This blog was written by Samantha Wong and organized by Madeleine Villa.
Henkaa is made up of a small but mighty team of diverse and inspirational women, Samantha is one of them. Sam is our Product Design & Development Lead - she’s also a dog mom of two, a plant mom to over 30, and started her career when she was just 16!
Sewing, a Happy Coincidence
I’m Canadian but I was born to Chinese-Indian parents who immigrated here from Kolkata, India. My family makes amazing Indian Hakka food which is Chinese food influenced by Indian cuisine!
I was born and raised in Brampton, Ontario with two sisters - I’m the middle child. I took piano and swimming lessons for a few years of my childhood but nothing interested me as much as playing soccer. I played for six years which lead me to a point where I was on three separate teams at my peak. I suffered a knee injury that went undiagnosed for five months. After having knee surgery seven months after the accident, I had to go through a painful recovery but I discovered a new hobby - sewing!
Dog Mom Extraordinaire
I currently reside in Mississauga, Ontario with my partner of 13 years and we have two two-year-old Shih-Tzu/Poodle (Shihpoo) dogs. Shep is white & Dallas is grey (although he was black when we first brought him home!)
A Green Thumb
I love houseplants, I find each and every type so fascinating! Researching the needs of the individual plants and fulfilling them is rewarding and something I genuinely enjoy. I have over 30 different types in my home at this time but I’m always looking for more!
Henkaa’s Fairy Godmother
I’m currently the Product Design & Development Lead here at Henkaa. I make customized Henkaa dresses for our customers via Henkaa Studio on Etsy. I bring new design ideas to life through pattern making and manufacturing samples for Henkaa. I also oversee production-related goods of the company and I maintain and replenish inventory among other tasks.
I started an online business at the age of 16 alongside my older sister. We started with selling handmade purses and tote bags. We quickly gained a group of supporters and expanded to selling women’s clothing locally and internationally.
I graduated high school with an award for the highest grade in World of Fashion and followed by a diploma and Academic Achievement award in Fashion Techniques & Design at George Brown College.
My sister and I started a successful DIY fashion blog which offered us an opportunity in attending and blogging about New York Fashion Week three seasons in a row.
I’ve had many fashion-related jobs since; I’ve been an intern at a sewing school, fashion show dresser, production assistant for a high-end custom designer. I started working at Henkaa in 2016 as a warehouse assistant, promoted to Production & Development Coordinator and now the Product Design & Development Lead.
Women Supporting Women
It’s fantastic, I’m able to have great relationships with all the diverse women on my team who always provide professional and personal support! Henkaa is also supportive of flexible work schedules to support work/life balance.
Both my sisters, they’ve supported and guided me throughout my life. We’ve always maintained close relationships and no one understands me the way they do! My older sister, Sylvia, is an incredible calligrapher and that’s not even her day job! She has a drive that I’ve admired since I was a child. My younger sister, Caitlyn, is a strong independent lady who you wouldn’t expect to be the “baby” of the family. I’ve loved all 25 years of being her older sister and I’m so proud of all her career and personal achievements.