About

#
Teamsassy

What do our readers and our team have in common? We’ve all fallen in love with the taxi-clogged, dai pai dong-lined, crazy skyscraper city of Hong Kong. Whether we were born and raised here, or arrived as adults, our appetites for all things Hong Kong are insatiable!

We’re here to inject a bit of sass into your day-to-day and help you navigate this buzzing metropolis…make the most out of life in the city that truly never sleeps! From swanky bars with a view, to hole-in-the-wall eateries, to fail-safe shopping spots, to our favourite hikes, we scour the streets to find all the very best that Hong Kong has to offer (in our humble opinions!).

  • The team
  • The contributors

MAURA THOMPSON

CO-FOUNDER
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EMILIE DE CANNART

CEO
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ELLE NOBLE

MANAGING DIRECTOR
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ELLY LIU

OFFICE MANAGER
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JESS MIZZI

SENIOR EDITOR
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NICOLE MORALEDA

EDITOR
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SAKINA ABIDI

EDITOR
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FASHILA KANAKKA

ASSOCIATE EDITOR
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JOY LEE

DESIGNER
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APRIL YAU

DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER
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MANSHA CHANNA

HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS, SASSY MAMA
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EMILY CHU

PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER
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CHARLOTTE SKAPOULLOU

PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER
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KIRAN NAZ

PARTNERSHIPS SUPPORT EXECUTIVE
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Aarohi Narain

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Melissa Albarus

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Novella Lui

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Krystina Te Kanawa

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Nathalie Sommer

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Sara Tang

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Eleanor Coleman

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Lauren Lin

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Kimberly Arth

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Stacy Dahl

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MAURA THOMPSON
CO-FOUNDER

I’m originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (USA) and have called Hong Kong home since 2008. I have loved seeing Sassy grow over the years and I am so thankful that we have such an awesome team who are always ready and willing to try things for the sake of Sassy. We have a term around the office called #diditforsassy and over the years I have definitely done that. From Brazilian wax trials, to getting spray tanned at home in my bikini for a YouTube video (the video doesn’t exist anymore, thank goodness!), to letting our readers vote on what hairstyle I should get (they voted for a fringe and I did go through with it!).

These days, I’m obsessed with one day building the perfect capsule collection and would finish every day if I could with a 45-minute Aqua Luna sail around the harbour before heading home.

What I love about Hong Kong

Foot massages. Being able to easily do a hike, beach trip and city drinks all in one day. The beautiful pastel colours on the apartment buildings (you just have to look up to appreciate them!).

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EMILIE DE CANNART
CEO

Emilie is the CEO of Sassy Media Group. She is originally from Belgium but has spent the last twenty years in Asia. After finishing her MA in Chinese Studies in London, she left for Beijing to pursue her studies of Mandarin, got her first job in Hong Kong, lived in Tokyo for a year before heading back to Hong Kong and in 2011 moved to Singapore with her family. She is the proud mother of two (Josephine and Adrian). In between work, meetings and school pickups she dreams of exotic holidays and grasses matinees…

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ELLE NOBLE
MANAGING DIRECTOR

Elle is originally from the UK and landed in Hong Kong at the end of a year-long trip around the world. With a background in fashion styling and a love for fashion, travel and music, you’ll often find her dragging friends around vintage boutiques (adding to her never ending wardrobe), or getting crafty in Sham Shui Po, customising outfits for festivals and themed junk boat parties (she’s a pro with a glue gun!).

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ELLY LIU
OFFICE MANAGER

I was born and raised in China, and moved to Hong Kong in 2013. I’m a huge fan of wildlife, the outdoors and pandas (I can spend an entire day watching videos of pandas eating bamboo). Living in Hong Kong lets me enjoy eating endless dim sum, taking in the gorgeous harbour views and being a part of team Sassy.

What I love about Hong Kong

How easy it is to travel to nearby countries, hiking trails and the incredible theme parks!

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JESS MIZZI
SENIOR EDITOR

A globetrotting Aussie, Jess likes to think she knows a little bit about a lot of things! She’s travelled to over 50 countries across six continents and is taking her family along for the ride. Jess worked in tourism in Far North Queensland until she landed in Hong Kong in 2015 and found her feet leading walking tours around the city. In true pandemic style, she traded in city living for village life in Sai Kung and now spends her free time island-hopping, hiking and perfecting her latté art.

What I love about Hong Kong

That you're never too far away from the incredible natural beauty of the mountains, forests and beaches.

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NICOLE MORALEDA
EDITOR

Having spent the better part of her life in the 852, Filipino-born Nicole is proud to call herself a Hongkonger. Always looking forward to her next meal, Nicole is a magpie for shiny, new restaurants and is often drawn to the weirdest item on the menu. Off the clock, you’ll likely find her sipping on bubble tea, making good use of her Disneyland pass, bouldering, or otherwise napping during her commute to and from Tung Chung.

