From journalist to upcyclist: upcycled candles and planters in Hong Kong
Check out our local brand interview with Upcycled by Michal, an upcycling brand in Hong Kong that transforms bottles, tin cans and more to candles and plant holders. One person’s junk is someone else’s treasure right?
Her creations are like little sculptures that are fit for an art gallery and also eco friendly at the same time 🙂
Tell us about your business! What inspired you to start Upcycled by Michal?
Michal: “My business is “Upcycled by Michal”. I cut, paint, reshape, refurbish wine bottles, beer bottles, tin can, wood boxes into planters, candles, shot glass and anything you can think about. Environmentalism for me is a way of life for many years. I used to pick up stuff from the streets in tel aviv and refurbished it. When I relocated with my family to Taipei and then to Shanghai I couldn’t continue with my profession as a journalist but I was excited that finally I have enough spare time to dedicate to my hobby. Since I’ve been playing with different materials, I thought it would be nice to explore glass cutting (mostly due to many empty bottles I have accumulated from dinner parties :)).”
What's the biggest challenge you faced so far?
“There were two main challenges I faced. The first one was to overcome my fear to sell things that I make in markets. I was afraid people won’t like it and won’t buy it. I overcame it by jumping into the water. Que sera sera, whatever will be will be. The second challenge was covid-19. We had to leave Shanghai in a rush. Moved to HK during the pandemic. No tourists, no gathering of people. I wasn’t sure I will be able to continue what I have started in Shanghai. But it turned out to be the best!”
What's something important you learnt along the way?
“Don’t be afraid of criticism and ideas from other people. Sometimes one word can change the perspective and even more importantly, brainstorming can take you places you didn’t [think] about. “
How do you stand out from your competitors?
“I think my designs stand out by themselves. Not in Shanghai nor here in HK, I saw anyone else doing something similar [to my designs].”
That's great to hear! Can you share a tip with us for people who are entering/on the same journey?
“Social media is amazing but nothing beats personal communication.”