The first edition of our Inspiring Women series features no other than our founder Joanna Chang.

Inspiring Women Edition 1: Our Founder Jo

We’re kicking off an exciting new series where we feature inspirational women within the Henkaa community, from our employees and Stylepreneurs, to our customers and friends of the brand. Everyday we feel motivated to embrace the richness of life in large part because of the example these women have set and we want to share their story.

We couldn’t have thought of a better person to launch this initiative with than our Founder Joanna Chang (who friends, families and colleagues call Jo, so you can too). We sat down with Jo to speak briefly about launching a business, work-life balance, and the people who inspire her.

The first edition of our Inspiring Women series features no other than our founder Joanna Chang.

What motivated you to launch Henkaa? Most specifically what series of thoughts and events led you to the point where you wanted to create and devote your time and energy to a fashion and lifestyle brand?

At a time when almost everyone I knew was getting married, I was asked to be a bridesmaid for the sixth time! I never wore the dresses I had to buy again and on top of that, airlines were just beginning to charge for checked luggage. I hated that I would have to pay and I hated even more that I never seemed to know what to wear no matter how many things I had in my closet. That’s when it hit me – convertible / multifunctional apparel that would enable you to do more with less. When I couldn’t find what I wanted in the market with the right design, price or quality, I decided to do something about it and started Henkaa.

I remember my first time debuting a Henkaa Convertible Dress at a friend’s wedding as a guest. I arrived at the venue and as I walked over to my table, I noticed another guest wearing the same color and style dress! We were both in this purple asymmetric one shoulder dress. I freaked out for a moment but lucky for me, I was able to run to the restroom to quickly change my style. In that restroom, as I was unwrapping and rewrapping my dress, I had a small audience watching in amazement. Ladies started asking where and when they could get one and talked about how many times they’d wished they had a magically transforming dress! That’s really the moment that I realized that this brand wouldn’t just be about a dress; it would be about solving real challenges and problems that women face on a daily basis.

The first edition of our Inspiring Women series features no other than our founder Joanna Chang.

You did a gorgeous photoshoot with your family last year. As an entrepreneur, how are you able to prioritize your husband and children with the demands of running a business? What have been your greatest challenges?

People talk a lot about “balance” these days and if you ask me, honestly I would say that it doesn’t really exist. To think that you can always maintain this state of equilibrium between work and life is a really hard goal or standard to set. I think “prioritize” is definitely the right way to put it instead, as that’s what it seems to be on a week to week or even day to day basis. It flip flops back and forth – you have to go all in with family some days like when the kids are sick, or all business when you have a trade show or important deadline coming up.

It’s realizing what is most critical in the present and tackling that first and foremost. Further to that, I would say the greatest challenge is staying in the present while simultaneously having to consider future demands – especially in terms of financial, technological and human capital. Things are changing so fast these days and it’s crazy trying to stay on top of everything!

The first edition of our Inspiring Women series features no other than our founder Joanna Chang.

In the spirit of paying it forward, who would you say have been the most inspirational women in your life? What specifically about them would you credit with influencing you?

Admittedly, a lot of my mentors and inspirational figures used to be male – until I became a Mom-preneur and realized there’s a whole other dimension involved with being a mom and business owner. Nowadays, I am very much inspired by highly successful women like Arlene Dickinson (businesswoman, author and former investor on Dragons Den), Angela Jia Kim (founder of Savor the Success) and Doris Christopher (founder of Pampered Chef).

These women are all mothers, rock star business women and most admirably, still find a way to give back and build communities that support others. Having these women as examples makes me believe that anything is possible – not easy, but possible.

5 things that happen behind the scenes at Dragons Den - on the Henkaa blog!

5 Things That Happen Behind the Scenes at Dragons Den

5 things that happen behind the scenes at Dragons Den - on the Henkaa blog!

Photo via Manjit Minhas

Dragons and fire and dens – oh my! Curious to see what it’s really like behind the scenes at Dragons Den? Step into the Den with Henkaa Founder & CEO Joanna Duong Chang as she looks at 5 things you might not know about!

Since I’ve started writing my Dragons Den blog post series, several people have started asking me about my experience on the show and what kinds of things happen behind the curtain. To be honest, I was so tired and nervous, blinded by all the bright lights, and so in awe at the Dragons sitting in front of me, that I can barely even remember what happened. It’s all a bit of a blur. Plus, I signed off to secrecy until the season is over, so no spilling the beans!

