Cover Kirsten and Angie Ting with their dog Swifty at their home in Repulse Bay (Photo: Affa Chan/ Tatler Hong Kong)

Kirsten Ting was only a baby when she first appeared in Tatler with her mother Angie in 2004. The two look back in time and discuss what makes their bond so special

Being born into the family behind one of the largest toy manufacturers in Asia must have been like living in Disneyland for Kirsten Ting when she was growing up. Her parents Angie and Ivan Ting run Kader Holdings Company, founded by Ivan’s father in 1948. After the 17-year-old recently returned from boarding school in Massachusetts, she and her mother looked back at the time they appeared in Tatler together.

Although her days are busy running the family business as well as two eco-friendly children’s brands, Apple Park and Organic Farm Buddies, Angie’s top priority is still being a mother to Kirsten and her younger brother Gratian. “Kirsten has completely changed my life,” Angie said in 2004. The duo tells Tatler how they’re now closer than ever, even while living far apart.

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Angie Ting

What do you remember about this photoshoot?

We shot this at our home. Kirsten was just 11 weeks old and constantly either napping, needing to be fed or crying. It was a major challenge. I tried very hard to time the shoot to fit Kirsten’s nap schedule.

What has been your proudest moment as a mother?

When Kirsten won an academic prize at her school when she was 13. The moment they announced her name at the ceremony brought a feeling that’s hard to describe.

I’m also proud of our close relationship and how she is loving, caring and thoughtful. Even at boarding school, she calls me every day for a chat—even for a quick “goodnight”.

What is the hardest thing about being a mother?

Understanding that your children are not you and not who you want them to be. That their strengths and weaknesses are different from your own. I’ve learnt to appreciate, accept and help them grow in their own ways.

What do you miss most when Kirsten is away at school?

I always loved coming home from work and seeing her at her desk in her room. Kissing her goodnight at bedtime. Dining together on weekends or picking her up from school. The house is too quiet when she is not there.

How have the two of you spent your summer together?

We were lucky to be able to travel safely this summer. We spent her 17th birthday in New York City, then visited Los Angeles, Napa and Lake Tahoe.

Kirsten Ting

Describe your mother in three words.

Patient, selfless and thoughtful.

What do you admire most about her?

She loves music, and some of my favourite memories of home are when the family gathers around the piano to hear her play. My dorm at school has a piano, and she plays it whenever she visits me.

If you could steal anything from her closet, what would it be?

She has this one pair of Ferragamo heels with her initials engraved on the soles. She’s never worn them because they’re five inches high. I’ve tried walking around the house in them, but I really want to wear them outside.

What do you wish she knew about you?

I think she sometimes worries about me because I like to spend a lot of time at home. She’s always telling me to be more extroverted. I want her to know that my social life is doing just fine and that I just like being at home with my dog, Swifty.

Which of her lessons has stuck with you?

To never go to bed with wet hair.

What is your strongest memory of your mother from your childhood?

In primary school, whenever I had a test, Mom would always take me to school so we could revise in the car together. I’ve always attributed not failing at school to those morning study sessions.

What is one quality you wish you had of hers?

I wish I had her patience; she rarely loses her temper, even when my brother and I are being disruptive, gremlin children. I tend to be a little impatient, so I still have a lot to learn from her.

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