Noni Dale knows a thing or two about shopping. With stints as retail editor at both British Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar behind her, and a thriving business as a personal shopper in London, she was regularly offering trend and fashion advice to 8 million viewers on one of the UK’s most popular breakfast shows when banker husband Ash was posted to Hong Kong.
Fast-forward two years and Noni – never one to sit on her laurels – is nurturing a start-up business (oenoneware.com) that is already making waves within Hong Kong’s retail scene. With a practiced eye for nailing emerging trends, she’s sourcing and upcycling vintage, silver-plated tableware and accessories from the UK, which are currently selling like hotcakes through Lane Crawford.
Her nascent business also offers fashion consultancy and shopping services, but it’s the interior pieces Noni’s really excited about. Her latest collection of products – cut-glass Victorian vanity bottles with elegant silver stoppers – are selling through The General Store in Gage Street. There’s a whimsical extra though – each bottle contains a dreamy poem from a Romantic such as Christina Rosetti.
It’s a fitting offering from a romantic at heart – Noni cites her most prized possession as old love letters from her husband – but her slew of original and creative ideas are always underpinned by a practical, roll-up-your-sleeves approach that can only come from raising five children, now aged between six and sixteen. Teenagers Josh and Millie are at boarding school in England, while Rafferty (12), Zac (10) and Ziggy (6) live with Noni and Ash in Mid-Levels, together with an imperious British shorthair called Buster. Of course, the apartment décor is effortlessly elegant, but it’s the eclectic collection of found objects, paintings, photographs, sculptures and curios that make it really special.