Heidi Is The Creative Director with CARAT* London
What’s your story?
Originally from the States, I studied Art & Design in St. Louis and in Paris. In my youth, I had a stint working with DJ/musician Steve Aoki in LA when he had a small Indie record label. This was during the MySpace days, before Facebook and Instagram, so it was very hands on. After quitting the music and nightlife scene, I moved to Europe to design products for industrial designer Arik Levy. Working closely with such huge entrepreneurial creatives influenced my future path and ultimately brought me to work with Scott.
With CARAT*, my main focus is the management of creative ideas within the business. Scott and I work together in overseeing the design and communications of the brand. It’s been a wild ride so far but we are enjoying every minute of it.
What excites you most about your industry?
The dynamism. Jewellery has always been a niche market and mid-range jewellery even more so. In recent years, the world of fashion jewellery has become more ubiquitous and very much tied in with fashion and trends. I love jewellery because it can be both timeless and versatile at the same time.
What’s your connection to Asia?
I came to Hong Kong from Paris, at the time, with the intention of staying for 3 months. After 10 years, I’m still here. I met my husband here and now we are a family with 3 kids. Hong Kong has become our home.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
I am a little biased because my origins are Korean but I would say Seoul, hands down. Such a vibrant city, where traditional and modern elements are equally present. The vibes there are very forward-moving. Everytime I go, I discover something completely new, completely unexpected.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
“If you’re going through hell, keep going.” This saying is often attributed to Winston Churchill.
Who inspires you?
Hardworking, determined, passionate people. Currently I am super inspired by the New York chef Gabrielle Hamilton who was forced to close her 20-year-old restaurant “Prune” in Brooklyn due to recent circumstances. She wrote an essay about it in the New York Times. It is super heart-wrenching, raw and honest. She has an incredible talent for being able to articulate her thoughts in such a powerful way.
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
The garden snails my daughters brought home can live up to 2 years on average.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
I would have taken more advantage of learning opportunities during my student internship days. I’d network and use close resources more. I’d also not be afraid to ask all the silly questions. Days as a student are the best time to learn and to hustle.
How do you unwind?
Yoga, spa face masks, and playing with my kids with no screens around.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Kyoto, Japan, for the hot springs, cool, handcrafted artisanal finds, and the sense of calm I feel within the traditional architecture of the city.
Everyone in business should read this book:
“Whatever You Think, Think The Opposite,” by Paul Arden. As Google Books states, it “gives you the confidence to take bigger risks and enjoy your work more than you can imagine.”
Shameless plug for your business:
We are very proud and excited about our new range of lab-grown diamonds. Gentle Diamonds is a new generation of diamond for a new generation. A pure and clean diamond that is a true representation of love and the bond between two people. We will soon be offering this to the Asian market in the coming months. www.caratlondon.com
How can people connect with you?
Instagram: @caratlondon / @heidikthompson
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.