By Monsi A. Serrano
Rising from the ranks, multi-awarded interior designer James JJ Acuña painstakingly started his career as an apprentice in a large architectural firm in Hong Kong.
After completing his studies in Manhattan’s Columbia University, Acuña took a leap in a challenging and competitive industry wherein one’s talent and creativity are the main assets.
The exciting journey of this Filipino in the world on interior design began when he was appointed as design leader in less than two years. Then later on, from an associate senior designer, he ended up as operations director of a design firm for the fast-growing APAC and China market.
But given the huge multinational clients with very similar requirements and greater emphasis on efficiency, Acuña felt that this set-up hampered his creativity which is his main asset.
Taking a risk, moving forward
While he loves his illustrious career as interior designer in his previous company, Acuna felt that he needed to optimize his talent and explore unfamiliar space.
This led him to setting up his own design firm in Hong Kong, a risk that he dared to take even if this was away from home. This decision made Hong Kong his second home.
For Acuña, Hong Kong is a treasure trove and it made perfect sense to establish his practice there. And while he was born in the Philippines, his big move to Hong Kong provided him so many more opportunities.
Needless to say, to his mind, when it came to starting up and running a business, Hong Kong was paradise.
“Hong Kong is quite transparent, fair, and very welcoming to small enterprises like mine. Dealing with government here as well as my bank has been a very supportive experience for me and my investment in design,” he said.
The Chinese New Year may be over but red packets should have no time constraints. Acuña is the creative mind behind the red packet of In Style Hong Kong, that debuts in Manila this year.
In Style Hong Kong is a mega promotion organized by the Hong Kong Trade and Development Council. In Style Hong Kong’s Manila launch promises to be a celebration of everything that Hong Kong has to offer.
In Style Hong Kong will be staged in Manila on March 5-6. The citywide promotion includes a trade expo featuring a wide array of Hong Kong’s quality brands and design focused lifestyle products, a service symposium showcasing its wide range of business services, and a high-level gala dinner attended by prominent officials and business leaders from the Philippines and Hong Kong.