Monday, November 5, 2012

Jewelry design tour: Hong Kong

I traveled to Asia for the first time in 2002 for the jewelry company I worked for at the time. My mission was to work directly with our overseas designers in Hong Kong and to visit jewelry factories there, in Bangkok and in India.  I was so excited to get to travel to these beautiful countries even if it was for work.  The bridge above is one of the first things I remember about that trip, jet-lagged from the 12 hour flight, it was beautiful, architectural and it took me over the water into Hong Kong.

Hong Kong has bright lights, a polluted harbor, clothing stores, world-class restaurants and is bustling with millions of people. It reminded me of my home in NYC. :-) I loved it there!

Our Hong Kong designers were even nicer in person than over e-mail. It was great to put faces to the names of the people I had been working with for a year. And I was so busy, I barely had time to actually see anything other than the inside of the office!  Our vendors were kind and took me out for dinner most of the time, since I had no idea where to go other than the hotel restaurant.

This was my view of Victoria Peak, hidden behind the storm clouds. We would stay on the Kowloon side of the harbor across from The Peak. Jet lag would make me get up by 4am. So in the mornings I would go to the gym at the top of the hotel and run on a treadmill as I watched the sun rise over the harbor. There's now a giant skyscraper in that view, I saw it being built over a few trips to Hong Kong, and to me it looks like a giant electric razor.

One night, my co-worker and I ventured out and took a funicular to the top of The Peak. We had dinner at the top, gazing down at the lights of the city and the sparkling water of Victoria Harbor. It was a once-in-a-lifetime experience, I can still remember sipping a glass of wine and feeling so small as we looked at this beautiful city.

This isn't my photo but it's similar to the view that night:

One of the neatest things I saw were the 'junk boats' which are fishing boats, out on the harbor. I felt like I had stepped back in time, or maybe went to the future where Kevin Costner ruled Waterworld.

Crazy to see the contrast between the old fashioned junk boats and the uber-modern city buildings. I had such a great time in Hong Kong, even though my hair was a frizzy mess the entire time (it's not the heat, it's the humidity). My Metropolis line was inspired by the beautiful modern buildings of the big cities I've visited, including my home NYC.  This is one of my most popular ring designs in recycled mixed metals:

But sadly I had to move on to my next stop: Bangkok! To be continued...

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