Inside the World of Taylor R, HK’s Superstar YouTuber Mom
Hong Kong/ Fashionista/ Style

Inside the World of Taylor R, Hong Kong’s Superstar YouTuber Mom

Inside the World of Taylor R H Ks Superstar You Tuber Mom Low

Famed YouTuber, fashionista figure, and mother Taylor Richard, known locally as Taylor R, wishes she had “a cool story of being discovered on the street or in a mall,” but the beginnings of her modelling career were “far from that.”

With more than 1.3 million YouTube subscribers and 577,000 Instagram followers, the 33-year-old former model-turned-content creator and new mother from Canada’s pathway to fandom and fame began in her teen years attending “go-sees” at modelling agencies in Toronto for contracts. "Long story short, I got a lot of nos (they always said I was too short) before I finally got a yes and began working in Toronto," said Taylor R.

Modelling work brought her to Tokyo, and then onwards to Hong Kong in 2010, where social media became a platform to connect with locals and share her hustle life in the city. The new mother to baby boy Levi recounted to The Beat Asia that using YouTube to vlog her daily life was key to establishing relationships in a new and lonely city. “I came here alone, so I was really craving interaction and wanting to meet more people,” she said in an interview.

Following a move to Hong Kong, Taylor’s YouTube account was a collection of her personal findings from her course studying dietetics at night school, and tips for makeup and styling tutorials learned through her modelling work. “The constant exploration of the things I was curious or passionate about,” Taylor said, drove her love for YouTube.

Cantonese culture has existed as an essential element in Taylor’s life, first appearing with the sharing of Hong Kong food, music, and games with her neighbours in her small Canadian town in Ontario, Canada. Fellow models in Tokyo suggested Taylor should travel to Hong Kong. "My mother agency reached out to some agencies here and got me a contract, then I got on a plane alone to live and work for a few months. I instantly fell in love with this city. It just felt like home, so I decided to stay.”

In her interview with The Beat Asia, Taylor finds three reasons why she instantly clicked with her home, Hong Kong: “The people! There’s a real sense of community here. I love how there are so many old family-owned businesses keeping the culture and traditions alive. When you walk into a local restaurant or cha chaan tang, you're treated like family, in a loving but no BS kind of way."

“The crazy busy fast-paced city, with pockets of calmness outside. The city's environment! I like how you can get anything done pretty much instantly at almost any hour. Living is easy and convenient."

“The food! I think Hong Kong is my favourite place in the world to eat. You can find delicious authentic food from so many different countries and cultures. For local dishes, my favourite would be dim sum or hot pot. I love little bites you can share with family or friends!”

Taylor's life pathway to eternal love and motherhood began with meeting her husband Tom, nicknamed “Elbow-san” by her global audience who typically only saw her then-boyfriend's elbow in the frame of YouTube videos.

“He is such a kind, calm, intelligent, hard-working human — he inspires me a lot,” said Taylor. The pair met through Facebook, “back then people were more willing to add friends of friends or people in your circle to make more connections. He was a friend of a friend and he reached out to me. We started talking and with time it turned into talking all the time. We spoke online for two months before we actually met. [B]y then, I had fallen so deeply in love with his personality that our real-life friendship naturally blossomed into a relationship over time.”

Tom proposed to Taylor after the pair dated for six years, eloping a year later in Hong Kong with a low-key ceremony at City Hall using Skype to share the special day with family abroad. “To us,” Taylor said, “a big wedding wasn’t really important — it’s what was to come after, building a home and family together.”

In beginning her family, Taylor did not shy away from hiding the testy struggles of her fertility and birthing her first child, sharing an intimate dive into her motherly life with Our Fertility Journey, a 17-video-long series capturing the countless doctor appointments, IVF tests, and ups and downs in the journey to becoming pregnant with her son, Levi.

“The purpose of me doing what I do has always been to interact with others through sharing my story and exploring my passions. I want my little corner of the internet to be a place where people can find acceptance, encouragement, feel uplifted, and learn new things. I hope to have a positive effect on people’s lives or even just spark something in them to try new things.”

“My community also does this for me. There’s so much great advice, recommendations and support I’ve received over the years. Having said that, my fertility journey and pregnancy was another part of my journey that I just knew I wanted to share and connect to people with. I hope that those going through the same struggles with getting pregnant can feel less alone and less scared of what may come. Or also those who know someone going through fertility treatments can understand what they’re going through and support them.”

Taylor said she received a wealth of messages from her community seeking health check-ups after putting it off or finally seeking the courage to “take the next step with their own fertility journey. If my content can give people the curiosity or courage to start looking into something more, feel less alone, or try new things that lead them down a different path, then I'm reaching my goal.”

When asked what she hopes motherhood will look like in her life in the future, Taylor replied: “Oh gosh, I don’t know! Motherhood is everything I wanted, yet not like what I expected so I don’t know what’s coming. I’m in a transitional phase right now where I’m still exploring who this version of Taylor is. The past me is there but it’s different. So much of my priorities, goals, and just how I view things have shifted. I’m learning new things about my son and myself every single day, so I don’t even know what tomorrow will be like.

“I hope to raise my son to be a kind, respectful, curious human that tries everything his heart leads him to. I can’t wait to find out more of who he is.”

Taylor commented she is most excited to see her son grow and develop. She wants to have another baby in a year and a half, recreating her family dynamics in her childhood with four children. Workwise, she is intent in collaborating with more Hong Kong creators and businesses, in a city bursting with creativity and talent.

In a message to her followers, joining her in every step throughout her online and offline journey, she said: “Just thank you. Whether you’ve been here since the beginning or just joined recently, I’m so grateful to walk a part of life together. Thank you for giving me a place where I get to be creative, get my feelings out, and make meaningful connections.”

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