This month’s That Mama is Tiffany Pinkstone. Tiffany is a Sassy Mama who rules the art world in Hong Kong. We talk with Tiffany about her go-to organisational tips, her favourite art galleries in Hong Kong, and her two beautiful daughters.
Can you tell us a little bit about yourself, your family and your career?
I was born and raised in Hong Kong, and I went to university in Australia. I was fortunate enough to get a job back in HK immediately after graduating. I worked in the PR department for the Hong Kong Tourism Board. After a brief stint there I joined the PR team at the Holiday Inn, and after that I joined Sovereign to launch The Sovereign Art Foundation in 2003. I met my husband at university. He moved to Hong Kong with me, and we got married 13 years later. Last year, we had our twin girls, Amelia and Olivia.
Can you talk us through your career pre- and post-babies? How did you get back into the swing of things after having children?
I have always been career driven and I have always enjoyed working hard. I love my job because it introduces me to so many interesting people and it keeps me very busy. When I found out that I was pregnant, I had no idea how I was going to find the time to fit motherhood into my busy schedule.
It somehow wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be. I’m still able to find the time to get everything done. After I had the twins, I had no hesitation to go back to working full-time. I have a wonderful nanny, helpful friends, an incredibly hands-on hubby, supportive parents, and a very flexible workplace. With all of this support, the transition back into work was not too hard. I generally work from home in the morning, so even if I have an engagement in the evening, I still have plenty of time with the twins.
Could you tell us a bit more about what you do at the Sovereign Art Foundation?
I joined the Foundation in order to launch it 12 years ago. We run an annual arts prize that rewards the best contemporary artists from around the region. The top 30 finalists of the prize are exhibited in Hong Kong and then auctioned by Christie’s at a gala dinner where 50% of the proceeds go back to the participating artists and the remaining 50% goes towards the charitable causes of the Foundation.We have raised over US$5.5 million to date for artists and charities. We fund many arts programmes within community centres around Asia. The main aim is to use art as rehabilitation, education and therapy for disadvantaged children.
After celebrating our 10th anniversary for the Foundation, we started thinking about how we could develop these programmes further. We have done this now through our own flagship programme called Make It Better and now have our own full time arts teacher and programme manager. We currently hold weekly workshops across three different centres in Hong Kong which are SoCo and The Hub in Sham Shui Po, and then another with Chicken Soup Foundation in Kowloon City focusing on children with severe learning disabilities. We have been working very closely with the Hong Kong University’s Master of Expressive Arts Therapy and have had the help of their interns to guide us through the teaching process in order to use art in the most powerful way to empower and help these children. Our aim is to become the go-to arts programme for all children’s charities across Hong Kong. See our latest short film here!
How do you save time? What are your organisational tricks and tips?
I think the key is to not set yourself unattainable goals and expectations for the day! Also, I save a lot of time doing my shopping online! I order drinks, nappies, wet wipes from Park n Shop on a bi-weekly basis. I order our milk from Farm Milk. When the twins started on cows milk, I felt I was forever chasing the milk! For the nights when I know that I’m going to get home a little later, or simply be too pooped to cook, Secret Ingredient is my secret weapon.
Do you have any good tips for decorating a nursery?
Certainly helps to have an artist as a best friend!
Can you tell us a bit about the mural in your nursery?
The beautiful mural was painted by one of my best friends, and godmother to the twins, Pirate (sometimes known as Tanya Bennett). Opposite the mural, I have a piece of artwork that is very close to my heart. It’s a beautiful collaboration between Pirate and artist, Marc Standing and the wonderful children of Hagar International in Phnom Penh. Pirate and Marc ran a workshop for Hagar in Cambodia and spent the week working with children to produce this beautiful piece of art.
What art galleries would you recommend in Hong Kong?
With regards to visiting galleries either to buy or to just admire some beautiful works, 10 Chancery Lane Gallery has always represented amazing artists. Cat Street Gallery has great variety with more frequent shows than any other gallery. Christie’s opened their gallery last year, which few people seem realise is open to the public so you should definitely check their listings to see what they have on.
Can you recommend any fun art programmes for kids in Hong Kong?
Little Picasso is great. They are flexible, and hold regular scheduled art workshops that are a lot of fun.
Do you have a favourite family-friendly restaurant in Hong Kong?
We are big patrons of the Castelo Concepts restaurants with many weekend breakfasts at K-Town Bar and Grill and lunches at Oolaa. 208 and Catalunya also have kiddies rooms on weekends – we love them.
Where do you shop for children’s clothes in Hong Kong?
We are fortunate to get given so many beautiful clothes for these little girls that we have to buy very little, but when we do need some staples like t-shirts and bedsheets. I get a lot of the stuff online or from Next.
Favourite activity with the kids in Hong Kong?
We enjoy spending time by the Le Meridien pool at Cyberport.
Favourite family-friendly holiday spot in Asia?
Anywhere in South East Asia! Within the first year of having the twins, we went to both Philippines and Thailand. We found that everyone was so helpful and friendly – waiters were so happy to entertain the twins while we ate at restaurants. It was great!
Favourite date-night restaurants?
Arcane has now become our new fave restaurant in Hong Kong. I highly recommend it!
What’s on your reading-list this summer?
I am working my way through the Jo Nesbo list of crime novels.
My favourite moment of the day is…
Seeing the twins first thing in the morning.
What’s the best piece of advice you’ve received as a parent?
Drop the mother’s guilt! You can’t do everything but you can do what you can as best you can.
All the photos above were taken by the wonderful Sasha Tory of Sassy Media Group.