By the age of 34, Christy Liang already has an enviable list of achievements: from an undergraduate degree in bioengineering to a master’s degree in education; two kids; a thriving ready-to-wear bridal boutique, The Lace Atelier, which funds education ventures around the world; and sneaky hidden talents like her ability to play the harp, the piano, and the guzheng with equal conviction. Dare we mention that she is also a former competitive swimmer for the state of California? She’s breaking no Asian stereotypes over here, as she freely admits.
She lets Tatler in on motherhood, secret hobbies and the most ridiculous thing she’s ever heard about herself.
What does Hong Kong mean to you?
I moved from Boston to Hong Kong in 2012. I love everything about this place: the sights, the smells, the efficiency, the people (don’t be fooled by the brusque exterior) and the food. The food is incredible. I’ve tried a million versions of Hong Kong-style milk tea and love exploring little dai pai dong, hole in the wall restaurants with [my husband] Ben. But most of all Hong Kong represents home, as strange as that sounds, having been born and raised in the US. I met my husband here. I started a family here. Our closest friends who know us as a couple are here. I remember resenting going to Chinese school every Saturday morning and telling my mother that I’ll never live outside America. Well, I eat my words. Moms are always intuitively right.
Describe your business ventures.
When Ben and I got married in 2014, weddings were extravagant and highly wasteful. That was still the era of massive backdrops and elaborate stages. The next day all the decorations ended up in landfill. I kept thinking it would be amazing if a portion of what I spent on that one day could be used to do good. When we went to South Africa on our honeymoon, we spent two days volunteering at the education charity Eagles Rising. That in turn led me to consider the concept of dedicating a part of your wedding day costs to fund education. It started as a seedling idea back then and now every robe that gets sold from [my ready to wear bridal store] The Lace Atelier funds education ventures that we support.
Where did you study and what was your first job?
I studied bioengineering at Harvard and Education at University of Pennsylvania. My first job was in finance at a quantitative hedge fund in Boston. I loved it. The introvert in me thrived on doing back testing and regression analysis all day. Then I moved to Hong Kong and went into sales and trading.