You own Mirrorball Productions and Eco Glitter HK, tell us a little about yourself, Valerie
I grew up in Russia in a circus family, with both of my parents working as artists, travelling the world. I started my gymnastics and circus training at the age of 5, and at the age of six, I made my stage debut in Russia.
When I was 13, I started performing professionally. Since then, I have travelled the world performing in various shows, focusing on corporate and private events. For almost 20 years I worked with clients including Christian Louboutin, Porsche, Mercedes, Audi, Virgin, Skoda, Adidas and Reebok, Stella McCartney, Toyota, NYX, Legal and General, Morgan Stanley, Swarovski and many more. I have performed in venues such as the Sydney Opera House, London’s Science, British and Natural Museums, The Royal Palace, Richard Branson’s Necker Island, One and Only Reethi Raa, Maldives, Arena Stages Worldwide with ‘Batman Live’ and the London Olympic Opening Ceremony 2012 to name a few.
In 2014 I created an original act called ‘The Mirror Ball Act’ (www.mirrorballact.com) which involves performing handstands and contortion on a 1m Mirror Ball! The act is now a great success and is franchised around the world and performed by carefully selected artists in the UK, Germany, and Australia, with me performing the act in Hong Kong and the wider Asian market.
I am now based in Hong Kong after coming here to work as an artist manager for a show at Ocean Park. In 2020, I pivoted into various industries, one of them being a gymnastics and circus/aerial coach. I am passionate to pass on my love for fitness and I have completed an exercise to music qualification in the UK as well as the X-Pole Children’s Aerial certification to fully understand how to deliver classes safely and effectively to all ages!
How did Eco Glitter HK get started?
As a performer and event entertainment provider, I use glitter a lot, for example, in my make-up, costumes and props. I wanted to use an environmentally friendly glitter alternative for my events and performances but I could not find a suitable solution in Hong Kong. That is when I started to research things further and decided to create Eco Glitter HK to offer this option to consumers, not just for events, but also for use in different businesses as well as for parents looking to use sustainable glitter in the arts and crafts!
I now want to combine my passion for the arts, events, sustainability, and glitter and create truly unforgettable experiences for kids and adults with our Eco Glitter events services!
What is the difference between Eco Glitter and “regular” glitter?
Eco Glitter HK uses the world’s only certified fresh-water biodegradable glitter brand Bioglitter™. This certification cuts through the confusing, and often misleading sustainability jargon used when selling many ‘eco-friendly’ products, avoiding confusing consumers.
Cosmetic Bioglitter™ replaces the polyester film used in traditional cosmetic glitter with a special form of cellulose extracted from hardwoods, primarily eucalyptus sourced from responsibly managed and certified plantations operating to PEFC™ www.pefc.org standards. Cosmetic Bioglitter™ PURE utilises our unique mineral and naturally derived coating. Bioglitter Pure is also the World’s first 100% plastic free glitter certified by TÜV Austra, ‘OK Biodegradable WATER’ certification.
We will soon be launching our Eco Glitter Deco and Crafts Range, which will bring biodegradable glitter to consumers looking to use glitter for craft projects as well as for printing, coating, and other effect applications in products at a more affordable price.
Glitter and microplastics could be perceived as insignificant, is it really such a problem?
Sustainability isn’t about being perfect, it’s about everyone consciously making an effort to be better. Making small changes at home can be a great way to engage and empower children to understand the planet, and how to protect it. With Eco Glitter, parents are happy that they can use a eco-friendly product that’s still fun.
Going back to the “is it a big problem?” question, the biggest issue with regular plastic based glitter is that it contributes to producing microplastics that can attract toxic chemicals in the environment, acting as a sponge that can concentrate these chemicals and then enter the food chain.
As traditional plastic based glitter is typically less than 5mm in size and made from plastic, it is a primary microplastic. This, combined with how glitter is used in some applications can contribute to plastic pollution in the natural environment.
Glitter is a very small part of the microplastic problem facing our environment however it is an important step in the right direction in terms of awareness.
What can Hong Kong’s event scene expect from Eco Glitter HK?
As we specialise in events and entertainment, we want to bring Eco Glitter to the events market by providing Eco Glitter stations for events and festivals as well as private parties both large and small, so that you can get your festival kick without leaving Hong Kong! We aim to deliver sustainable event party services for kids and adults in HK, mixing glitter, resin art, circus, acting and dance and much more!
We also plan to deliver monthly workshops for kids and adults where you can mix your own glitter colours and gels and learn about microplastics and sustainability. Our workshops will include guest artists and offer something different each month so that it is always entertaining and educational. All workshops will include our Eco Glitter Station make up service!
If you want to get your hands on some Eco Glitter yourself, head to our website where you can purchase both the Eco Glitter Cosmetic Range and the Eco Glitter Deco / Crafts Range to use in your own projects. Our Eco Glitter Cosmetic Range can be used in make-up and skin care products, bath and body products, nail art, hair and of course, events!
Our Eco Glitter Deco and Crafts Range is suitable for home craft projects, school art projects, decorations for events and products and much more.
What does Eco Glitter HK cost?
Eco Glitter Cosmetic Range starts at $50 for 5g and is offered in various sizes and packages.
Eco Glitter Deco and Craft Range starts at $150 for 25g and also comes in different packages which start at $175 HKD for 3 colours!
We offer event packages which start at $4000.
Our online Eco Glitter Arts and Crafts Workshops feature uniquely designed craft boxes that include 4 weeks-worth of activities for $550 HKD! We have combined forces with The Petit Pelican for those who are as passionate about the environment as we are. It is a fellow Lamma Island-based business that we are keen to support!
Is Hong Kong ahead or behind the curve of sustainability?
I believe Hong Kong is on the right track in terms if sustainability. I see a lot of great brands and individuals doing their bit and hopefully this will continue to grow with positive change following suit. It is all about offering education to the public and the chance to use sustainable products and services. We hope we can contribute to that change!
You work with your husband, what does he bring to the brand?
Chris brings his expertise in theatre arts to Eco Glitter HK and Mirrorball Productions events. His approach ensures an immersive element of storytelling, making our workshops memorable and interactive experiences! We can customise any event to suit a theme and bring characters to host. For example, crazy scientist, superhero, or even Shakespeare themed workshops. Chris’ energy is infectious and his ability to draw out creativity in adults and kids is something our customers speak very highly of.
Chris has 20 years of acting experience, performing in top-class productions such as Batman Live World Arena Tour by Warner Brothers and DC Comics playing the Riddler, which appeared in venues such as the O2 arena in London; the Staples Centre, Los Angeles, and other countries; Brazil, Chile, Dubai, Australia, Abu Dhabi, and many European countries. Christopher has also appeared in commercials and voiceovers for TV and radio across the U.K and China.
Improvisation is Christopher’s specialty. Chris taught drama and improvisation for the BBC and in top UK drama schools including the Royal Academy of Music and the Oxford School of Drama, one of the top five drama schools in the world. Awards from the Royal Television Society and Channel 4 Laughs were achieved as part of the Suggestibles, renowned improvisation team, creating experimental improvised shows, pantomimes, films and musicals. Christopher was awarded the 2017 North East England Best Actor, awarded by the British Theatre Guide and nominated for Actor of the Year UK in 2019.