To celebrate international woman's day we have hand picked 4 amazing woman and asked them a few questions.
First up is a woman Mazu Resortwear has worked with before and admire with her excellent work ethic, Laura Verbrugge.
1) Tell us about yourself? I am Laura, Charter Broker for ASIAMARINE & FRASER YACHTS. I'am a 29 years old frenchy based in HK for 4 years.
2) What motivated & inspired you to become a Charter Broker? I just loved so much being on the sea while cruising. For me is the best relaxation I can have so I wanted to share with people how good is it.
3) To what do you attribute to your success? My passion and energy. I am trying to always do the best for my client read under the lines. I am also available anytime for them it's a 365 days job!
4) Can you take us through one of your average days? Visiting yacht in the morning to find new product for my client, then checking email at the office, working on nice holiday itinerary for my client. Afternoon chasing client, usually following with drinks or with actual client or to meet new people. At night mostly pick up the phone to reply enquiry :)
5) What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them? Boat broken just before a charter ... So I have literally just a few hours to find a solution to not make the client disappointed ! I am lucky that one of my biggest strength is to know many owners that has been just super helpful! So conclusion: never be shy to use your network and ask for help!
6) Who is your favourite female inspiration? All the women are inspiration :)
7) Where is your favourite place you've ever visited? There are so many! Hard question, but I will say that the Caribbean as the vibe that I like and beautiful underwater life.
8) You're shopping on mazuresortwear.com for a gift, which item would you pick? I have bought many for my boyfriend! But my fav one is the navy blue with the red sampan ;) and everybody loves it ! The bamboo one in light blue is my next one on the list!
Next up is an incredible woman who has represented her country at the highest level in the world of equestrian sports. Raena Leung is true representation of international woman's day.
1) Tell us about yourself? I grew up in Hong Kong and started to ride at the age of 6. After getting my Masters degree in Sport & Exercise Psychology in 2011, I based myself in Europe and started to ride full time to pursue a professional career. Since then some of my highlights include being the first Hong Kong rider to jump at a World Cup Final in 2013, the first Hong Kong rider to jump at a World Equestrian Games in 2014, I competed at the Asian Games in Incheon 2014 and Jarkarta 2018, and most recently the inaugural Asian Championships in Pattaya Thailand.
2) What motivated & inspired you to become an equestrian athlete? I’ve always liked animals and was sporty since I was young so I guess the combination came together quite naturally. The sport is so unique because men and women compete equally as it isn’t necessarily judged on physical aspects like strength, but about how strong your partnership is with your horse. I love working with different horses and to try to figure out what is the best way to bring out their full potential. Its definitely become my passion and I'm lucky I get to pursue it as a career.
3) To what do you attribute to your success? My determination and productivity
4) Can you take us through one of your average days? My routine mainly revolves around the horses and their needs. Besides just riding and training them, there are also important aspects like stable management and horse care. On a non-competing day, I try to ride all my horses in the morning so I can have the afternoon to focus on myself. On a competition day, I make a plan the night before that revolves around the competition times. I ride each horse for about 30 minutes a few hours before their respective competitions to give them a stretch. As the timetable is set by the organizers, I try to make sure I can fit in my meals at least 2 hours before any competitions. Then about 15-20 minutes before each competition, I walk the course and also give myself some time to mentally prep before I get on to warm up the horses. Then before I go into the arena, I rehearse the course path in my head and then start when the bell rings. After competing, I warm down the horse and if necessary, give extra care like icing their legs to help them with recovery.
5) What challenges have you faced and how did you over come them? Every horse is different and you have to learn to adapt and bond with them in order to build a strong partnership. Some horses have difficult temperaments so it can be a real challenge sometimes, and you have to take the time to get to know them. It can be a long process so patience and empathy is key. The life as an athlete is not a smooth one, there will be good days and there will be bad ones and there is no doubt you will make mistakes along the way. I've had many falls over the years, or have had to change my plans when a horse or myself become unexpectedly injured, but you learn to shrug off the mistakes and adapt to a new plan. I think the most important part is to embrace that it is part of the sport.
6) Who is your favourite female inspiration? J.Lo is the epitome of fitspiration at the age of 50. I also really like Phoebe Waller-Bridge after seeing her work like Fleabag and Killing Eve.
7) Where is your favourite place you've ever visited? Malta. I love being close to the sea. The waters there are turquoise and the views are stunning.
8) You're shopping on mazuresortwear.com for a gift, which item would you pick? The "Tai O" as proceeds from every pair of pink dolphin swim shorts will benefit the Hong Kong Dolphin Conservation Society (HKDCS)!
