April Magazine’s Lovely Workshop in Hong Kong

A lovely workshop in Hong Kong
Photo source: Meiying Ng, Unsplash

April Magazine Team in Hong Kong

About a decade ago, working in a cosmopolitan media setup would mean landing a 9 to 5 job at an established publication that would send you to travel the world and meet corporate people if you were lucky enough to move to a city like New York or Hong Kong where it’s based. Fast-forward to our modern technological era, working and learning with people of diverse cultures, race, and backgrounds in the media startup scene is no longer difficult to imagine.

April Magazine, as a global online media, has been enjoying the beauty of virtually working together to share empowering stories of Asian Women since 2017. Last December, our team went on a trip for a business workshop. From Seoul and Manila, we decided to head to a city that is most suitable for the setting – Hong Kong. Our plan was to review our growth of past year, plan the future of next year, and to finally see each other in person after working for months remotely.

To be fully immersed in the sophisticated city life in Hong Kong, we booked accommodation in the Central at Lan Kwai Fong Hotel. It is a sophisticated yet cosy boutique hotel situated at Kau U Fong, where every street connecting you to major transportation networks is comprised of quirky stores embracing the diversely rich culture of Hong Kong.

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Lan Kwai Fong Hotel Kau U Fong(@lankwaifonghotelkauufong)님의 공유 게시물님, 2017 3월 8 12:27오전 PST

How to build a team

You can discuss the financial plan and marketing strategy all you want over online tools. The startup scene is filled with the latest support for remote work. But every now and then, you just need to meet who you work with, share the snippets of lives, and the joy and embarrassment of togetherness.

So between heavy business talks, we squeezed in the interpersonal connection building events, namely the fun part of the workshop.

1. Exploring the city

Our editor-in-chief Youjin reminisced, “There was a time all I wanted to be was a part of Hong Kong, reading the South China Morning Post and working with the professionals from the whole world in the same skyscraper. Now I look back, it was the sense of ambition.”

Hong Kong’s breathtaking cityscape is a feast for the eyes and soul. As we let our eyes gaze through the jovial lights enveloping the city’s towering buildings, the country’s global picture becomes more apparent.

At night time, we took the ferry to Tsim Sha Tsui for a landscape view of the city. We also had the chance to catch the Symphony of Lights – one of the main tourist attractions of the country. As we take a stroll around the city, we also spotted shops from proud Asian brands we previously featured like Vivienne Tam and Shanghai Tang.

Youjin, our editor-in-chief, walking on the streets of Hong Kong

2. Visiting Cultural Exhibits and Art Galleries

Our hotel is just two minutes away from PMQ. If you’d love to explore the designs of local artists and innovative indie brands, this would make a great stopover. We explored each floor and saw a variety of pop-up stores channeling diverse designs—from streetwear to woodwork. PMQ has small cafes as well, so we stopped by in one to discuss editorial plans for April Magazine, as well as the rest of our itinerary.

We visited Tai Kwun Centre for Heritage and Arts to learn and discover a part of Hong Kong’s heritage, and we were fortunate enough to catch the ‘Salute to Kwan Kung’ historical exhibit. And we made sure to drop by the world-class galleries like Gagosian, White Cube, and Opera Gallery.

3. Afternoon tea and meeting our writers

What better way to brainstorm for ideas than over an afternoon tea. We had a pleasure of great menu at Hotel ICON. Hotel ICON started as a testbed for the hotel school of Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and now it’s considered as one of the best hotels in Hong Kong. Located in the middle of the old business center in Kowloon, it welcomes you with a lush vertical garden and shy smile of student/staff. And that was the spirit of young innovation we hoped to adopt.

As we have writers and journalists all over the globe, we took advantage of this workshop trip to meet some of them who are currently based in Hong Kong as well. Our contributing writers, who are also journalists by profession, took their time to share their ideas over dinner and drink. On the rooftop of IFC, the center of international business in Hong Kong, we talked of life and work as Asian women living in a worldly place like Hong Kong. The conclusion: It’s hard and inspiring, the order changing every day.

What’s it like to work as April Magazine Team

The beauty of being in a media startup covering diverse cultural topics is that the source of ideas is vast. This modern cosmopolitan work setup allows women to work freely at their own pace, in an environment where they have the option to fully enjoy. Whichever country you are in, whatever your itinerary is, being observant enough in your surroundings can give you hundreds of ideas to write and share about.

On the other hand, the world is not an open oyster for digital media startups. In the fast-changing business scene, we don’t know for sure how long can we thrive, and how many workshops we can have in the future. Thus, we try to enjoy the meaningful work we do and the brilliant people we work with every day we can.

from left, Yenni Kwok (contributor), Andrea Centeno (marketing manager), Jihyun Kim (contributor), and Youjin Lee (editor-in-chief)

More than a trip, this workshop made us explore, create and learn things together – as a team.

Andrea Centeno

Andrea is a beauty blogger and a makeup aficionado based in Manila, Philippines. In her blog, Shimmering Thoughts, she shares her love for K-Beauty and K-Pop through product reviews, makeup tutorials, and documents the exclusive media events she's been to.

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