Inspiration from Our Trip to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year Step Inside F&F

Inspiration from Our Trip to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year

Step Inside F&F
Inspiration from Our Trip to Hong Kong for Chinese New Year

I’ve fantasized about going to Hong Kong my whole life. My dad lived there two years before I was born, speaks fluent Cantonese and regularly cooked homemade Chinese dishes in a massive wok he kept on our stove. He was very particular about the exact type of soy sauce he used and I don’t remember a time when I didn’t know how to use chopsticks.

Needless to say, I’ve always been a little bit obsessed with Chinese pop culture--and, of course, Americanized Chinese pop culture. No one in my family was surprised when I came up with my original designs for Fortune & Frame and they had subtle Chinese undertones.  

When Fortune & Frame was invited to go to Hong Kong to meet with the people who help us create our intricate packaging, we naturally jumped at it. The fact that the invite came right as Chinese New Year--or Lunar New Year--was kicking off, was just icing on the cake.


Our Chinese New Year survival kit...


A partial view of Hong Kong from the top of Victoria's Peak.

As a brand that revolves around creating your own good fortune--rather than waiting for something or someone to create it for you--we established our position on the Lunar New Year early on: “It’s a second chance to keep your first resolution.” 


Our signature Lunar New Year fortune, as seen in our fortune gallery

For anyone who has generally lost enthusiasm for their ambitious New Year’s resolutions by the time February rolls around, Lunar New Year’s got you covered. When we arrived in Hong Kong we were relieved to find that the energy around the New Year reinforced this idea we’ve latched onto.

The entire province was covered in ornate pigs, Chinese New Year red envelopes, lights and the most intricate and thoughtful decor. We decided to make good use of our second chance by resetting our path for the rest of this year while we were in the epicenter of the new year festivities.


One of the many gorgeous red envelopes hanging on the trees around the city.


There are apparently so many ways to make pigs look really cute--and Hong Kong knows all of them.


Naturally, I'm figuring out where in the Fortune & Frame office we can add a tree like this.

When we set our original New Year’s intentions back in January, we focused on working smarter, not harder, making more time for life outside of work, and celebrating our accomplishments rather than focusing on everything we haven’t accomplished.

Our trip to Hong Kong inspired us to put together a collection of some of the fortunes that remind us of these intentions, and to set some new goals as well. Hopefully our process and the fortunes we chose will inspire you (or someone else in your life) to set your own goals...and stick to them, too.


A look out onto a Hong Kong street from the midlevels escalator--the world's largest outdoor moving walkway. I remember that it was in this moment that I realized why my dad loved living here so much.

First things first, you’ve got to set your intentions.

Before moving into the part where you set really specific goals, get your mind in the right place. For me, I always like to remind myself how much control we all have over how our narrative unfolds. We can write whatever story we want--and, with a few exceptions, we can reroute when we’re in the middle of a chapter we don’t particularly like. Here are some of our the mantras we lean on before jumping into the specifics:

“Don’t make a wish, make a decision.”

“Design who you want to be, then be it.”

“Decide for yourself who you are, no one else gets to make that decision for you.”

“Be the ____ you want to see in the world.”

"You'll see it when you believe it."



We fell in love with the Chinese New Year pigs, but Neko the fortune cat will always be our first love. Seen here with Hong Kong currency and another fortune-bearing trinket: our Flowered Vines Fortune Locket.

Next, make space for a fresh start.

In Hong Kong we learned that a big part of the Lunar New Year tradition revolves around decluttering your life and getting a fresh start. So basically, Marie Kondo-ing your life. We took that to mean cleaning out all those bad vibes, unpacking junk drawers (literally and figuratively) and being open to new opportunities we couldn’t have dreamed up on our own. Here are some fortunes to get you into a mindset of removing what’s heavy and unnecessary:

“Change comes from embracing your future, not fighting your past.”

“What’s good for you brings out the best in you, what’s bad for you doesn’t”

“Somewhere beneath all those distracting details is the best version of you.”

“Brighten your vibes, lighten your strides”

“Unlearn everything that you aren't. Relearn everything that you are.”


Kieran, Fortune & Frame's COO and the love of my life, on the steps of the Hong Kong Gardens.


We take the most awkward selfies...

Don’t get in your own way.

Because we believe that everyone creates their own journeys--and that your mindset has a disproportionate effect on what unfolds along the way--many of the fortunes we’ve written are notes-to-self for those times when the only thing that’s holding us back is ourselves. The biggest themes are having more patience, growing through mistakes and acknowledging fear, but moving beyond it:  

“Don’t be in a hurry in the short term for things that will last in the long term.”

“Make mistake, repeat. Make mistake, repeat. Make mistake, do something different.”

“Win your mind. Win your life.”

“Fear will always be a thing. Don’t let it get in your way.”

“Change comes from embracing your future, not fighting your past.”
“If you want to grow, you have to be willing to learn.”

“Give yourself a chance to see what happens when you don’t give up.”

“Trust the wait, enjoy not knowing.”

“Accept all experiences as potentially good.”

“Everything that is was first a dream”



Sometimes the best inspiration comes from walking around in unfamiliar territory and discovering it--and yourself.


A visit to the giant Buddha in Hong Kong.


Possibly the world's largest incense. Outside the buddha and near a monastery.

Balance the things you control with the things you don’t.

Our final thought as we move into this new year is that for every part of your life you do control, there’s another part that you don’t. It’s why you can spend so much time willing a specific outcome or scenario into existence and it still doesn’t come to be. My experience is that whenever that happens, it’s by some greater design and we inevitably come to appreciate later exactly why the thing we wanted wasn’t meant to be. (Hopefully because something better was right around the corner.)

As someone who always wants to influence my surroundings and gets frustrated when I don’t have control, I leave you with some of my favorite reminders that sometimes you just don’t get to have a say. And that’s okay.

“Let things unfold. Relinquish control.”

“Let go and let the universe do its thing.”

“Everything is going to be cool.”

“Accept all experiences as potentially good.”

“Let there be no confusion: Things are unfolding exactly as they should.”

“Nature is self correcting. Let it do its thing.” 

I hope these fortunes will help inspire you to find your ambition this year, or write down some of your own. We would love to know what you come up with, so feel free to share your favorite quotes with us!

Looking for more inspiration? Check out our full collection of fortunes here.  

Gretel Going

Gretel Going is the designer and founder of Fortune & Frame. Here she shares her inspiration for the line, thoughts about life, the meaning behind the fortunes, and our process for bringing the pieces to life.