Hey, I am Seowon (Say) Song. I started Fork & Truffle Magazine to showcase and talk about things I like - business, cafes, restaurants, luxury and watches, while providing value to the readers.
Originally born in South Korea, I came to Christchurch, New Zealand in 2004 with my family. I moved up to Auckland in 2014 to study electrical engineering at The University of Auckland. A year after, I started my business journey as a freelance social media marketer while still studying. Then in 2017, I quit my study and declined an engineering job offer to go all-in with my business.
It has been well over 7 years since I first started. Now I run Caramel, a creative strategy agency specialising in helping hospitality and luxury businesses win. As one of the most experienced agencies, we have the biggest client portfolio in New Zealand - working with over 500 businesses.
My typical day consists of business consulting and strategy planning with clients, meetings with partners/prospects and of course photography, which is one of my favourite hobbies. With a passion for capturing the hospitality scene and luxury things, particularly watches, I love introducing great places to eat/drink and showcasing fine things to buy to my audience via this Magazine and social media.
Some facts about me.
My full legal name is Seowon Song. "Seowon" is pronounced "Sur-won" but there is no way of writing (and pronouncing) it accurately with alphabets. Despite my mates knowing how to pronounce it properly, when some would call my name fast, they would say "Say-won" or just "Say". I got used to this and it just became my "English" name.
I try to avoid eating sugar as much as possible; I hardly eat ice cream or chocolate - I would perhaps have one ice cream every couple of months. However, when I go to a cafe to work on my laptop, while I am ordering coffee I would often grab a cabinet food - almost all the time, it would be something sweet... But not too sweet. If there is a cheesecake, I would grab that most of the time because it is my favourite dessert.
When I was in high school, I wore a Casio (Ref. MTP1302, black dial) mainly for time-keeping. Later on, I started treating it as a fashion accessory (because smartphones became a thing) so I started buying a couple of other watches - all cheap, no-brand fashion watches.
Skipping forward a year (or two), I remember seeing Longines and Rolex watches in magazines; I thought the designs were amazing. So as I started to do more research, I found out more about mechanical watches and really loved the craftsmanship, engineering and history behind the whole watch industry.
Now, collecting watches became one of my hobbies. My all-time favourite brand is Rolex but I have other favourites, too: A. Lange & Sohne, Longines and Tag Heuer, to name a few.
Banana & Butter Chicken.
If I was to pick the hardest time in my journey so far, I have to pick the year 2017. Because I lacked experience (business and interpersonal), my freelance business was making $300 to $500 per month so I had to get a part-time job, which just paid off my rent and basic groceries. I was living week by week and there also was a time I had less than $1 in my bank account. Gratefully, I never became homeless but there were a few close calls.
Anyways, because I hardly had any money to spare, most of my diet would consist of bananas or very cheap butter chicken with rice, which cost less than $2 to make (per serving). I couldn't afford vegetables and the aim was just to give me enough energy while minimising cost. Not having much time to cook and lacking in cooking knowledge, about 4 to 5 days of the week, I would eat 1 or 2 meals per day and it would either be bananas or butter chicken... For the whole year.
So whenever I go to an Indian restaurant, I always avoid ordering butter chicken. Don't get me wrong, their butter chicken is 300% better than what I made back then but I feel I ate more than five lifetimes' worth of butter chicken that year. I still love all other curries though.
Bananas... Yea, I still eat them often.
Connect or work with me.
For photography enquiries, please visit the Photography page for more details or just visit the Contact page to get in touch.
If you need help with your business in the hospitality or luxury industries, or for collaboration/media enquiries, please email me: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I look forward to hearing from you.