What I love about Hong Kong

Hong-style milk tea, curry fish balls and egg waffles – need I say more? I could ramble on for hours about all the things I love about this city. But top of my list would definitely be the food, how easy it is to get around, and the friends I’ve made here.

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SAKINA ABIDI
EDITOR

Born in Delhi and raised in Hong Kong, Sakina is a history graduate, poetry person and recovering journalism student (phew!) who's thrilled to be back in editorial. You're most likely to find her out and about hunting new local eats on Instagram (halal please!), lusting after Korean skincare drops online, or wandering behind a street cat (for both pics and petting)!

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FASHILA KANAKKA
ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Raised in the 852, Fashila’s always down to explore a new neighbourhood and uncover the road less travelled (with a camera in hand). When she’s not writing, you can find her leaving the Flower Market with handfuls of plants, obsessing over true-crime or café-hopping to find the perfect mocha.

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JOY LEE
DESIGNER

Born in Hong Kong and cultured in the US, Joy is a multidisciplinary creative who adores all things vintage—music, fashion, and design. When she's not learning the history of a Cantonese dish, you might find her hand-sewing her next garment, baking bread from every continent, or combing through mid-century modern inspiration. Joy focuses on bringing Sassy's visual elements to life, from design to photography.

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APRIL YAU
DIGITAL MARKETING MANAGER

Born and raised in Hong Kong. April is usually out and about (when she feels like it), you can catch her at new restaurant openings or speakeasies after hours. Striking that balance between going out and staying in, April enjoys a good book or just taking photos of her puppy for the gram.

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MANSHA CHANNA
HEAD OF PARTNERSHIPS, SASSY MAMA

I was born and raised in Hong Kong and worked in Banking and Finance before finding my way to Sassy. Having lived all over the world, I definitely caught the travel bug and am constantly attempting to cross cities off my bucket list. A true foodie at heart, you will always find me at the newest spots in town. I love a good workout and spending quality time with my husband and two young sons. I focus on corporate partnerships for Sassy.

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EMILY CHU
PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER

Born and raised in the UK, Emily moved to Hong Kong in 2011 in a quest to learn more about her roots and heritage. She loves to cook and can often be found in her local wet markets seeking out fresh produce for her culinary creations. When not obsessing about her next meal, she enjoys hiking, board games and finding new ways to burn calories. Emily focuses on partnerships with Sassy’s Weddings, What’s On, Health & Wellness and Lifestyle clients.

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CHARLOTTE SKAPOULLOU
PARTNERSHIPS MANAGER

Charlotte hails from the UK but is a Hong Kong girl at heart! After graduating from university, she worked in a variety of marketing and merchandising roles. She started her Hong Kong adventure in 2014, grasping the opportunity to expand her CV by taking on key business development and brand partnerships positions in the events and luxury lifestyle space. Combining this breadth of professional experience with her penchant for fine dining, fashion and style; Charlotte is Sassy's Partnerships Manager, covering "Eat & Drink", Travel, Style and Beauty. When she's not working – or giving her friends the latest tips on what's hot in Hong Kong – Charlotte is a true Sassy Mama, busy spending time with her husband and their two boys, Aurelio and Theodore.

What I love about Hong Kong

Hong Kong has been home for coming-up-to ten years and I've thoroughly enjoyed every moment of countless junks, brunches and awesome hikes. As well as making lifelong friends, our two boys were born here so, this city will always hold an especially dear place in my heart. On the weekends, you can usually find me exploring the charming corners of my local neighbourhood, whizzing off to a beautiful beach or enjoying a well-deserved foot massage!

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KIRAN NAZ
PARTNERSHIPS SUPPORT EXECUTIVE

Born and raised in the city, Kiran is the third generation HongKonger (who can read, write, and speak the language). From exploring new cafes to new gym studios, Kiran is always on the lookout for trying new things! When she is not punching bags in the gym, you will mostly find her binge-watching crime docuseries (with a candlelit up, vibes)! Kiran focuses on partnerships across all categories on Sassy.

What I love about Hong Kong

Hong Kong is such a vibrant city (from food to people, it’s all international), you will never be bored. I love the accessibility. If you are craving fish balls in the middle of the night, just head down to your nearest 7eleven!

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Aarohi Narain

Born and raised in New Delhi, India, Aarohi moved to Hong Kong after spending time in the United States and Japan. When she’s not sipping on sake or fervently searching for the smoothest cheung fan the city has to offer, you can find her reading & writing about the politics of food, and getting involved with local organisations focused on empowering immigrant and refugee women.

