Gordon and Joey Hui first became partners in love, then in business. They tell Emilie Yabut-razon of the very personal inspiration behind Levitate, their family-oriented spa
hen gordon and joey Hui welcomed Victoria into their lives in 2013, they soon discovered their infant daughter suffered from colic. “She would eat, then throw up—something was wrong with her digestive system,” recalls Gordon. “We went to see a specialist and she didn’t recommend any medicine, but suggested that Victoria go to an infant masseur.”
Joey was sceptical at first, but after a few months they saw a dramatic improvement in Victoria’s condition. “It really made a big difference. We realised how helpful massages are not only for adults, but also for infants,” says Joey. And the benefits are not limited to digestive health; massage promotes regular sleep cycles and stimulates brain development.
The couple went in search of a familyfriendly spa where they could enjoy massages together and take their daughter, but to no avail—so they decided to do something about it. Enter Levitate, the family-oriented spa they have just opened in Aberdeen where children are welcome and a certified masseuse from the UK teaches parents the techniques of infant massage.
Joey and Gordon first met in early 2012 at the Rotary Club, where Joey was presidentelect and Gordon, who comes from a family of doctors, was a new member. “My family are all Rotary Club members, but I didn’t get an invite for 50 years,” jokes Gordon, who is chairman of luxury yacht company Sunseeker Asia. “When they finally invited me, I grabbed the opportunity. Then I realised I liked Joey and started turning up early for the meetings, saving a seat for her next to me.”
Joey is the entrepreneur behind stationery brand Handscript, which has a “notebook cafe” in Repulse Bay where people can chat over a cup of coffee while shopping for pretty journals and notepads. She believes success in business stems from having a real, personal interest in the product. “Sell what you love, because people can see from your eyes if you’re sincere,” she says, expressing a sentiment that certainly applies to Levitate.
“Before Joey and I met, I liked to get massages because I played for the school rugby team and rowed when I was younger. Both really finished my back,” says Gordon. “I think massage and therapy was the only way I could survive. Sometimes the pain would be so bad, I got headaches.”
For the busy couple, enjoying a massage together is quality time without parallel. Gordon has a packed schedule managing Sunseeker Asia’s franchises in 11 countries, entertaining clients and attending boat shows. Joey’s family printing business keeps her on the run as well, with frequent trips to the US, Germany and the UK.
To indulge their shared passion for massage while juggling their manic schedules, the couple initially blocked Saturdays off and invited therapists to their home. “It was a way for us to have quality time while being around Victoria,” says Joey. “This is how we got the idea of a place where the whole family can go together—a place where mum and dad can get their massages while the children spend time doing different activities.”
Children’s visits to Levitate don’t necessarily have to be for massages, says Joey. The spa’s facilities include a dedicated playroom, a supervised play area where arts and crafts classes are offered in the afternoons. The couple emphasise the need for families to spend time relaxing and enjoying a few hours of pampering together. Gordon adds, “There aren’t a lot of spas on the south side of Hong Kong—and I know this because we’ve been to all of them. Levitate is unique in its family-focused menu.”
The couple are confident in the concept behind the new venture and their motivation, which Gordon compares to the love of boats that led him to become involved with Sunseeker. “My parents had boats when I was young and my brother and I were always out sailing with them.” It’s all about challenging yourself and following your passions, he says. “When you are selling something that you like and the product is great, then success should be guaranteed.”