By Tayma Page Allies
Growing up in the Caribbean and Africa, and having made Hong Kong her home, Tayma Page Allies embodies the international woman. Her entrepreneurial side kicked in when she first began teaching English in Lagos, Nigeria. Her business earnt her enough money to purchase a car and put herself through a postgraduate course at Warwick University.
Following an eye-opening trip to Beijing in 1985, Page Allies gambled on her sense of adventure and the “can do” attitude of Hong Kong. Instead of returning to London, she took a chance on Hong Kong, and hasn’t looked back since.
After three years' organising fashion shows in China, she founded her own jewellery brand TAYMA Fine Jewellery, in 1991. Page Allies started off small in an atelier in Lan Kwai Fong, but soon expanded to a boutique in the Landmark Prince’s Building, rubbing shoulders with Cartier and Chanel. “I knew then that I’d made it,” she laughs.
Celebrating TAYMA Fine Jewellery’s 30th Anniversary this year, Page Allies has enjoyed positive relationships and friendships within the jewellery industry. “I’ve been lucky to meet some amazing women in the industry, and we all understand the hard work involved to make a business successful.” However, “I’d say that many men underestimate entrepreneurial women, that’s certainly one of the negative experiences I’ve had.”
During her 30 years in the jewellery industry, Page Allies states that every day has been different. “It’s never boring. Some days I’m researching a lecture or designing a new collection and then a client will pop in and the day takes a different turn. However, I can’t do anything without my cup of tea!”
While Hong Kong’s work and social scene can be demanding, Page Allies always makes time for her two Persian cats, Flossie and Coco, sitting down with one of her many books and unwinding after a long day of gems and jewellery.
What’s your best piece of advice?
You are your own best customer. Treat people as you would like to be treated and remember that reputation and integrity are key.