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Melissa Albarus

Baker by day and boxer by night, Melissa Albarus was born in Hong Kong and is as much a country bumpkin as you’ll find here, having spent the past 20 years in Sai Kung. With a background in PR and Advertising, she balances a career in marketing with a passion for education and social impact, striving to use her creative powers for good. Though she’ll never be able to figure out the correct pronunciation of ‘scones’ (hello, multicultural upbringing), she has a love for words that’s second only to her love for proper German sourdough bread.

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Novella Lui

Novella is a Registered Dietitian in Canada who focuses her dietetic practice on family nutrition and women’s health. Born in Hong Kong and raised in Vancouver, Novella enjoys keeping up with the latest food and health trends and shares her passion for food and cooking with others. Aside from being a bilingual nutrition and health writer, Novella is a self-proclaimed foodie who travels around the world seeking out new flavours and different cuisines. When she is not travelling, you can find her looking for delicious foods in the neighbourhoods of Hong Kong, Vancouver and Toronto.

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Krystina Te Kanawa

Krystina Te Kanawa is a Hong Kong-based makeup artist and entrepreneur, with 14 years of industry experience in mainstream and indigenous TV stations, from her homeland New Zealand, to CNN, CNBC and FrenchTV in London. Her brand here in Hong Kong "KTK" sees her glamming up an array of faces for her client's glitzy events, to brand photoshoots and headshots, to conducting 1:1 and group makeup lessons here in HK and Singapore, as well as fulfilling a bride's makeup wishes on her wedding day. Krystina has produced her own luxury, animal cruelty-free Makeup Brush line, which is proving to be a hit with a large growing list of clients worldwide.

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Nathalie Sommer

Nathalie is a Relationship and Intimacy Coach who works with singles and couples to create healthy and intimate relationships so they can feel confident and empowered in and out of bed.

Over the last 13 years her work as an entrepreneur has been deeply rooted in holistic therapies, personal development and coaching. After doing some exploratory work herself, she realised that both her one-on-one and group coaching clients were coming to her with relationship issues so she completed the sex and relationship certification in Erotic Blueprints. In addition to working with clients around the world, Nathalie is a speaker, runs sold out workshops and her work has been featured in South China Morning Post, Time Out HK, MasterChef Magazine, Green Queen, Apple Daily and Jet Star Magazine. To find out more about her intimacy work head to www.nathaliesommer.com.

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Sara Tang

Sara is a sex educator and pleasure coach. She founded Sarasense to provide tools and resources for people to have a more satisfying sex life. She is also the creator and host of the Better in Bed podcast, which is available on iTunes, Spotify and YouTube. Follow her on Instagram or Facebook for more juicy updates into her world.

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Eleanor Coleman

Eleanor Coleman is the Principal Partner and Founder of The Financial Empowerment Group. She aims to help women and the LGBTQ community to understand and master their finances through planning and education. Drawing on her 13 years of experience working for international banks in Hong Kong, Eleanor delivers regular seminars and workshops including the popular series "A Man is Not a Plan". She uses her expertise to help people define and achieve their dreams, take control of their finances and realise true financial freedom. When she’s OOO, Eleanor can be found swimming, writing, reading & making alcoholic creations for her online bakery.

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Lauren Lin

Lauren Lin, Co-Founder of PIVOT, is a mother of three who is constantly inspired by the amazing women she meets in Hong Kong. She has over ten years of experience in partner marketing, public relations and marketing management. Her experience in the Hospitality sector includes tenure at the Five Star/Five Diamond Wynn & Encore Resort and Boyd Gaming Corporation. In 2012, she joined an early stage social mobile app startup, PlayStudios, which sparked her entrepreneurial spirit. After moving to Hong Kong in 2015 she wanted to follow her passion for connecting people and entrepreneurship, resulting in PIVOT. She has a Bachelor of Science in Marketing and International Business certificate from Arizona State University.

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Kimberly Arth

Kimberly Arth is the Co-Founder of PIVOT, a niche recruitment firm focused on finding women work opportunities in Hong Kong. She is also a mom of three and committed to helping women realise their career goals. She left the corporate world in 2015 when she moved to Hong Kong and set out on a new entrepreneurial path with the inception of PIVOT. Kimberly began her career in New York and has over ten years of experience in the financial sector. She has worked at institutions such as Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse and Lazard within the Investment Banking & Real Estate Finance divisions. Kimberly graduated from Brown University with a Bachelor of Arts in Business Economics.

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Stacy Dahl

Stacy is slowly making her way through Asia discovering the continent's best-kept hidden gems and sharing them with the world through her writing. When she isn't writing, you will find her lost in a good book or cuddled up with her puppy, Athena. You can follow Stacy's adventures on Instagram.

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