If Steve Jobs is the visionary leader of IT, then Dr. Angel Tong must be his equivalence in the slimming and beauty industry.
It may seem easy to persuade women to buy lots and spend more, yet Hong Kong ladies are often quite perfectionistic, so satisfying them takes a lot of effort. Angel’s dedication to providing the best quality care and backing it with her own name has been the key to her success in establishing her beauty enterprise from scratch.
“I used my own life as a bet. Putting my name and face on my shop signage reminds me to be honest and proud. I don’t want to be looked down upon. In the last decade, nobody tease me anymore and many others even copied me.”
Angel can effortlessly demonstrate what living “forever young” is like, yet she does not live a privileged life. She is well-known for “sleeping for 6 hours every other night only” when she first started her business. Apart from work, Angel also spent a lot of time studying.
“There are only two types of people, those who learn and those who get eliminated.”
Angel joked about herself being “a full-time housewife and a part-time chairman”. Despite her achievements in the business world, Angel remains most apprehensive about all matters concerning her daughter Janice. Life’s greatest achievement, says Angel, is having her happy family.
Water and fire are mutually exclusive; surprisingly we see both in Angel. She is a sweet and gentle person who cares even about our filming crew during the interview. “Take a seat and get some rest!” This explains why Angel has loyal customers all over the world. On the other hand, Angel’s passion for her business radiates like fire: she is like an unstoppable fire-engine, working and studying day after night, and these experiences may be beyond what the 80’s generation can now endure. Chance favors only the prepared mind.
A teenage entrepreneur
Angel Tong is also nicknamed the “baby CEO” because she first started her business at the age of 19. She expanded her business to Taiwan after making her first bucket of gold. Rome wasn’t built in one day, and Angel built her beauty kingdom brick-by-brick. Thinking back, she reminisces those exciting days when she first started her business.
“I became a model when I was 16. I was a fitness trainer and an aerobics instructor and when I was young, I could teach many classes a day. But then it hit me one day that I can’t do that for the rest of my life so I switched to become a beauty apprentice.”
“I started working when I was very young so I understood that I had to respect my seniors and worked harder than others. I was always the one to be left behind during lunch hours but I didn’t mind. I knew by respecting my seniors, they would be more willing to teach me more. I became a qualified beautician soon after.”
Angel has always treated her customers as her own friends and served them with quality products and caring services, and she despised the dishonest tricks that many profit-oriented beauty salons often used. When she worked for a beauty salon years ago, she was accused of “cheating” her customers as her boss purposefully used poor-quality products on their customers. Her boss’s indecency made her realize there is a dark side to the beauty industry.
“My boss told me how he profited by using cheap, functionless products, and he would ignore customer’s complaints because customers had already prepaid. I didn’t want to earn money by dishonest manipulations so I quit my job without even getting my last pay cheque. I asked my customers to wait for me to open my own trustworthy beauty salon.”
Using own name as brand
From a two-bedded beauty salon to a multinational company, Angel has always used her own name and face as her brand. “Word-of-mouth is the best advertisement” is Angel’s motto and also why her customers keep coming to her after all these years.
“My friends teased me back then for branding my not-so-special name and not-so-pretty-face! Now I’ve proven to them that chance favors only the prepared. Since the last decade, nobody teased me anymore and many others even copied my self-branding strategy.”
With her confidence, knowledge and unique philosophies in beauty, skincare, healthy diet and body shaping, Angel became a best-selling author of beauty and healthy-eating books, which had already sold over a million copies around the world. Our “Queen of fitness” never stopped studying: not only did she complete Nutrition Studies in Chinese Medicine in the University of Hong Kong, she is also a Doctor of Natural Medicine in Canada. She emphasized, “There are only two types of people, those who learn and those who get eliminated.”
“I only started studying after my business was already on track. I didn’t have time and money to study when I first started working as a teenager. I loved reading about business management, beauty and Chinese medicine nutrition. By sleeping for only 6 hours every other night, I had more time to read and work around-the-clock, especially in the middle of the night when I am most clear-headed and filled with creative ideas.”
Angel’s modeling program transformed Ms. Lin Chi-ling, an ordinary model back then, into one of Asian top models. She showed disappointment when asked about her relationship with Chi-ling. “I don’t want to talk about Lin Chi-ling anymore.”
“I just wanted to prove to myself that I could help anyone become a top celebrity. Patina Lin also become an Asian top model under my program. I don’t like to hang out with people who aren’t genuine. After our contract (with Chi-ling) ended, she never got in touch with me again.”
My daughter means the world to me
Angel’s business is already on track and she is glad she can enjoy early retirement. After years of fruitful property investments all around the world, Angel’s beauty business is now a part-time job to her.
“As I always say, I am a full-time housewife and a part-time Chairman. I spend most of my time with my family and my daughter. I really care about my daughter’s diet and education and I let her choose among a variety of hobbies. Most of all, her happiness matters the most to me.”
Angel’s daughter is loved by many, and has already developed many hobbies and skills under Angel’s care and education. Angel hopes her daughter will inherit her beauty kingdom one day.
“Of course I want her to inherit my business but I won’t force her. Sometimes I bring her to work with me, hoping this will arouse her interest. Well, I guess I am trying to influence her after all.”
Angel has succeeded her goal, “wherever there is Chinese, there are influences by Angel Tong.” However, it is not easy to enter the foreign markets. “Let’s see if my daughter can do that!”
How you look is what you believe
In front of my eyes is a content and elegant young woman in her thirties. Without any advertisement, Angel is already the best spokesperson for her business. I can’t miss this opportunity to ask the beauty queen the secrets to staying young and beautiful.
Angel is generous to share her secrets of beauty to readers, “my business was started 25 years ago and I guess you all know how old I am. I incorporated Chinese medicine nutrition and naturopathic therapies into my life and that makes me stay radiant and healthy.”
“Don’t believe in vigorous exercise and strict diet! It’s out-dated and wrong!”
“I call the low-sugar, low-fat diet, the low-life’s diet!”
“I only do low to moderate intensity exercises such as speed walking, yoga and qigong. Vigorous exercises keep you skinny but also make you look older because of the oxidative stress on your system.”
Her experiences, her words. Well, I’m sold.