What I can tell you are some fun things that I learned behind the scenes during our time at the studio and throughout our whole experience. I’m all about the little things that make a big difference, so here’s my list of things I wish I had known in hopes that it helps any of you future pitchers to get excited for your turn. Every little bit counts!

1 | Filming goes on for 20 days straight

No breaks, no waiting, just pitch after pitch, on and on. It may vary by a day or two depending on how many pitches there are, but it’s generally around there. The days are extremely long but full of excitement. You’re required to be at the studio no later than 7:30am and you don’t leave until you’re done pitching. What made me nervous was that the time of your pitch was never certain since it all depends on how long everyone else takes. So we could be called any minute!

A pitch can end quickly, or go on for a decent length, but on average I saw other candidates spend about 30 – 40 minutes inside the Den. After doing this every day for 20 days straight, imagine how tired the Dragons must be after all of that! While the first few days are exciting, when you’ve already heard a hundred pitches by the 17th day, the novelty wears off. The tip here is try to get an earlier date for filming, if possible. The sweet spot is generally around the 5th to 10th day range, that way they’re warmed up and ready to hear your pitch!

2 | You get your own producer

You are assigned a producer who can inevitably help make you, or break you. This person is a precious resource for you, so build your relationship and leverage their experience as much as possible. Our producer filled me in on important details and tips – one of which I found extremely helpful and you should know too. She explained that we should not answer a Dragon’s question if they happen to ask before we’re done giving our speech.

Everything you read or hear about Dragons Den will tell you to know your numbers and your business inside and out (which you should!), but if they ask a question before you’re done your elevator pitch and you jump to show off your knowledge, you’re opening the flood gates to questions and comments. Once that gets started, you most likely won’t have a chance to go back and complete the rest of your pitch. Instead, my producer suggested to tell the Dragons that you will get back to them and to continue on with your pitch. That way you stay on track, and you get your 2 minutes of fame!

3 | You’re allowed to take pictures and videos

Contrary to popular belief, you are allowed take pictures and videos on set and around the studio. However, most people in the Den just forget to do it since they’re so focused on making last minute tweaks and adjustments to their pitch! One big no-no which I got scolded for was sitting in a Dragon’s chair – not even my daughter Jolene was cute enough to bypass this rule! What’s important here is that you actually take the time to step back, smell the roses, soak in the experience, document it, and plan to leverage it on social media.

Again, deal or no deal, just having the “As seen on Dragons Den” association can help you get more attention on your business. We didn’t really have a plan or strategy going in since we were certain that we weren’t allowed to take pictures backstage or inside the studio. So we were pleasantly to find out that we could document such a triumphant moment of us. We did do some mandatory Snapchatting and took a lot of great photos to use later down the road. The best tip I can give here is to plan your social media strategy for the entire journey, not just for your post-air date traffic spike. Besides, you don’t find out if your pitch will actually air until 1 to 2 weeks before the season starts, which is not enough time to pull everything together!

4 | They feed you lots of sugar

Once you’ve checked into the studio, set up your props, and talk to your producer, they then put you in a waiting room that’s filled with sugar. No lie. They have candy and treats and juice coming out of the wazoo and you may not have eaten breakfast or lunch yet because you couldn’t keep it down. By that point, the candy looks absolutely delightful, but that sugar high might cause you to crash and burn.

Had we known, we would’ve brought some healthy snacks to settle our gurgling stomachs and help us fight that sugar binge temptation. But don’t take it from me because I failed in that department and totally indulged!

5 | You get a goody bag!

I realize that I sound a bit childish when I say this, but it was such a cute little touch to it all! After you pitch and finish packing up all your stuff, they give you a little goody bag as well as an award to acknowledge your appearance on set. It was a sweet and unexpected surprise to commemorate our time that we spent at the Den. Not only that, it was a nice little memory to remind us of the journey that brought us there in the first place.

Have you ever been behind the scenes at Dragons Den? Tell us about your experience in the comments, we’d love to hear from you!


Find out more about the ugly "reality" of being on CBC's hit show The Dragons' Den!

