This blog post was originally written by Madeleine Villa.
Whether you are a frequent customer of Henkaa or just starting to browse, you definitely will recognize Gina’s face. While Gina often models for Henkaa as a ‘real woman’, she is also the brand’s marketing manager and an integral part of Henkaa’s continued success.
Just like many of our customers, Gina first heard about Henkaa at Canada’s Bridal Show in Toronto. She was busy planning her dream wedding with her fiance Matt, who had been her boyfriend of 5 years.
With both Gina and Matt coming from big families, they had a large wedding party - a combined 20 witnesses for their big day! With ten bridesmaids, Gina wanted to find a dress that would make them all feel beautiful and showcase their personalities, “I loved how the dresses worked on all body types and the girls were able to pick their own way to wear them.” The reasonable price was also perfect for their varied budgets.
From there on Gina was hooked. When she saw that Henkaa was looking to hire someone for marketing and business development she thought - why not!
Gina had been a marketer for other companies before but felt that Henkaa better aligned with her personal beliefs, and would be a place she could grow her skills. She says, “I started out in digital marketing and worked my way in to all areas of marketing (traditional, event etc.) in addition to digital. I came to Henkaa over three years ago and have continued to grow my career by adding in brand development and leading with creative asset development. This makes my marketing experience very well rounded.”
Due to the nature of the brand, Henkaa is mainly run by women which Gina says is one of the reasons it is “the most supportive and collaborative work environment” she has been in. Because of the small group of dedicated and passionate employees at Henkaa, Gina says that working at Henkaa gives you “a lot of opportunity to challenge your skills and try new things to help you grow with your career.” When Gina first started she had a lot of experience with digital and traditional marketing as well as event marketing. However, one area she wanted to grow in was her creative skills and big-picture marketing. The small company allowed for Gina to learn these skills and much, much, more! “I love working somewhere that I can push myself to learn more and never feel like I am not progressing.”
Since then Gina has become the Marketing Manager and has also become a mother to her son Ethan, who is now an active toddler! With baby number two on the way Gina is grateful for the understanding of work/life balance at Henkaa:
“As a mom to a young toddler it is fair to say that life has had a lot of unexpected changes that can be hard to juggle sometimes. Working for a company that challenges me each day but also understands and is flexible with my personal life helps me find that balance to be able to succeed both in my personal and professional life.”
Gina first got to experience Henkaa convertible dresses for her wedding, but has since gotten to wear them through many life milestones like her pregnancies. She says, “I love how the product really fits my personal life, it doesn’t hurt that I love the clothes and have a closet full of them.” Gina and her family love to travel and she has gotten to bring Henkaa all over the world with her “It is great that the clothes really do complement the activities in my life and I actually do wear them all the time.”
As a mother Gina has also seen her body change both during pregnancy and after, one of the constant items of clothing Gina could wear before, during, and after were her Henkaa garments. She feels it’s crucial for Henkaa to take a stance on body-inclusivity in the fashion industry and especially in the wedding industry. While Henkaa always believed this, Gina really helped bring it to the forefront of Henkaa’s branding to make it a priority to include real women with real bodies in Henkaa’s imaging.
“Henkaa believes that all women are beautiful no matter their shape or size and we like to use a variety of beautiful women in our assets to showcase just how amazing the dresses look like on everyone. It is nice to see a company that supports woman through all of their life stages, marriage, families careers and wants to grow with their customers.”
Part of this inclusive branding effort means that many of Henkaa employees also double as Henkaa models in photoshoots, which is why you may have seen Gina’s face once, or twice! When she thinks about her future with Henkaa, Gina’s goal “is to continue to help grow the brand to become a positive impact on women’s fashion.”