What do you do?
I have somewhat of a split identity. During the day (and some evenings), I work in project management for a hospitality company in Hong Kong. In my spare time, I run Spill Stories, a storytelling platform that seeks to cut through the superficiality of social media with raw and honest stories targeting women of color.
How does your platform work?
We spend so much time on social media. However, most content is superficial, such as food, outfits, and social gatherings. What’s really on people’s minds? The most challenging, real parts of our lives are often invisible. Sometimes, social media actually enhances our own isolation.
Spill Stories is a community platform for multicultural women to stories that cut through the superficiality of social media. Series like Sex & Power and Secrets & Insecurities offer crowdsourced stories on Instagram that are sobering, funny, and human. Offline, Spill Stories hosts storytelling events and monthly writing workshops. In May, we partnered with a refugee collective called Art Women to host a storytelling event called Truth & Travel at the Hive Sheung Wan. The profits helped pay for the school fees of 14 Hong Kong refugee children.
Ultimately, Spill Stories seeks to help women find their voices and amplify their stories. Reading the stories helps people empathize with other people’s experiences. Writers feel catharsis for releasing something personal and real into the world. I want to flip traditional social media on its head through radical honesty.
How did your platform get started?
Spill Stories was born out my own unhappiness. Hong Kong is a tough place. The transience of the city makes it alienating. After a bad breakup and with nothing to lose, I took to my personal Instagram to start writing about some of my struggles in a really unfiltered way. People started commented and saying they liked the writing. This feedback gave me the courage to start Spill Stories and create the community that I wanted through writing.
Who are your community members?
The community first and foremost a place for women of color. Women who come from multicultural backgrounds and likely grew up with a pop culture that wasn’t made for them. However, I do believe the stories can resonate with anyone—men, women, and gender fluid friends included. Anyone is encouraged to write. This is a women-led platform but it is not exclusive for women.
What’s a day in your working life like?
I work a lot, maybe 60-70 hours a week, and some weekends. I write whenever I can – on the MTR, while walking, in cabs, or right before going to sleep. Sometimes, I write on my way home and post at 11:30pm, watch some likes roll in, and then fall asleep. The juggling act is hard, but a dream is just a dream without execution.
Where do you see your platform in future?
Ultimately, my vision is to create a vibrant online and offline community for women of color that’s focused on self-expression. I’d love to do more events with the Hive, who have been wonderful to work with. I’m working on a book focused on the concept of belonging that will feature my writing as well as that of others. I’d love to meet more writers to have feature stories from people of different backgrounds. I encourage anyone interested in writing or getting involved to get in touch with me!
An elevator convo with Tiffany Huang. See here for more from our Next Up series.