Hong Kong is a place brimming with talented and intriguing people. Each week in 27 Questions, we get up close and personal with the city’s notable personalities, learning about their whims, aversions, pivotal life moments, and hopes and dreams — all in roughly the same duration it takes to sit through a two-minute speed date. This week, we speak to Lisa Cheng, founder of Sheer Lingerie.
With the sophisticated digital economy we have today, anyone can easily shop for almost everything from any part of the world, whether it’s a dress from an independent designer halfway across the planet or an Instant Pot to fulfil all your quarantine cooking dreams. However, there are certain things that are deemed more personal, where the fit is crucial, and where most of us would prefer heading into a store to try it out in person before we make the purchase.
By ‘things’, we mean lingerie.
While we have international brands such as Intimissimi and La Perla that have expanded into Hong Kong today, it was not the case eight years ago, when Lisa Cheng left her life in Europe and New York City to relocate back to the city she calls home. With the eye of a business developer, perhaps honed from her previous jobs in global marketing and product development for beauty giants Shiseido and L’Oreal, she quickly spotted the lack of proper lingerie boutiques in Hong Kong — one that offers a curated selection of beautiful, designer lingeries for modern, sophisticated women.
With a dream of opening her own business and the vision of providing women with the joy and confidence of looking their best literally from the inside out — both for themselves and their partners — Cheng launched Sheer Lingerie. And almost a decade on, Sheer is now a widely recognised Hong Kong premier lingerie boutique, offering a range of stylish undergarments from international designer labels (with more than 10 exclusively stocked at Sheer) in an inclusive range of cup sizes from A to F. There are maternity options, too, another product that remains lacking in lingerie stores across Hong Kong.
We caught up with Cheng to learn more about what she’s like when she’s not busy being an inspirational girl boss. Scroll down to read what she has to share, from her guilty pleasures to the most important life lessons she’s been taught.
Name: Lisa Cheng
Occupation: Entrepreneur — Founder of Sheer Lingerie
Take a deep breath and remember the big picture.
Definitely my mom’s home cooked meals with her famous spring rolls. It’s a secret family recipe that is always on high demand at family gatherings.
My dad. He built his business up from literally nothing, against all odds, and worked tirelessly to provide us with all the opportunities he never had privilege to. His story inspires
me to do better, be stronger, and to strive for more.
I was an Administrative Assistant/Receptionist/Customer Service Officer at a small beauty company in New York! Needless to say, it wasn’t the most glamorous job in the world. I had a degree in Finance but was passionate about beauty and it opened the door to Shiseido and L’Oreal where I worked afterwards. I laugh about it now, but is one of my fondest memories of living in New York.
I’m a wine girl, through and through.
Funny you should ask! Getting my driver’s license is my 2020 New Year’s resolution!
My husband and I got married at a beautiful Mediterranean-inspired hotel in Southern California, so I wanted to bring a bit of that vibe to our new apartment. My interior designers sourced beautiful porcelain tiles from Naples and we built an island table with it.
Night owl! When I’m focused on something, I can pull all nighters just to get it done. Then, I enjoy the pleasure of sleeping in.
Google Drive and all the Google apps! My business runs on Google, we can’t live without it.
Why won’t taxis take electronic payments! It’s my biggest pet peeve about Hong Kong because I often don’t have enough cash on hand.
I would love to visit Argentina! Beautiful scenery, good food, good wine. I need nothing more.
It’s a toss up between the day I got married, and the days my son and daughter were born. Those were the three happiest days of my life and I wish I could bottle those days up.
When I was pregnant with my first child, I had an in-house masseuse come every week. I justified the splurge because I was pregnant, but once I started I couldn’t go back. It’s such a guilty pleasure and I feel so spoiled.
I would love to live in Switzerland. It’s such a beautiful country.
One Moment in Time by Whitney Houston. Is that cheesy? I love the message of this song.
I have two toddlers… you can imagine.
I have three siblings and we used to take ginormous bubble baths with my dad. All I remember is us laughing in the midst of bubbles up to our necks.
Jasmine flowers in Thailand.
Lying on my deathbed feeling regret.
I cook a lot of Korean food since my husband is Korean. He’s told me that my Yukgaejang, a spicy beef stew, is better than his mom’s. Haha!
I had a great Economics teacher in high school, Mr. Nichols. He taught me the term “there’s no such thing as a free lunch”. Back then I didn’t realise the significance of the idea, but it has been so applicable throughout life!
I’m not sure if it’s love at first sight but it was close! My husband and I were set up on a blind date at the old Lily and Bloom bar. We met at 8pm on a Thursday night and we didn’t leave the bar or our seats until it closed. I barely have any memory of that night (too many drinks!) but I know I was happy and allowed him to take me to dinner that weekend.
Um… not enough according to me! Too many, according to everyone else. My favourite heels are my beloved Gianvito Rossi pumps.
I would rather never be alone for a single moment. Life is too short to live without the love of family and friends.