Inside the Mind of Spoon Chan, Hong Kong’s Youthful Beauty and Fashion KOL
February 24, 2023
Indonesian-Hong Kong influencer Spoon Chan is an ever-popular face for beauty, fashion, and styling in the city. She leads over 140,000 followers on Instagram, sharing her routine and extraordinary life in Hong Kong being involved in the KOL and fashion industries.
Her YouTube channel, publishing makeup, fashion haul, travel and lifestyle vlogs under her pseudonym Lazy Dazzy (now Spoon Chan), have captured a strong following in a decade since the influencer began her online journey while studying at City University Hong Kong.
Working with Meta, Cathay Pacific, and Cosmopolitan Beauty Awards in recent months, we grabbed Spoon for a chat to explore her content creation journey and what path she’s created to explore her Indonesian, Chinese and Hong Kong cultural identities.
What was your youth and childhood like in Hong Kong? Do you have strong connections to your Indonesian side?
As much as I love Hong Kong and am so proud to call it my home, growing up in Hong Kong wasn’t easy for me as an immigrant kid. I encountered many third culture kid problems and struggles, cultural misunderstandings, and even racism throughout my childhood to teenage years. I was always seen as “different” for having darker skin and bringing traditional Indonesian snacks to school.
I’ve always thought, “who am I?” When I’m in Indonesia, the locals think I’m a foreigner, and when I’m in Hong Kong, the locals also think I’m a foreigner. This identity crisis is the epitome of being a third culture kid.
One thing about being between cultures is that you must navigate through speaking different languages. Born in Indonesia, I was first exposed to Bahasa, and I mainly speak Bahasa with my mother only. My father taught me Mandarin and Cantonese. I studied in a local school, so naturally Cantonese has become my most frequently spoken language. English is my fourth language, and I can also speak a handful of Korean from a semester abroad in Kyung Hee University in Seoul.
Whilst you were studying in university, what inspired you to begin your KOL career focusing on hair and makeup styling?
Most kids grow up and aspire to become a doctor, lawyer, or [towards a] professional career. Since the age of 10, I’ve always known that I wanted to become a content creator, and it’s surreal and amazing that I’ve achieved that goal.
I loved playing dress up as a kid. I would always steal my mum’s clothes, accessories and heels from her closet. Her outfits were always so catchy and bold, so I guess that’s how my interest in makeup and fashion started.
When I was a child, I loved looking at Xanga and Blogspot, where all the top KOL’s started their blogging journey, like Chiara Ferragni, Aimee Song, Jenn Im and Chriselle Lim. It was so simple and raw, but somehow, I was so fascinated and intrigued. I got sucked into their daily blogging, sharing their life, industry insights, knowledge and expertise. I wanted to be like them - to inspire and empower other individuals.
How did you begin your journey on YouTube?
I started my YouTube channel with my first video when I was 19, my second year of university. I love animation, graphic design and cinematography. I studied Creative Media at City University, so my college degree inspired my editing, visual effects and incorporating animation to my YouTube videos. Soon, my YouTube videos went viral and gained a following because they stood out from the crowd. Back in the day, everyone else’s video editing style was very simple and more on the vlogging style.
As soon as I graduated from university, I became a full-time content creator. I would fly out every month to attend global events hosted by brands like Dior Beauty, Estée Lauder, Too Faced, H&M and Benefit Cosmetics to represent Hong Kong.
Some of my favourite experiences are being the face of Bare Minerals, and interviewing Hailey Bieber at a global event in Tokyo in 2019, representing Hong Kong as the ambassador of Peninsula Hotels to join their global campaign, and becoming the tourism ambassador to Qantas Airlines promoting Sydney to Hong Kong.
What aspects of beauty, fashion, makeup and styling do you care about most and want to share online?
My content ranges from beauty, fashion and travelling to cooking. If it’s something I enjoy doing, it can be something I’ll share with my audience. I would love to focus on sharing more daily life vlogging, as I hope to engage with my audience more and become more vulnerable with my community in sharing more about my feelings and mental health related topics.
For long, I have been keen to share more about my culture and identity with my audience. I want to break down the misconception about my culture and want to reach out to more “Chindos” (Indonesian Chinese), third culture kids or any minorities like myself, to encourage them to embrace and spread our uniqueness with love and positivity. I want to use my platform to engage and educate more on multiculturalism and cultural identities.
What are some misconceptions about being a KOL, and content creating others may not understand?
The biggest misconception people have about being a content creator is the amount of work and effort that happens behind the scenes. Everything is well thought out and planned.
From brainstorming the storyboard, organising all the logistics, briefing the team and camera crew, shooting to post-production edits - it’s a lot of hard labour work without a big team, basically one-man-band [going] from zero to one hundred. There’s a lot of work behind every photo, reel and YouTube output.
I guess the misconceptions come from our content and job nature. Content creators are also part of the entertainment industry, in which our content always revolves around sharing fun, the latest and coolest trends, and what’s new in the market. We rarely show the nitty-gritty aspect of creating content.
What are your 2023 plans for your online career?
Where do I start?! There’s still so much I want to achieve. There are still milestones I want to reach, and business ventures I want to start in the beauty realm, and F&B, an industry my family has been part of for many years.
I’ve always wanted to have my own Indonesian pantry brand, which led me to my first F&B collaboration this year with Cookie DPT in September 2022. Just over Chinese New Year, I finally soft-launched my food brand Rumah which means “home” in Bahasa - it is a brand where family traditions are passed down through generations and a culinary pantry of our childhood favourites. Food that brings us closer to our culture.
You’ll see more of these types of collaborations next year. I don’t want to give too much away, but I’m excited for 2023 and new opportunities to come!
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