A history in the hospitality industry combined with her artistic scholarship has enabled Jules Lambe to create a niche business providing art to hotels within Asia.
What’s your story?
I arrived in Hong Kong from Australia after an 11 year career in hospitality. I had studied Art, Design and Photography which enabled me to establish Gaffer DesignArt Ltd (originally Art Gallery) in 2002 which over the years developed into a hospitality and hotel art consultancy. 18 years on, my primary business is providing cultural, crafted, sustainable public art for hotels, specialising in artisan weaving, bamboo, and contemporary crafts.
What excites you most about your industry?
The hospitality industry has grown rapidly in Asia and design and tastes have developed. Post COVID will require thinking out of the box.
What is your connection to Asia?
My hotel consultancy is a project based service lasting, on average, 1-3years. Working within the Greater Asian Pacific Region, I have spent extended periods working in Indonesia, Singapore, Beijing, Maldives, HCMC, Phnom Penh, and have often worked in regional villages where craftsmen are based.. I have resided in Asia for over 21 years, living between Bangkok & Hong Kong.
Favourite city in Asia for business and why?
Many for different reasons … Bangkok has endless cities within the larger city, a vast history and culture, a romantic river and urban streets. In Singapore I love to walk at night as I appreciate the safety; a freedom which should not be taken for granted. Melaka for its rich architectural heritage.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
Practice Vipassana Meditation. It is hard and not for everyone. Live in the present and not the past, live sincerely with kindness and be grateful.
Who inspires you?
Honesty & wisdom
What have you just learnt recently that blew you away?
I travel in regional villages for work and take time to learn their history and heritage, which always has relevance to the present.
If you had your time again, what would you do differently?
Nothing. I do not live in the past and the future is just that, so I live in the present.
How do you unwind?
I like to cook, so visiting organic markets for ingredients. In Bangkok I am spoilt for choice for organic and affordable ingredients. I like to walk and discover without time limitations.
Favourite Asian destination for relaxation? Why?
Many, but most recently, in March 2020, I cycled around the former Siamese Kingdom of Sukhothai with a guide and a friend from Malaysia, slowly exploring 500 years of history. Sitting on a beach is not for me.
Everyone in business should read this book:
People in business should choose to read what is relevant to their industry, I read art catalogues, books on design and architecture and I research online resources.
Shameless plug for your business:
I am grateful to have worked at a high level for leading hotel brands, and with respected artists and artisans. I was involved in the 2013 and 2015 Venice Biennales, the 2005 Singapore Art Festival, the MOCA Museum Beijing, and have worked with trade organizations and non-profit organizations.
In Feb 2021 it will be 19 years since I started my business. Longevity is not easy!
How can people connect with you?
Email – [email protected]
To hear how entrepreneurs around the world overcome their challenges, search your favourite podcast platform for ‘CallumConnects‘ to hear a 5-minute daily breakdown.
Callum Laing is an entrepreneur and investor based in Singapore. He has previously started, built, and sold half a dozen businesses and is now a Partner at Unity-Group Private Equity and Co-Founder and CEO of MBH Corporation PLC. He is the author of three best-selling books ‘Progressive Partnerships’, ‘Agglomerate’, and ‘Entrepreneurial Investing’.