Our third incredible woman is something that has been taking a different approach to education. We have worked closely with her a lot perviously. Best example is an interview Mazu Resortwear founder did for her youtube channel (click here to watch the full interview). The amazing, Natalie Chan.
1) Tell us about yourself? - Natalie Chan is an engineer, corporate professional, film producer, adventure seeker, educator, entrepreneur and a member of the Global Shaper community. Chan's dedication in education was sparked from the realization that there is a gap between schools and the real world. In order to fix that, Chan founded OWN Academy in 2016, a 21st Century education solution with a focus on empowering the next generation to be changemakers and problem solvers of the future. Her goal is to unlock students’ motivation by bridging industry into schools through partnering with corporations and organizations to create experiential programs. As a result of Chan's diverse achievements, she was selected as one of Davos 50, representing Asian youths to attend the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in 2019, and selected into Ashoka’s Changemaker x Change program.
2) What motivated & inspired you to start OWN Academy? - There are too many people living a life based on someone else's expectations of them and they are not happy, I want to empower them to take ownership over their own lives. I believe if people are happy, the world is happy. Also, there are a lot of hidden talents in us that are undiscovered unless we realize the potentials to us. So I look for inspiring people as role models.
3) To what do you attribute to your success? - Conviction, Hardwork and Many people who have helped and supported along the way.
4) Can you take us through one of your average days? Every day is different, I am not a coffee drinker, so I do not have a coffee habit. One of my constant goals is to get as many professionals and companies onboard with OWN Academy's mission, so I'm always meeting new companies, professionals, schools, parents to share our story with them and bring them on the journey. I always make time for my team to connect with, I can never escape A LOT of email writing, and I wind down with a workout or meditate.
5) What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them? - I have faced many challenges, from rejections to nothing goes as planned, I overcome it by believing that there is a reason for everything to happen, there is a learning from every challenge and to never stop moving forward.
6) Who is your favourite female inspiration? Oprah Winfrey because of how she overcame adversity and was able to turn suffering into power and empower many people in the world.
7) Where is your favourite place you've ever visited? Iran, contrary to the way media portrays it, it was a beautiful country, people were so hospitable and the culture was so special.
8) You're shopping on mazuresortwear.com for a gift, which item would you pick? I love them all. But if I have to pick one, no doubt, the sustainable bottled swim trunks, which is coming out soon!
Lastly, is a woman with incredible drive and determination. A woman with such a big heart she puts everything into what she does. The unbelievably talented, Jennifer Mackay!
1) Tell us about yourself? I'm a personal trainer based in Hong Kong, where I was born and raised. I'm not so good with talking about myself, so I'll leave it there :)
2) What motivated & inspired you to start personal trainer? I've always had a strong passion for sports. After studying Sport Science at The University of Hong Kong, I started working at a gym because it seemed to be the most relevant to my studies and therefore an easy fit. I didn't intend to become a trainer, but immediately fell in love with it. Being able to build relationships with so many wonderful people, and to play a small role in their health & fitness journey, is always going to be the thing that motivates and inspires me with what I do.
3) To what do you attribute to your success? The key to being successful in this industry is to keep learning, to stay humble and to understand your clients. You also have to absolutely love what you do. The health and fitness world is constantly evolving, and it's crucial to make a continuous effort to up-skill and evolve yourself too. Those who think they know it all, don't know much at all.
4) Can you take us through one of your average days? On paper, an average day of a personal trainer isn't very exciting - I'm awake at the crack of dawn and at the gym for hours at a time. I'll see anywhere between 4 to 8 clients a day. Coach, eat, train, repeat. I love it though, and am always grateful to be able to do what I love as a job.
5) What challenges have you faced and how did you overcome them? A recent challenge I faced was having ACL reconstruction on my left knee last year. Despite playing competitive sport for years, I've never had a serious injury or surgery before. I've always lived a very active lifestyle, so when the ability to move my body when I wanted and how I wanted was momentarily taken away, it was definitely a challenge. A challenge is always a lesson, and this one taught me about patience, trusting the process and the importance of your mental attitude and grit, day in and day out.
6) Who is your favourite female inspiration? I train females from all walks of life, and each one of them inspire me in their own special way. Lawyers, doctors, entrepreneurs, mothers and more... they are all smart, independent, strong and supportive women who continue to look for ways to improve themselves and overcome challenges to reach their potential.
7) Where is your favourite place you've ever visited? It's impossible to pick just one place. Asia is my home, and I'm a sucker for a beach, the sea and a glowing sunset.
8) You're shopping on mazuresortwear.com for a gift, which item would you pick? The Guilin Rafting
We want to thank all these incredible woman's for helping us celebrate international woman's day! All of you ladies are true inspirations. You are all special in your own way and the world is a better place with you guys in it.