THOUGHT LEADERS כ ح
Michelle Ong, founder of jewellery brand Carnet and charity First Initiative Foundation首飾品牌Carnet及領賢慈善基金創王辦人 幼倫
What was your inspiration for launching First Initiative Foundation in 2010?
I worked for more than 25 years on behalf of a variety of charitable organisations – all very worthy causes. Still, I saw areas that needed development and felt the time was right to start my foundation with an emphasis on the arts, culture and heritage.
How do you offer support in these areas?
I wanted to create really dynamic programmes with a lasting impact. We offer educational experiences, and always try to do more to maximise these experiences. If we sponsor an inspirational performance by an international artist, for example, how can we extend that initiative? We can include a music masterclass where Hong Kong students can learn directly from the artist.
FIF’s next educational outreach involves a dinosaur! Tell us about that project.
I wanted to make sure this year’s educational outreach would be a new and unforgettable experience for our community. We will unveil an exhibition of a signifcant and full-size T. Rex skeleton at IFC mall from 6 to 27 June, to coincide with the premiere of Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. It should be a fun adventure. It will also include a thigh bone that can be touched, a section of a dinosaur’s spine with a T. Rex toothmark, and a real T. Rex tooth to go with it. We will also launch an educational trail full of activities and learning experiences for families.
What’s the role of philanthropy today?
I think philanthropy begins with love of community. Philanthropy today should be creative and proactive, and no longer just about passive giving. It’s a connector, a motivator and a source of positive momentum. I always ask myself, ‘ What kind of support and exchanges will best enrich our community?’ If we want a lasting effect, we need to keep challenging ourselves to find the right areas for development and growth.
It was more than 20 years ago that you launched Carnet. How have you seen the luxury jewellery market change?
I see women embracing their individuality more and more. That confidence and independence directly affects the luxury jewellery market. Women are buying pieces to express themselves and their personal style. Add to this a greater freedom from rules – for instance, men wearing adornments such as brooches and lapel pins to express themselves through beautiful jewellery – it’s a highly creative market with unlimited possibilities.
How were the challenges of starting a brand back then different from how it would be today?
I think it’s always a challenge to start a new brand or business, now and then. It takes determination, hard work and real devotion. Of course, now we are all connected via the internet and social media, so perhaps the outreach to clients is a bit different – new brands need to compete with instant gratification these days. Carnet is fortunate to have built a level of trust with our clientele; our designs appeal to experienced collectors looking to invest in sophistication, time-honoured values and tradition.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Do what you love and love what you do. It makes life worth living. 是什麼驅使妳於2010年成立領賢慈善基金（ FIF）？
我為曾 不同的慈善團體效力逾25年雖，然它的們 宗旨都是造福社，群 非常得值支持，但我發現有一些領需域 要加強發 展，因此我得覺 是時候親自成立著重藝術、文化及歷史的基金會。
我希望創造充滿力量、影響深遠的。項目我們舉辦多項學習活動，並矢志多走一步，讓活動發揮最大效益。舉例說我， 們贊助一位海外藝術家來港進場行一 啟發思考的，表演 應如何延伸這個活動的？意義我可們 同時舉辦大師音樂班，讓香港學生直接從這位藝術家身上學習。
我希我很 望 們今年的教育外展活為動會 本地社群帶來別開生面的難忘經歷。月由6 6至27日我， 們將於國際金融中心商場展出一副讓人歎為止觀 的大暴龍骨架，同期將會首映電影《侏羅紀世界：失迷國度》。我們將展覽塑造成一場趣有 的歷奇活動，展品包可括 讓人親自觸摸的恐龍股骨、一節恐龍脊骨，上面有一個清晰的暴龍牙印，還有一枚真的暴龍牙齒！我們亦在場內設置教，育徑 讓一家大小參與豐富的，活動 一起學習。
我認為慈善工作源於社區關愛。的現今 慈善動發活應 揮創意，採取積極主動的策略，而非只是被動的施予。慈善活可動擔當聯繫和推動社的群 角色，社為注會入正。能量我常經 撫心自問︰「哪種支援和交流最能令我們的社群受惠？」假如希望慈善工作影響遠我深 ，需們 要不斷挑戰自己，需發掘 要發展的合適領。域
我目睹女性愈來愈接受自己的獨特個性，而這種自信獨立的精神直接響影 奢華首飾市，場日今 的女性會選購能表達我自 和個人風格的首飾。此外，我們對首飾沒已 有太多規限，譬如男性除了袖扣之外，亦有佩其戴 他飾物如胸針和領針來表達自己，可見這個創意十足的市場充滿無限可能。
無論以前或現在，創立新品牌或公司永遠都是一項挑戰，必須擁有決、心 努力和全心奉獻。，當然 我們現時都靠互聯網和社交媒體，聯繫 因此接觸潛在顧方客的 式或許有所不同，新品牌亦需照顧顧現今 客需要即時滿足的期望。Carnet有幸獲得我們顧客的，的信任 品牌 設計一直能滿足追求高雅、傳有承 價值及傳的統 收藏家。
PHILANTHROPY TODAY SHOULD BE CREATIVE AND PROACTIVE, AND NO LONGER JUST ABOUT PASSIVE GIVING現今的慈善活發動應 揮創意，