and I was able to work from home.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a parent?
Always keep your cool – kids really feed off the energy of people around them and the end result is always better if you can stay calm despite the kid-induced chaos!
Do you have any tips for any other aspiring “mamapreneurs”?
Don’t be afraid to ask for help. You really can’t do it all.
Activity that I do not love to do but do it anyway because my kids love it…
Visiting Ocean Park. We live close by so every time we drive by my daughter asks “can we go to Ocean Park today?” Sometimes I have to give in.
I wish I had more time for…
My most humbling mama moment was…
I have humbling moments almost daily. Every time your child does something new or makes you laugh it’s humbling.
Give us your essential new mama advice that might never occur to other women.
Get them on a schedule as soon as possible!
What’s your favourite family ritual?
Sunday morning breakfast.
I wake up in the middle of the night thinking about….
Fortunately I don’t. The only things that wake me up during the night are my kids.
Bedtime is always smoother when…
The kids haven’t had any sugar.
How has having kids changed the way you define work?
Work has to be flexible but it has to exist to keep me sane.
One thing I won’t sacrifice as a mama is…
My style. I will never wear track pants outside of the house.
My favourite moment of the day is…
Waking my youngest from her nap – warm, cuddly and quiet!
What advice would you give a working mama in Hong Kong?
Decide what are the most important things to do with your family and then with your work and make sure those happen…the rest will need to be sacrificed as you just can’t do it all!
Hey, psst: Got a bun in the oven? If so, you’re in luck as Nine Months is currently having a massive summer sale – we’re talking up to 50% off! Head to their boutique in Central (5/F Tung Yui Commercial Building, 31A Wyndham Street) or visit their website at www.ninemonthshk.com.