We’ve seen Hong Kong’s wellness scene blossom in the last decade, and that’s in no small way due to the efforts of the wellness entrepreneurs breaking boundaries on the fitness frontier. In celebration of International Women’s Day, we’re paying tribute to the top women in wellness in Hong Kong. These leading ladies have been challenging conventions, pushing boundaries and encouraging others to follow suit – leaving a positive atmosphere in their wake. Take a look at our pick of Hong Kong’s finest female #fitspiration and wellness Wonder Women.
Dee Cheung: Co-founder, Float On and SUP Yoga HK
Canadian-born self-professed ‘wellness-preneur’ Dee set sail for Hong Kong in 2006, and has been making waves in the city’s wellness scene ever since. Having co-founded SUP Yoga in a bid to offer an alternative wellness activity, Dee’s pioneering attitude persisted, and she introduced the Float On sensory deprivation tanks to offer tranquil oasis pods to those looking for an escape.
Lindsay Jang: Co-founder, Yardbird, Ronin and Sunday’s Grocery and Missbish
Entrepreneurial spirit Lindsay lives and breathes an active lifestyle – the restaurateur and co-founder of Yardbird, Ronin and Sunday’s Grocery has channelled her energy into designing athleisure wear for women who, like herself, look and feel confident, and are ready to put their best foot forward. In case she wasn’t busy enough with all that, the mum of two and fashion mogul is also a practising yoga teacher and is currently writing a book on her restaurants.
Heanney McCollum: Personal Trainer
Heanney left a career in marketing to focus on health and fitness full time, lifting it from a part-time passion to a full-time project. With nutrition and fitness education under her belt, Heaney forged a training programme, SCULPT w/H, inviting like-minded women to join her wellness journey, nourishing mind, body and soul.
Cristina McLauchlan: Founder, the Vibe Tribe
Cristina is an eco-warrior with serious heart – her aim to bring environmentally focused brands to the fore has led to her work as Brand Manager for MANA! Fast Slow Food, and the establishment of the Vibe Tribe, fostering positive partnerships from the wellness community and beyond, as well as Conscious Cinema, which offers screenings with the aim to raise awareness and stir public debate.
Ifat Hindes: Founder, Project Wellness
Born in Israel and raised in the Caribbean and Hong Kong, Ifat’s international upbringing influenced her passion for food, travel, and all things wellness. She brought the first gluten-free bakery to Hong Kong and has since supplied many of the city’s healthy living restaurants with reliable gluten-free goods. She now offers a range of classes, seminars and workshops through Project Wellness.
Lahra Tatriele: Co-founder, Fivelements
Lahra’s background in marketing and advertising left her perfectly positioned to create a unique approach to Fivelements, a wellness facility and healing spa with locations in both Bali and Hong Kong she co-founded with her husband, Chicco. Adopting an eco-conscious approach, Lahra is focused on creating positive lasting and sustainable changes.
Resham Daswani: Founder, Spiral Spaces
Growing up amid Hong Kong’s international community, Resham’s passion for travel brought her to Taiwan where she discovered a love of tea. Bridging her passions, Resham created Spiral Spaces, a social platform for mindful practice which offers tea meditation sessions to those looking to turn over a new leaf.
Martha Collard: Founder, Red Doors Studio
Counsellor and mentor Martha has a long-standing interest in the personal development and growth of others. Having pursued studies in yoga training, sound healing and gong meditation, among others, she adopts a holistic approach to wellness and healing, and utilises this at Red Doors Studio – a safe space offering multiple healing practices to treat the ailments of modern society.
Dr. Winnie Mui: Director, Medi Spa
Dr Winnie is a seasoned aesthetician. Through her work at Medi Spa, an anti-aging and beauty centre back in 2007, she offers a range of services using state of the art treatments from around the world, all with the aim to help clients radiate the beauty they feel within.
Tricia Yap: MMA Athlete, co-founder of Warrior Academy
True strength comes from within, and nobody knows this better than Tricia. The Australian-born athlete found her true calling in Hong Kong dedicates her time to prove to women that fitness can be achieved by anyone with the right motivation and positive attitude.