The Ugly “Reality” of Being on Dragons Den

Find out more about the ugly "reality" of being on CBC's hit show The Dragons' Den!

Photo via Flickr

Bet you’ve never thought about the reality of being on Dragons Den. Ever wonder what really happens to contestants on the show? Scroll down to find out.

From Survivor, to The Bachelor, to Master Chef, to Keeping Up with the Kardashians (or whatever other reality show you won’t admit that you watch), it begs the question, how real is reality TV?  A lot of accounts from past contestants or stars on these shows will tell you – not that real.

Running a successful reality TV show takes a lot of work. Everything from crafting the most suspenseful scenes, to stitching together the perfect story, to creating fights and brawls between characters, all of it comes together to create the addictive content that we watch religiously on a daily or weekly basis. Editors have to sift through hundreds of hours of film and break these giant blocks into minutes and seconds in a way that will keep you hooked from the get-go.

After seeing the show and experiencing Dragons Den firsthand, I knew that it’s inevitable that parts where you look the best or stupidest or most controversial will most likely make the cut onto the show. They may even edit or rearrange the order of what you say in order to make it more entertaining. That’s part of the fun and fear of it I guess – you just don’t know how you’ll be portrayed.

When you get the call from the producers at Dragon’s Den, the hope is that you actually stand a chance against all the other aspiring entrepreneurs – because why else would they call you, right?  Realistically, they want people and ideas that are TV friendly and who they know will swoon their viewers in some way. The show has aired their fair share of pitches, from starry-eyed entrepreneurs to ballsy actors who just wanted a shot at getting their 15 minutes of stardom. And yet from the best to the best, to the worst of the worst, we can all admit that it was entertaining watching each and every one of them.

At The Cocolily Social, an event that I was a facilitator at earlier this year, I was happy to hear a motivational story from  Occasion Giftware’s Gabriella Mammone, the woman who was crowned by Arlene Dickinson as the worst pitch ever on Dragon’s Den. We all love Dragons’ Den for the business opportunity and entertainment of it, but this was the first time I witnessed the human cost of it all and heard someone speak up about their experience on the show.

Gabriella shared her story – she spoke of her battle with Multiple Scelorsis, dealing with her young children, and overcoming the difficult circumstances she had come across. For the longest time, she had wanted to appear on the show to grow her business and finally cross it off of her bucket list.  Needless to say, it didn’t go well for her. BUT, what inspired me the most was Gabriella’s ability to see the silver lining of it all. Although, she was initially mocked for her pitch, Gabriella not only overcame the anxiety of being on Dragons’ Den, but also realized that simply appearing on the show served as an amazing business opportunity.

When it comes to talking about business – not just on Dragon’s Den – it’s seldom that they know about or accept the struggles, trails, and tribulations behind the scenes. When you watch reality TV, you can only judge a situation based on what you see on screen or what contestants have to say. Realistically, people come in all shapes, sizes, walks of life, industries, experiences, lives, and backgrounds, and the real struggle that initially got them where they are today may not even see the light of day on a reality TV show.

With that in mind, it’s important to remember that other peoples’ perception of you doesn’t affect the outcome and success of what you put out to the universe. There are 5 Dragons on the show, and what they think, buy, or invest in is not the be all and end all.

“There are 5 Dragons on the show and what they think, buy, or invest in is not the be all and end all.”

Although they may be experts in several different fields, they may not understand a particular business’ target market or grasp the potential success of a product. I have a lot of respect and appreciation for the Dragons and what they do, however, they are not representative of the entire world outside of the Den! If you love your idea and you’re confident that you can make it happen, there’s nothing that can stop you, not even 5 “no’s” on Dragons’ Den. At the end of the day, no matter what happens on the show, it’s still an amazing business opportunity to have under your belt.

We filmed way back in April and at this point, I still don’t know if I will make it on the show. It leaves me with a lot of time to question whether or not I will make the cut, and if I do, how will I be portrayed? Will it be reality? Or reality TV? Either way, I’m always ready and willing to take my business to the next level, and I’m confident that I can make it happen, whether its with a Dragon or not.


The Formula for a Dragons Den Success Story

Henkaa CEO and Founder Joanna Duong Chang on her Formula for a Dragons Den Success Story

Creating the perfect formula for a Dragons Den success story is no easy feat…

After so many seasons, there’s no shortage of Dragons Den success stories, past pitches and blog posts shared by Entrepreneurs about their experiences with the show. It’s amazing to be able to access all that content documenting the “formula” for slaying the Dragons.

