Script: New challenge for top model

Compiled by John Millen

The interview with top model and food lover Poppy P.

Compiled by John Millen |

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Voice: Hello and welcome to Today’s episode of Career Shift. Poppy P is one of Hong Kong's top models, but these days, she’s as also known for branching out into the world of food. She’s about to launch a chain of casual eateries called 'Poppy P's' three years ago and launched her own range of cooking sauce. Poppy P is here today to talk about her plans and her attitude to money.

Welcome Poppy.

Poppy P: Thank you. It’s great to be here.

Voice: How much money do you have in your handbag at the moment?

Poppy P: About four thousand dollars in cash. That's more than usual because I was away on a photo shoot in the philippine at the weekend. I usually rely more on my credit card.

Voice: Are you a saver or a spender?

Poppy P: Definitely a spender. I believe that you can't take it with you. I never had money growing up: my parents couldn't afford much laisee at Lunar New Year or birthday presents. They could barely afford to put food on the table for their three kids or to send us to good schools. Even though my mum was a teacher in Tianjin, when I arrived in Hong Kong I could barely read or write. I have had good luck. yes, but I have also worked hard. So now, I enjoy the fruits of my labour. I eat out at good restaurants and I buy my friends and family presents just because I feel like it. I don't go overboard with my spending.

Voice: How much do you earn per annum?

Poppy P: I haven't a clue! You will have to ask my accountant.

Voice: Have you ever struggled financially?

Poppy P: Absolutely. When I first got to Hong Kong, I didn't have two cents to rub together. I got a job as a  sales assistant and rented a tiny flat. Then I got very lucky. I was spotted by a model agency scout and put on their books. That obviously changed my life. I’m aware something like that happens to very few peopleand I will be eternally grateful.

Voice: Do you own a property?

Poppy P: No. I rent the same two-bedroom flat where I've lived for ten years. I live on my own, and don't need anything bigger or grander than this. My financial managers invest in property for me, but I don't need to buy a bigger or a grander place for myself.

Voice: What has been your most lucrative job?

Poppy P: The launch of my cooking sauces. These little bottles of good organic ingredients and great taste have earned me more than my modelling work.

Voice: Are you better off than your parents?

Poppy P: Of course! My mother was a primary school teacher in a rural school and she earned next to nothing. My dad was a labourer for a local farmer. Every cent they earned when to their family. They worked hard for us and had nothing for themselves. It’s great  to be able to support them now.

Voice: Do you ever donate to charity?

Poppy P: Yes. I donate a percentage of my earnings from modelling to medical charities. We donate a percentage of my earnings from the cooking sauces to young people's charities. I don’t disclose how much I give but I know it’s made a real difference.

Voice: What is your financial priority?

Poppy P: To leave a legacy for my family. I don't have any children myself, but my nephews and nieces are like my own. Everything I'm doing and building  - and the money I don’t spend on gifts for them! - is for them.