Mina-Jacqueline Au is a North Bergen resident who has appeared on reality shows such as Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels,” and “Party Mamas,” as well as various morning shows, including “CW11 Morning News,” “AM New York,” and more. The young mother and philanthropist is now launching a Bon-Luxe store, which will offer customers luxury items and a spa. The store will also have a commitment to both local and national charities.
The daughter of Kai T. Au, a philanthropist and founder of fitness centers and Olympic training facilities in Asia, Mina-Jacqueline was raised in a family focused on giving back to their community within Hong Kong, where she grew up.
After losing her father when she was young, Au has dedicated her time honoring him by donating her time to various reputable charities and causes.
“I grew up in a family that’s very much involved with charity,” said Au. “[My father] always tried to instill the mindset of giving back.”
Founded on Valentine’s Day of 2007, Bon-Luxe Enterprises is a marketing firm and luxury retail company with a large focus on philanthropy. Au, the CEO, is now launching a Bon-Luxe store this month at the Marine Plaza office building, along the waterfront in North Bergen.
Open for a two-month period, the boutique will feature luxury retail items, spa and nail services, and a tea bar. Many of the proceeds will be given to Au’s charities.
The store will also serve as host to various charitable events, such as a Christmas “Giving Tree,” where guests pick ornaments labeled with different gifts, as requested by children in nearby orphanages.
Television as an outlet
Since traveling to America, Au has been involved with charities at both the national and local levels. She frequently appears on television, an outlet she uses to spread word of her causes.
Her appearance on Bravo’s “Pregnant in Heels” centered on her experiences while expecting the birth of her son.
“Basically,” said Au, “the premise is that I called [the host] asking for help literally a week before I was due, and that I had no idea what I was doing.”
As a “luxury lifestyle expert,” Au’s television stints are typically centered on her knowledge of luxury shopping, dining, and living. Au, however, devotes many of her TV appearances increasing awareness for her charities.
“Around this time every year,” said Au, “I make a round of calls and ask people if I can come up and do a segment where I talk about [my charities].”
Au is a founding board member of the New York chapter of Project Ladybug, founded by “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Dina Manzo. The charity, with a focus on helping children who have been diagnosed with cancer, has grown to a national level due in part to Manzo’s TV appearances.
Au currently is on the board of directors of the Foundation for Autistic Training and Education, or FATE. She also began the TCP foundation last year, which is named after her 18-month-old son, Tyler Christian Poon. The TCP foundation works with various different school boards to develop programs to help educate kids on the practice of giving back.
“I’m not in the position to write a check to a charity that would make a big enough difference,” said Au. “A lot of people are in the mentality, especially now, that you have to be wealthy to give back, which is completely not true.”
“It all starts with how one was raised,” continued Au. “[The TCP Foundation] teaches kids that you don’t have to come from a lucky family to give back.”
For more information on Project Ladybug, visit projectladybug.org. For more information on FATE, visit thefate.org.
Stephen LaMarca may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.