From my own experience, I came up with a version of my own…

Formula for a Dragons Den Success Story =

   tell a great story
+ have a realistic valuation
+ be charismatic
+ have solid sales
+ know your numbers
+ show a catchy demo or sample or model (bonus points for kids!)
+ have a plan for the money
+ just know your shit
= Get on Dragons Den

I personally executed on the above formula and got Henkaa into the Dragons Den. Yes!

The good news is that there is sort of a “formula” that can work. The caveat is every business and every entrepreneur is different, so there really is no one-size-fits-all approach that will yield the same results across the board.

There’s so many reasons why they may pick or not pick you. We’ve all seen those episodes with crazy business ideas that honestly had no chance of getting a deal, but were put on for ratings and entertainment at the expense of the Entrepreneur.  Or how about all those underwear brands that model their products that make it on for the sex appeal? The reality is that it is a reality TV show and there are a lot of elements behind the curtain that are grey.

When you audition for Dragons Den, you essentially sign up for an opportunity — a huge opportunity at that! As a small business, there’s no way you could even think of affording the air time on national television!  And with all opportunities, being prepared, learning and making the most of it are key, especially since you don’t get to control the script. You don’t even find out if your pitch will make it on air until two weeks before the air date, and less than half of the pitches they record go on air. So whether you make it or not, your Dragons Den success story is what you make of it.

The bottom line is not just getting on to the show or even getting a deal (both of which would be awesome of course!), the ultimate goal is to position your business for success. So while cracking the formula and becoming a Dragons Den success story is cool, just remember that its only one part of the journey of figuring out your own business success formula.


Henkaa CEO & Founder on Preparing for Dragons Den

5 Questions to ask yourself when preparing for Dragons Den

Henkaa CEO & Founder on Preparing for Dragons Den

If you finally make it onto CBC’s Dragons Den and then one of the investors decides to back your idea… What will you do with the money?

You can be 100% sure that this question will be asked directly or indirectly during the process. So before you subject yourself to being burned publicly on television, dig deep and figure out your big WHY. Here are the questions you need to ask yourself when preparing for Dragons Den. Make sure you know these inside and out:

1. Why are you there?

Do you know your true intentions? Perhaps it’s just to make it on TV to get publicity and the so called Dragons Den Effect?  Maybe you just need any investment you can get to keep going? Maybe it’s not about the money and you’ve always dreamed of being on the show? Or really, you need mentorship and experience from the Dragons.

The big why for Henkaa and myself was partially the need to shake things up. To get out of my comfort zone and get the word out about Henkaa. We have had our share of ups and downs and have made huge investments in people, systems and strategies. We have a lot of things started and a lot of opportunity ahead. I felt we needed that huge kick in the butt whether it came in the form of investment or eyes/attention on the business.  We don’t want to just survive, we want to thrive.

2. Who are you targeting as a partner?

Which Dragon do you think will actually have an interest in your business? Does it make sense for you to pitch to the Dragons if you don’t think any of them are a good fit for you?

As a fashion business, our obvious fit was Mr. Joe Fresh himself, Joe Mimran; and as a company with a sales channel of Direct Sales in America, Jim Treliving would be great too because his experience and investment in Dragons Den success story Steeped Tea. Think about who you would potentially like to have as a partner or who you admire for mentorship.

3. Where do you want to go?

Back to our original question on preparing for Dragons Den: What are you going to do with the money? How much will you ask for and how will you use it to advance your business? You’re asking for money here. Make sure to have some strategy with how you will be spending the investment and what direction you’ll take your company from there.

4. Do you even need the money ?

Are you and your business even investment worthy? Do you want/need the investment? Are you going in with a real hope of investment or are you there for the opportunity to get a boost in PR? Whatever it is and it could be a combination of a number of things, make sure you integrate it into your story so you can go after what you want. Intention should line up with expectation and hopefully the reality of your outcome!  At the end of the day, the show really is an opportunity. It’s what you do with it that makes all the difference.