Rachel Moon: Instructor, Programme and Talent Manager at XYZ
Rachel Moon is an Instructor and the Programme and Talent manager at XYZ, Hong Kong’s hottest indoor spinning studio. She’s also an ambassador for Lululemon. Striving to make a change in Hong Kong’s fitness industry, she brought her vast performing, teaching and managerial experience from the world of entertainment and helped create a new unique way to work out at XYZ. Rachel’s philosophy when it comes to wellness is not to treat it as a trend but to make it part of your daily life. She believes in not just creating a strong healthy body but also a strong healthy mind: through fitness we can build a strong mind to help us overcome challenges, so we can face life’s challenges with better resources.
Daniella Means: Athlete and Project Manager, Ultimate Performance
Defining Daniella’s role as an athlete is no mean feat – at just 27 years old, she already counts among her achievements a career as a professional rugby player, certified IRB coach, personal trainer, and gaining a silver medal at the Arnold Classic in 2017.
Cara McIlroy & Melanie Barnish: Founders, Genie Juicery
Born and raised in Australia, Cara and Melanie relocated to Hong Kong where they made their passion for juicing a thriving franchise. Both certified health coaches from the School of Integrative Nutrition, the two entrepreneurs launched Hong Kong’s first retail juicery at IFC mall in 2011, changing the landscape of the city’s health food scene. Now selling juices, smoothies, dairy-free milks, and cold brew coffee, they extended their menu to include raw foods last year.
Heather Thomas Shalabi: Founder, Flex Studios
Having developed a regiment of strength and discipline through over a decade of classical ballet training, Heather extended her fitness focus after moving to Hong Kong and developing an interest in Pilates. Since founding Flex studios in 2005, she has offered a range of private and group classes at the studios’ two centres for clients of all fitness levels.
Sofie Jacobs: Midwife and Founder Urban Hatch
Midwife Sofie Jacobs created Urban Hatch, a comprehensive online birth and preparation course for expectant mothers or new mothers, and their partners, to feel nurtured and supported from bump, to birth and beyond. Her mission is to help people thrive (not just survive) throughout the pregnancy period and beyond. She has also created a community called The Urban Hatch Family which offers online and real-life meetups for those living away from home.
Shoshana Weinberg: Director, Four Seasons Spa
New York-native Shoshana spent her early adulthood travelling through Southeast Asia on a journey of discovery. On her travels, she uncovered a wealth of knowledge of herbal remedies and healing practices. This awakened a passion for healing and Ayurveda, and led to a career in helping others. Now director of Four Seasons Spa, Shoshana recently introduced the new Masters of Wellness series, bringing unique healing experiences to the guests.
Vivienne Tang: Founder, Destination Deluxe
Vivienne’s passion for all things wellness stems from her role as a journalist – having served as the Editor for #legend and Editor in Chief of Asia Spa Magazine, her work has led her to delve deep into the world of wellness travel. She founded Destination Deluxe to provide wellness-focused travellers with advice on destinations, spas, health, beauty and more.
Coco Chan: Founder, Wellness Warriors HK
Working with big-named brands and high-profile clients, PR maven Coco took the industry by storm. Amid the frenzy, however, she never neglects a focus on wellness. With a strong interest in aromatherapy and meditation, she founded a community platform for people to connect through their personal practice.
Utah Lee: Nike Master Trainer
Utah wears many hats – the mother, trainer and fashion designer lives and breathes a quintessentially urban lifestyle. A true woman on the move, the active enthusiast designs a range of fitness exercises for the Nike Training App, helping people achieve attainable goals and strive to be their best selves.
Rinat Perlman: Teacher, Pure Yoga
After taking her first yoga class at Pure, Rinat’s passion for the practice grew, and she has been teaching at the Centrium centre ever since gaining her teaching qualifications. Practising what she preaches, Rinat’s teaching includes a range of yoga and meditation techniques.
