A born-and-raised Hongkonger, Nicholas Chow is often seen hanging out with the city’s flashest scions and his infectious personality leaves few immune to his charms. His visit to the Tatler office last year had the team erupting with laughter as he recounted fun travel memories and his favourite eateries in the city. In recent years, Chow has channelled his charisma and influence towards raising the profile of lab-grown diamonds, a more ethical choice than traditionally mined gems.
On a mission to change the way fine jewellery is perceived, Chow and his family launched 5 + 2, a jewellery brand selling lab-grown diamonds, in 2013. “5 + 2 is a feeling of confidence, creativity, comfort and class to inspire you to live life on your own terms,” he says. “I was inspired to get into lab-grown jewellery by the thought of all the jewellery people have locked up in their safes. Jewellery should be worn all the time. As Carrie Bradshaw said: ‘I like my money right where I can see it’.”
Today, the affordable fine jewellery brand is available for purchase on their website Weekdays and Weekends as well as at the Asaya at the Rosewood Hong Kong. Here, Chow tells Tatler about the intricacies of working with family, the role feng shui plays in 5 + 2’s designs, and his biggest guilty pleasure. Hint: it’s food-related.
What makes someone a real Hongkonger?
You don’t use the hashtags #homekong or #hongkonger on your Instagram.
Where did you study and what was your first job?
I studied at La Salle College in Kowloon for primary and secondary school and went to university in Switzerland to study luxury brand management. My first job was interning at Commercial Radio Hong Kong when I was 17. I was assigned to work alongside one of their most popular shows back then. I received the opportunity to interview people on the street, work with DJs, singers, actors and actresses. It was an eye-opening experience for a 17-year-old.
How did you make your start in the jewellery world?
Since I was a child, I’ve always been fascinated with Disney and have always wanted to be a princess. Growing up, I realised it might be less complicated to make myself a tiara than to marry a prince. Jokes aside, I’ve always been enchanted by gemstones. However, only those in the upper echelons of society can afford fine jewellery. I have always wanted my own brand: to create something that’s unique and something that addresses these frustrations.
Tell me about the name 5 + 2?
I want to create something that is fun for every day. I thought of five weekdays and two weekends. In other words, 5 + 2. Continuing this train of thought of everyday wear, the removal of the “+” from the equation is a reference to there being 52 weeks in a year. 5 + 2 also represents my family: five siblings and two parents.
What is your role in the company?
My role changes depending on the situation. I believe being an entrepreneur means being a jack of all trades.