5. How are you and the Dragons going to get their investment back?

What is the potential? This one might be difficult to answer, but you do have to prove that your company will be worth it. There are so many questions that need to be answered and anyone who is an entrepreneur knows that you never fully have all of them, and that’s okay. But at the same time, you need to know or at least fake it until you make it!

I really did struggle with these questions and took a lot of time to actually commit to preparing for Dragons Den. I still struggle with the decision because I’m not sure how I will be cut or portrayed on air but time will tell!  For now, I feel that it was worth the leap of faith. And surely, if you’re looking to get out of your comfort zone, it will be for you too. Happy Dragons Den-ing!


How to Pitch for Dragons Den

So you think you’re ready to pitch for Dragons Den? The process of the open auditions first requires pitching to producers before you can just make it in front of the actual Dragons. The numbers show  that of 2500 auditions only around 250 are invited to actually pitch to the Dragons and even fewer actually make it on air. Stiff competition to say the least!

So from our experience of making it past the producers, what are some key ingredients that can help ensure you make it to the Dragons lair? Here’s 3 tips.

Have a Real Business

Have  an actual product or service that solves a problem, has been proven and is scalable. Traction is attractive; sales figures, purchase orders, partnerships, collaborations, distribution, awards, patents. Know all of these numbers cold and share them; it’s music to the Dragons’ ears!

Henkaa has been operating for a few years now and we had solid numbers to share. You might not have enough time to share everything or it might not come out right so in addition to auditioning in person, make sure you also fill out the online application! It’s another way you can make a compelling pitch and ensure that none of your facts or numbers get missed if you’re nervous. They do cross check it!

If you don’t have strong metrics yet, consider spending more time building your business until you do and the likelihood you will make it on will increase substantially.

Tell a story

Share your journey. Get emotional. Be real. Anyone who’s watched Kevin O’Leary on Dragons Den or Shark Tank may dispute the need for this because, in his famous words, it’s all about, “How am I going to make money?” But at the end of the day, we are all human. The producers are human, the viewers are human, and the Dragons are, well, human too.

Henkaa CEO Founder - Joanna Duong Chang on How to Pitch for Dragons Den
At Henkaa, yes, we do sell convertible dresses and accessories that you can change and be worn in an infinite number of ways. The reason I came up with the idea though is because I had been a bridesmaid 6 times and I was stuck wearing dresses I didn’t like and never wore again. I  had no space in my 500 square foot condo to store so much excess clothing. On top of that, I hated paying to check in suitcases when travelling because I over packed for every possibility. I was just overwhelmed by clothing. So I created Henkaa to solve all of these problems that I faced and that women face everyday. True story.

If you can make your product or service connect and appeal on an emotional level, you’ll be light years ahead. Remember it’s part pitch and the rest questions. Rehearse the one side and know the rest. If you’re speaking from the heart, there’s not much to memorize!

Think for TV

Do something catchy. Command attention, be memorable and conversation-worthy. What can you demonstrate? How can you role play? Can you involve the producers? What visuals can you use?

With Henkaa, we’re fortunate enough that we can have live models changing up the styles on their dresses on the spot. It’s like magic. From our experience at trade shows and fashion shows, that usually catches peoples’ attention!

Essentially, a pitch for Dragons Den is an audition to a reality TV show so you need to understand and align with that. If you look at past pitches, there’s always a “special sauce” that can be extracted. Some businesses have trouble demonstrating their product for television but can really wow with sales numbers. On the other hand, some have an impressive and interactive product but don’t have anything to show when it comes to sales and growth. Dig deep and figure out what your special TV sauce is and work it!

So those were our guiding factors when we assembled our pitch for Dragons Den. We made it past the producers and got in front of the Dragons to pitch it all over again! How will you position your business? Can’t wait to see you on the Den!

xo Jo


Henkaa audition for Dragons Den

Why I Finally Decided to Audition for Dragons Den

Henkaa audition for Dragons Den

There’s no doubt that for the last decade, there’s been a worldwide craze for Reality programming. With a boom in entrepreneurial ventures and peoples’ natural curiosity to see how these small business ideas get funded, reality shows about them have thrived. The CBC television show Dragons Den has been on for 11 seasons and the American equivalent, Shark Tank  has already been on for 7 with no signs of stopping.

