Hong Kong Wonder Women

Allow me to introduce my second Hong Kong Wonder Woman,

Geneva Vanderzeil of A Pair and a Spare

Geneva Vanderzeil Chinese-New-Year-in-Hong-Kong-778x542@2x.jpg

I asked Geneva to take part in my Wonder Woman series, not only because she has a wildly successful global blog, but because her passion is so evident. Her DIY projects are clearly stemmed from a true love of creativity and have become so accessible to so many. I've been massively enjoying Geneva's travel posts recently, as I'm planning a trip to Sri Lanka soon, so thank you Geneva for your beautiful photography and tips!

Geneva Vanderzeil grew up in Australia and after moving to London in 2008 started a pair & a spare (read all about her journey here). Geneva created her blog as a journal for her DIY projects, but over time it has grown to become a place for hundreds of thousands of people to get creative with their lives.

Geneva has published a best selling book called DIY Fashionista, designed a shoe collection and been able to turn her passion for creativity into a career. She has worked with brands from all over the world (Dyson, Etsy, Ralph Lauren, Marriott) to create unique content and written for major publications like Harper’s BAZAAR and Vogue, and through her business and blogging advice, inspired others to do the same. 

A Pair & A Spare was created by Geneva, a designer and craft loverin 2010 as a place for stylish DIYs and How-to tutorials. Within a year it had been named in the top 50 Fashion & Lifestyle blogs by The Times UK, and Geneva had published a book based on her love of DIY.

Geneva Vanderzeil Macrame-Knot-Guide-25-778x542@2x.jpg
Geneva Vanderzeil DIY-Macrame-Rope-Bag-1-2-778x1167@2x.jpg

Make my favourite DIY from Geneva's blog (pictured above) here

What are 3 things you love about Hong Kong?

  1. The energy.
  2. The access to such beautiful hikes and green spaces.
  3. The convenience of being able to walk everywhere.

What are 3 things you wish you could change about Hong Kong?

  1. The pollution.
  2. The reckless driving.
  3. Summer's humidity!

What’s the first thing you do in the morning?

I exercise every morning no matter what, so either I go hiking with my pup or to yoga or pilates. Then I have breakfast and tea and head off to work!


If there was one moment in your career that changed everything, when would it be?

I started my website in 2010 while working as a Town Planner in London, which I guess was the beginning of a major life change, but it wasn't until I was approached by a publisher in 2012 to write a book based on my website (meaning I could leave my job and focus on my site and book) that I really saw the biggest shift.


How did you define success 10 years ago?

I didn't.


How do you define success now?

Being able to work on lots of different creative projects and still have the flexibility to start new things every day.

Geneva A Pair and a Spare Wardrobe-Rehab-Ebook-Download-3.jpg


What is your biggest regret?

I try not to regret anything!


When are you happiest?

When I'm swimming at the beach.

Holiday Anahita Chouhan blog a pair and a spare IMG_1748-778x972@2x.jpg


When do you feel at your most powerful?

When I'm standing in front of a room of people teaching them a workshop - there's lots to lose in that situation but also so much to gain.


What makes up a dream 24 hours for you?

Every year I seem to have one dream experience - usually characterised by travelling somewhere new and discovering a beautiful restaurant on the beach where Ben and I eat fresh fish and drink wine. Wondering where it will be this year!

Thank you so much to Geneva for taking the time to be a part of this series. All photos coutesy of A Pair and Spare DIY