Henkaanista Feature: Melisa Vong
This blog post was originally written by Gloria Chik.
- How did you learn about Henkaa?
I was part of a Faze Magazine event that Henkaa was sponsoring - they were doing a little styling competition. We started trying on the dresses to encourage people to come and try them too. There’s so many different ways to wear them!
I think with anything that’s new, people are going to hesitate. When it comes to fashion, there’s constantly innovative ideas. Henkaa feels like it has this philosophy of being versatile. Having someone on hand to make the first experience more comfortable always helps!
- What encouraged you to try entrepreneurship?
I was actually in the automotive industry before - completely different. I was in sales, working for several manufacturers, and during my time at my last role I decided to start a side hustle. From there, I always knew I wanted to own my own business and really dive into the skincare space. Growing up my mom was always super health conscious - making me try all these new health focused things, the typical mom stuff. We do a lot of hot yoga together.
I wanted to build a brand around our dynamic, combining skincare and the yoga mindset. There’s so many products out there that are harmful - parabens, chemicals, mass market ingredients. With two business partners, we decided to start a skincare brand that focused on botanicals and organic ingredients. It started with one simple ingredient - castor oil. From there it took off! We decided to launch more brands in the health and beauty space. Helping people feel more confident or having more energy has more impact than just drop shipping and selling fidget spinners.
- What’s the experience been like in understanding growth?
Starting your own brand can be very scary. For a lot of people that want to do their own thing, I always encourage people to chase their passions. Supporting others that are growing helps them expand in their growth. It’s not always going to be easy. Maybe there are steps and guidelines that help you, and having a mentor smooths over the journey. Knowing that you have support from other people where you can go through the lows and highs together helps. At the end of the day, entrepreneurship is an ongoing challenge. The journey is something I enjoy because you grow and learn a lot.
- You talked about travel being a large part of your experiences lately.
Travelling opens up your perspective. It changes the way you think and it opens up your life from a different lens. I would tell anyone to always be networking. It really does help to know people in specific industries. You never know who you will meet that will change your life. Not only just networking, but also being a connector. Travel is great for meeting people and building new relationships.
It’s also about being in a new environment. Sometimes getting out there, out of your house. Changing up your scenery means that you can work at a different capacity. Sometimes it becomes a blur between your work life and your actual life.
- Any parting thoughts on women on self care / self love?
Everyone has something special within them. I think that females growing up they keep being told different things. The more they’re told something they tend to believe it. It is so important to love yourself before you love someone else. It’s the whole concept that you can’t pour from an empty glass. You have to make sure you’re taken care of, then you can go out there and be that support system for someone else. For me, I have a younger sister. She also really struggled with self confidence. I think it’s important to be strong yourself to be there for others when they need it the most.
Women are very empathetic creatures. We’re caring. We should use that to our advantage and spread that self care and self love. If you’re confident, people gravitate towards you. Being able to love yourself will also transpire in other ways.