At the height of the recession, in 2009, I started Henkaa in my basement. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing starting an apparel business, but I jumped right in, buckled down and got to work. At that time, many people suggested that I audition for Dragons Den. I heard them but for whatever reason, I never listened. There was always a reason why I shouldn’t: we didn’t have enough traction yet, they’ve already seen similar products on the show, we wouldn’t have enough inventory, we already have the road map, we don’t need the money… and the list goes on.

I shouldn’t have had to wait for any validation or check point. Truthfully, there never is a perfect time and if you’re honest with yourself, the real reason probably boils down to the fear of rejection. No one wants to be rejected by multiple investors at once while being filmed too!

Fast forward now to 2016. Henkaa has grown more than I ever imagined it could and tens of thousands of dresses are out there in the world and the women who wear them are proud to share it (and our style gallery is proof of that!), so here I am, ready to take the plunge. It’s been 6 years and I’ve only now racked up the courage to audition for Dragons Den. And that’s the only thing different from then and now. Courage.

As an entrepreneur you will undoubtedly get more nos than yeses and it’s the resolve to keep going that takes you places. Deal or no deal, believe in your vision and what you gain from the experience will enrich your journey.

xoxo Jo


#HenkaaBossBabe Spotlight: Jackie Djie

#HenkaaBossBabe Spotlight: Jackie Djie

Welcome to the first edition of our new #HenkaaBossBabe Spotlight series where we’ll be speaking with one of our amazingly awesome Stylepreneurs and talking about their journey to becoming a #HenkaaBossBabe! This week we’ll be spotlighting on Jackie Djie, a Stylepreneur based out in sunny Melbourne, Florida. Not only is Jackie a boss babe, she’s managed to do so while raising her two children and serving in the US Air Force. If that’s not inspiring to you, then I don’t know what is!

Let’s get right to it! I had the chance to speak with Jackie the other week and she was such a peach to work with. I’m excited to welcome her this week.

#HenkaaBossBabe Spotlight: Jackie D.

Q: Hi Jackie! We want to get to know you, share a fun tidbit about yourself!

After finishing college, I joined the Air Force to travel and serve my country. My husband and I also lived in Okinawa, Japan for 2 years before moving back to the US where we finally settled in Florida with our two amazing children!

#HenkaaBossBabe Spotlight: Jackie Djie

Q: Tell us about your look today! What inspired you?

I was wearing my Night Black Ivy Dress the other day when I was studying at the library. I like to be comfy when I’m doing my readings and the Ivy is always my go-to piece for the occasion. When it gets cold, I just pair it with a pretty sweater and it looks super cute!

Oh, and I’m so in love with my Henkaa Multi-Way Bag which holds everything I need while staying organized. It’s my new favorite!

It’s been pretty hot out these past couple of weeks so I’ve been lounging around in just a yoga bra and my Tropical Floral Hana Overlay. If I leave the house, I’ll just put on some black shapewear underneath, some jewelry and some sandals. Super simple!

Q: Why do you love working as a Henkaa Independent Stylepreneur?

This is actually a difficult question! I can’t narrow it down to just ONE reason when it comes to why I love working at Henkaa. To be honest, it was like love at first sight! The resources they provide to the consumer for styling inspiration are really practical and just make the experience even better. The tutorials and accompanying videos on the Henkaa YouTube channel made it a done deal. I saw the value, the vision, and how Jo was trying to start a fashion revolution, and I wanted to be a part of that.

I personally love that I’m able to bring such an amazing idea right to a costumer’s home and personalize their shopping experience. It makes for an amazing ladies night with some snacks and vino. At my next StyleShoppe, I’ll be introducing a game that I’ll reveal to the rest of the Henkaa family soon!

I have also gotten to know some of the gals that work at the Home Office and absolutely love them! My fellow Stylepreneurs that are literally scattered across the United States are also so supportive! We encourage one another, help each other out, and we genuinely want to see each other succeed. I’ve never been part of an organization that was so willing and happy to help a comrade as much as I’ve seen at Henkaa.

Q: How did Henkaa change your closet?

The past couple of years I’ve sequestered my wardrobe to maternity clothes and proudly wearing a USAF uniform. Now that I’m back to civilian life and not pregnant, it was time that I brought back some good quality clothing. Enter: Henkaa.

