Take 5 with... WOMB's Kasia!
WELCOME TO WOMB'S WEEKLY "TAKE 5 WITH..." SERIES. ROUGHLY ONCE A WEEK WE WILL FEATURE A SHORT INTERVIEW WITH A HK-BASED CONSCIOUS PERSONALITY.
THIS WEEK WE PRESENT TO YOU WOMB'S VERY OWN KASIA!
1. Tell us a bit about yourself, where are you from, where did you study, and what brought you to Hong Kong?
I am originally from Poland where I also grew up and came to study Linguistics and Chinese language at first, only to move to Sweden (of all the places) to study Political and Public Marketing as my Master’s degree. So I might say that my study-and-life path has been so far rather irregular, with multiple fields and countries being my stops on the way. Ever since I remember, my interests and fields of attraction changed dynamically and I tried to be out and around trying stuff out much more than to stick to one context.
I moved to Hong Kong to start a company with Maria after we met in Beijing, where I had lived for nearly 3 years before that. I've had a deep and complicated love-relation to Asia for some time now, with its ups and downs - but the dynamics here is incomparable with any other place that I have known so far.
2. Starting your own business is a major step - what was the turning point for you?
I think a clear turning point or catalyst was never needed in my case; ever since I remember I had a quite strong sense of my professional independence, and boss-and-employee form of relationship was always rather difficult for me. I always wished to do something that is meaningful for me on the daily basis and that personally makes sense for me. Working in the art world for some years enhanced that feeling even more, because it’s strongly hierarchic. I learned a huge amount from it, but it was always clear that I need to do something that constantly keeps me self-motivated, engaged and fulfilled. I had some experience in working with design as well, which made me realise how under-appreciated it is while having so much potential and meaning. WOMB was born to re-discover its importance and relevance in the process of changing the world.
3. What are your thoughts on pollution and waste in HK?
Rather grim, to be honest. Just the other day, I had the best example for how bad things really are. Friends took me to their favourite beach on Cheung Chau, which they haven’t actually visited in two years. When we got there, to their surprise, the beach was full (literally - full!) of trash. It was extremely painful to learn that just 2 years ago this very beach was totally clean. And I asked myself - what happened? Is this how we live now? Are we infecting more and more parts of our beautiful planet? And unfortunately, my pessimistic side screams a resounding “yes”. Hong Kong does not have a properly implemented public policy that would make even recycling "a deal” for its inhabitants and trash is becoming more and more of a problem, especially so since China is refusing to take the trash over. Without proper policy and government engagement in it, we can all be as conscious as we wish - with our tote bags, bamboo toothbrushes and reusable food containers (yay for that, of course) but the change, I'm afraid be simply too slow to matter.
4. What's your personal battle? How do you make your everyday life greener?
For more than a year now I have really tried to be mindful and conscious about the things I buy. It does not only apply to food, but also clothes, accessories and appliances that I use. I became used to the fact that I don’t need as much stuff as I previously thought I did. I started focusing on other things instead of material commodities - travels, relationships and the company, of course. Once I battled myself to be more mindful about what I buy and, consequently, what I surround myself with, I started to be more mindful and chill in general. It’s a constant challenge to say no to the easy choices and really think about consumption, its relevance and the form we want it to take in our lives.
5. Where do you see WOMB in 2 years?
I can’t say I see it in this or other way/place/state. It is as flexible as we are and it constantly evolves. We are probably in an entirely different mindset about the company now after more than a year of working on it, than when we just started it. We are both full of inspirations and ideas which constantly evolve. I can probably say with some sort of certainty, that I definitely see it as a much more global initiative, trying to make a difference not only in Hong Kong, but outside as well. But as we like to say with Maria - WOMB is where we are!