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Jessi Chloe Chen on Japanese Real Estate, Bespoke Flowers, and Mental Health
by: Rubin Verebes
April 28, 2022
Jessi Chloe Chen wears many hats. She is the managing director of a Japanese luxury residential property development company, Fuin, here in Hong Kong, and runs a successful boutique floral gifting business, advocates for mental health in Hong Kong chatting with professionals, and eats and breathes food.
With restrictions set to expire during early spring, Jessi is gearing up to launch their latest development, AMOMA Atami, a 28-villa residence on the Izu peninsula in Japan, re-launch her boutique flower business, ANDRSN Flowers, and adventure back into Hong Kong’s socialising world.
The Beat Asia sat down with the influencer and businesswoman to chat about the present and future for her business and life in the city!
On working with Fuin Holdings and their most recent luxury residential project, AMOMA Japan
"I am the managing director of the Hong Kong office [at Fuin Holdings, developing] high-end luxury residences in Japan. I manage our sales and marketing [Asia-wide]. Fuin’s ethos is to create exceptional living spaces for the most discerning, and to be a curator of the ultimate lifestyle. I would say the Fuin experience remains grounded in real estate and aspires to be present in all elements of our daily lives.”
“With this in mind the AMOMA residential brand was launched for the Japanese market. The brand offers our clients access to the most exclusive residential offerings in Japan with all of our locations offering fully furnished and serviced residences for private purchase.”
“The experience extends beyond the properties themselves with bespoke Rolls-Royce and VistaJet services all overseen by a concierge team who direct all aspects of the operations of the homes. AMOMA is based on a total commitment, driven by the belief that the ultimate expression of luxury is the curation of beauty in all of the spaces that we inhabit and the experiences we encounter.”
On a fresh look with boutique florets with ANDRSN Flowers
“ANDRSN Flowers begun as a passion project for me. I have a love for minimalist design and flowers. ANDRSN is named after Anderson Street - the street I grew up on which is a stone’s throw from Melbourne’s Royal BotanicGardens.”
“Beautiful flowers, roses especially, were always apparent in our upbringing in Australia – be it in the botanicalgardens or in our own backyards. We wanted to transport and curate that special experience and take it with us to Hong Kong”
“I saw a gap in the market for floral bouquets that were affordable, yet maintained premium quality and a modern aesthetic, ANDRSN offers a contemporary solution for Hong Kong customers looking for both quality and design.”
"When I first started the company, at that that time, modern bouquets could only be found in high-end, pricey bouquets, otherwise your only other choice were more local florists with cellophane wrapping and with plastic bows. There wasn't an offering in that mid-range price point that was ascetically pleasing that had a point of difference in terms of design and presentation. That's where we saw a gap in the market; we found a sweet spot.”
“We have been in operation for four years now. I am excited for the relaunch of our website for Mother's Day, coming out with new products and working on collaborations with different fashion brands in the future.”
On tackling Hong Kong’s mental health crisis with Talking Mental
“Talking Mental was founded by two of my friends, Aaron Stadlin-Robbie and Annie McManus. When he had the idea for [Taking Mental, Aaron] approached me and asked if I wanted to be involved in tackling mental health in Hong Kong. He told me [about] his struggles with mental health in the form of panic attacks and anxiety.”
“He basically spent, you know, over two years, on his own kind of journey to find answers as to why this was happening to him, what the triggers were, and just getting a better understanding of mental health in general and what panic attacks were. The project really resonated with me as I had suffered from panic attacks and have had anxiety as well.”
“The whole point of Talking Mental was Aaron’s quest to find answers. He found it difficult to have a conversation with anybody about mental health, it’s such a taboo thing, and getting professional health is so pricey, like over HK$2,000 if you're lucky to have a one-on-one appointment.
“He asked, if I'm having these conversations with doctors, why don't we record it and turn it into a podcast? We created an open platform where anyone can go to and use it as a resource because in him asking these questions and speaking to these doctors, maybe they're the same questions other people might have, that suffer from mental health issues.
“On our podcast and panel discussions our guest speakers include psychologists, psychiatrists, counsellors, nutritionists, and other experts in the field where we have open and honest conversations with him in their respective field. We now have ten episodes live on our website.”
“From that, we turned it into live panel discussions where people can sign up and join this live panel discussion. We have two or three guests on the panel, doctors or counsellors, and other notable people in the community that have suffered from mental health issues in the past can speak on their experiences and create conversation about mental health and make it less of a taboo subject."
On her 2022 and progress with herself and mental health
“I think I've been doing a lot of internal work. I think everyone's been forced into a very confrontational exercise during this whole COVID period. People have had to reassess and revaluate their life and what they're doing, what they enjoy, and really, taking it back to the basics.”
“I have become more household and family-focused, on improving my own health and mental health, and our life.”
"I am just trying to find the silver lining in the day to day with all the restrictions that you know, you and I and everybody in Hong Kong has been going through, trying to make it less mundane and appreciate the little and simpler things in life.”
“Once restrictions are fully lifted for sure I'd love to have a drink with friends. I have a lot of friends with young children, so I haven't been able to see them. Face to face connection, sharing a meal with a big group of friends would be great.”
On her snazzy Instagram and online adventures with friends
“Instagram is a funny thing. I was a very early adopter of Instagram. My followers organically grew into what it is now. I honestly have not put much effort or attention into [my Instagram] in terms of content creation. It’s just been an addition to my everyday life and just a reflection of who I am.”
“I want it to be an organic, authentic portrayal of my everyday life and what I like and what I enjoy, so I rarely post anything that is too brandy."
On jokey couple foodie Instagram account Feeding Ben
"My husband complains that Feeding Ben has been on a hiatus for too long and asking when I’ll start cooking regularly again. I started the account as a joke when we were in the thick of lock-down restrictions [in May 2020] and needed activities to keep myself busy and entertained. The one-liner in the account bio was “one-handed cooking for the [engagement ring emoji]”– which turned out to be a success ‘cause he happened to propose during that lock down period [laughs]. He jokes that now that we’re married he’s no longer getting fed, the poor guy.”
"I do love cooking though. It's something that I did a lot of growing up with Australia, and learned mostly from my [Shanghainese] mom. I'm really grateful that that she passed on those cooking skills!”
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