I’m still working up to my clothing staples that all ladies should have and that’s what I love about having Henkaa in my closet. I don’t have to spend as much money to get every single look I need. One dress and I can go from office pencil skirt to date night without having to spend time sifting through a closet-full of items I probably wouldn’t have worn but a few times. If I decide to go for baby #3, Henkaa will be right there with me!

The best part? The Sakura Mini Convertible Dress is the first piece of clothing that a mom and daughter can share without it being weird! *hehe*

Q: Not only are you an amazing Henkaa Stylepreneur, you’ve also done a few tradeshows to spread the word about Henkaa! Can you tell us a bit about why you enjoy attending them?

It builds confidence: I was always shy growing up and didn’t really like getting out and talking to people. I’ve come out of my shell a lot since finishing college but I still somewhat struggle with my shyness. I really have to force myself to get out and be around people and as a work from home mom, I get more than enough solitude if I don’t get out with my children.

By doing the tradeshows on my own, it forces me to get out there and talk to people. And what better way to do it than by talking about Henkaa! I’ve learned so much from Jo when she came to the Orlando bridal show and from the training material that Home Office provides and it really boosts my confidence in product knowledge and ways to best answer questions.

Meet people: I’m still pretty new to Florida so getting out there to meet new people and socialize keeps me balanced from the home life I have with my children. The first tradeshow I did was in August 2015 and when I had no idea what I was doing, but I’ve come a long way since then!

“Me” time: I’ve only been a stay at home/work from home mom for 2 years and I still have the itch to go out and be around people kid-free. Doing tradeshows allows me to get out to max-out on my social-o-meter while my husband gets to have quality time with the kiddos!

Share Henkaa: When I discovered Henkaa on Pinterest and dug into the company, I realized that no one knew about it, let alone convertible clothing. I immediately saw the value in Henkaa and Jo’s vision. I signed up right away. I didn’t even own a dress yet! I want to tell everyone about our convertible dresses! We have a great product and a tradeshow is the best opportunity to meet a large group of people in a short amount of time.

Q: How have tradeshows helped your business?

Booking more appointments: At my August tradeshow in Melbourne Beach I was able to book a good amount of StyleShoppes. Even though two of those bookings backed out, I still maintained contact with the brides in case they changed their minds in the future.

I later got invited to participate in another bridal show the following weekend in Merritt Island. I planned to focus on booking StyleShoppes during this show and I was able to book a few appointments and have two more pending!

Hands on training: We’re constantly learning if we allow ourselves to do so. I’m always learning new ways to talk with potential clients and strengthening my communications skills. If I don’t communicate well enough to the guests at the event, I don’t reach any of the goals I have set. I’ve learned that by not communicating exclusive offers with tradeshow attendees, I not only miss out on potential sales, but I also miss out on developing new relationships with people. There’s a snowball effect when the message isn’t properly delivered to the clients. Getting that hands-on training is how we learn to execute it perfectly!

#HenkaaBossBabe Spotlight: Jackie Djie

Q: Thanks for joining us Jackie! To wrap things up, we want to know what your favorite Henkaa dress and color is?

This is an easy one! It’s a definite 3-way tie between the Ivy in Night Black, the Sakura Midi in either Emerald Green or Night Black and the Hana Overlay in the Tropical Floral print.

I wear the Ivy when I want to be comfortable while I travel (and it never fails if I forget my pj’s: instant nightgown!). I literally wear my Sakura dresses everywhere: the beach, the office, to church, birthday parties, and everything in between. Of course, I always have a few Maxi length Sakuras handy in case I have a formal event to go to.

The Hana Chiffon Overlay is probably my most worn item. It’s warm down here in Florida, so I often find myself wearing it with just a tank on top, but I can also layer it over the Ivy or my Sakura! It’s a staple item for me on my weekend trips with the fam!

Make sure to stop by and say hello to Jackie at this link. If you’re interested in booking a StyleShoppe with Jackie, you can do so at the link provided.

Love fashion? Want a chance to grow your own business while working on your own schedule? Join our amazing team of passionate and dedicated women who are committed to starting a fashion revolution, one dress at a time! Check out this page for more info on how to join and be a part of the movement.

Thanks for joining us on our first edition of #HenkaaBossBabe Spotlight! We’ll be back next time with a spotlight on another one of our amazing #HenkaaBossBabes.

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