Founder of Caelum Greene Charlotte Tsuei talks activewear, wellness and entrepreneurship
Hailed as Hong Kong’s first fashion boutique dedicated to athleisure, Caelum Greene is already expanding its territory with an upcoming pop-up in The Landmark. We speak to founder Charlotte Tsuei about why she felt the need to set up a lifestyle concept store that fuses style and wellness.
WHY DID YOU DECIDE TO SET UP CAELUM GREENE?
Caelum Green is ultimately inspired by my family, friends and community – modern women who wear many hats and do their best everyday to better themselves physically, emotionally and spiritually. By merging two of my biggest passions in life, fashion and wellness, I wanted to create a concept store that echoes the spirit and lifestyle of these modern day women who care about making a difference in the community/environment and taking care of themselves.
CAN YOU NAME SOME OF THE BRANDS IN YOUR STORE?
One of the fashion brands I’m most excited about is a brand called Baldwin from Kansas City. The edited collection has all the essentials from premium denim to cozy sweaters and outerwear – with a unique mid-western, industrial perspective. There are also a number of activewear brands, such as Olympia, Lucas Hugh and Heroine Sport that I am rotating like a playlist on repeat. Last but not least, I’m loving the DYLN alkalizing water bottle. I don’t go anywhere without it.
YOU’RE EXPANDING VERY QUICKLY. YOU HAVE A POP-UP AT THE LANDMARK FROM APRIL 21 TO EARLY JULY.
It is an amazing yet unexpected opportunity for us. We’re beyond excited to launch the project. It is a good exercise for us to build a deeper relationship with our existing customers, as well as to meet a different clientele that we may not have been exposed to before. The new location will continue our ethos of “style meets wellness” in the store design, curated merchandise mix, and our efforts to give back to the community. We are launching two new brands, Becken and Track & Bliss, which will be sold exclusively at The Landmark. Additionally, the occasion also serves to showcase our first ever collaboration with Hong Kong-based activewear label, Miss Runner – a collection of beach towels made from 100% organic cotton, just in time for summer.
I hope to be able to grow Caelum Greene into a leading shopping destination in Asia with a few but strong flagship stores that fully embody the Caelum Greene message and lifestyle
WHAT’S THE BIGGEST CHALLENGE OF BEING AN ENTREPRENEUR?
It’s been more like an on-going learning opportunity rather than a challenge, it’s all about staying balanced. My passion drives me to always want to do more and do better, which sometimes takes me away from time and energy for other important things in life. I have to be extra aware of myself and know when to hit the pause button.
WHAT WERE YOU DOING BEFORE CAELUM GREENE?
I started my career working for an activewear brand called Zobha in the US. When I moved to Hong Kong in 2012, I worked in merchandising at Christian Louboutin for Hong Kong and Southeast Asia. I then moved to Pure International as the Regional Retail Manager, overseeing all point of sales across Asia Pacific.
WHAT DO YOU LOVE MOST ABOUT RUNNING YOUR OWN BUSINESS?
Being able share my passion for wellness and fashion. I love what I do and I’ve been blessed with a wonderful team who support and inspire me day in, day out.
IF YOU COULD GO BACK IN TIME AND GIVE YOURSELF SOME ADVICE, WHAT WOULD THAT BE?
Stop and smell the roses. Goals and high hopes are great but don’t forget to enjoy the here and now.
WHO DO YOU LOOK UP TO? WHO INSPIRES YOU?
Jessica Alba is definitely a role model for me. An award-winning actress, mother of two, philanthropist, the cofounder of one of the most successful ethical businesses that creates non-toxic, eco-friendly and beautiful household products; and a fellow Taurus to boot. What’s not to love?
WHAT DO YOU HAVE PLANNED FOR CAELUM GREENE? WHAT’S YOUR GOAL?
I hope to be able to grow Caelum Greene into a leading shopping destination in Asia with a few but strong flagship stores that fully embody the Caelum Greene message and lifestyle; from the store design/concept, to vendor partnerships and product offering, as well as community involvement. It’s important to me that wherever CG goes, it brings positive and meaningful change to the community and the industry. If I’m lucky enough to get there, next stop: global domination!
WHAT DO YOU DO FOR SOME ‘ME’ TIME? HOW DO YOU UNWIND?
“Me time” for me is home time, whatever I might be doing. I could be cooking up a storm in the kitchen, meditating or doing yoga in the lounge, reading articles and TED Talks. The home is my sanctuary in many ways and I find home time very healing.
HOW DO YOU STAY FIT?
I try to be well-rounded with exercising. I do my best to incorporate some low intensity activity into my day to day with walking the dog or a small hiking. Once or twice a week, I’ll do HIT or weight training. On days my body feels like a nice stretch, I’ll do a nice long yoga session.
DO YOU HAVE A MOTTO?
It’s very simple – savour the journey.