Peggy Chan: Founder, Grassroots Pantry
The Cordon-Bleu trained chef and eco-conscious activist Peggy Chan set up Grassroots Pantry to bring healthy, plant-based cuisine to the forefront of Hong Kong’s thriving dining scene. Seven years on from its opening and a newer, bigger venue in a more central location prove her mission has been accomplished in no small part.
Nikita Rachamdani: Founder, Kita Yoga
Nikita left behind a career in finance, realising the life of a desk jockey was not for her. Rather than relegating her fitness regime to the early hours of the morning and late into the evening, Nikita looked for a way to integrate this into her daily routine. Relocating to her hometown of Hong Kong, she opened Kita Yoga, offering students a physically dynamic and engaging practice.
Charlotte Tsuei: Founder, Caelum Greene
Charlotte was born in Taiwan, and raised in Hong Kong and the United States. Her previous experience working for fashion and retail brands helped provide the expertise necessary to return to Hong Kong in 2012 and open the city’s first wellness and lifestyle concept store, Caelum Greene, encouraging people to shop consciously and mindfully.
Cora Lee: Yoga Teacher, Pure Yoga
Cora was first introduced to yoga as a remedial practice for the back pain she experienced during pregnancy but found profound and lasting benefits beyond this. She teaches grounded, empowering yoga to students of Pure Yoga, and aims to encourage others to follow her on her own wellness journey and beyond.
Sonalie Figueiras: Co-founder and Editor in Chief, Green Queen
Sonalie scoured the city, travelling near and far in search of eco-friendly and sustainable lifestyle and homeware products. This proved to be no easy task. Rather than keeping these well-kept secrets to herself, she decided to share the gift of green with the city, and set up an online guide for all things green in Hong Kong.
Hulda Thorey & Kristun Lind: Co-founders, Annerley Midwives
Two women, one cause. Proper care during pregnancy is an invaluable service, and something sister-in-laws Hulda and Kristun know all too well. They established Annerley as a private clinic to provide a tailored approach to medical care, helping patients through their pregnancy journey every step of the way. While Kristun has relocated to Iceland, Hulda remains the Director of Annerley.
Jane Gottschalk: Founder, Perfect Moments & Jax Coco
Mother of five and serial entrepreneur Jane has forayed into several wellness ventures, the first of which, coconut-based drinks Jax Coco, has taken the world by storm. She recently established Perfect Moments, a fashion brand specialising ski and sportswear, helping men and women look and feel great while they head for the hills.
Nealy Fischer: Founder, The Flexible Chef
Inspired by her mother’s home cooking, Nealy sought to recreate cherished recipes and share the benefits of healthy eating with a wider audience. She shares tips on fitness, yoga, health and wellbeing through her website, The Flexible Chef, offering practical advice on healthy living and wellness to readers.
Sarah Fung: Founder and Publisher, Liv Magazine
As the former Managing Editor of Hong Kong Magazine, Sarah took her knowledge of all things fashion, health and wellness and set about establishing a platform to share this. Liv Magazine was born in 2015, offering readers free content available at a range of wellness venues across Hong Kong.
May Nogoy: Founder, Soultrains
Yogi May has been practising for over two decades. Five years into her own practice, she embarked on a training course to share her practice with students. Constantly curious and continually evolving, she is an active member of Hong Kong’s wellness community with roles in seminars, workshops and charitable initiatives across the city, including her role as programme director for IRIS: Your Escape, Hong Kong’s only health and wellness festival.
Rosemary Vandenbroucke: Yoga Instructor, Founder of Daybreaker
Rosemary is the definition of a triple threat – the model, actress and singer has achieved huge success in her career, which began aged just 14. Having discovered a passion for yoga in her adult life, Rosemary been practising and teaching, and has since brought the Daybreaker concept to Hong Kong – a party for early risers ready to swap solitary gym sessions for an active dance party. Sounds like a call for celebration to us.
Olive Lee: Founder, FeloSOPHIE
In celebration of the inspirational women in the wellness world and beyond, Olive Lee set up the recently launched FeloSOPHIE. Short for female philosophy, this empowerment platform serves to celebrate diversity and to help like-minded women network, connect and share their experiences and more.