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Name: Emily & Jessica Leung

Business: Hey Lady, a maker of comfortable heels

Industry: Clothing & Accessories

Location: Mountain View, California, U.S.

Reason for starting: What was once the “step-sister” of wedding fashion (plain, ugly, and completely unbearable), shoes became the means for us to infuse fun and function back into the wedding industry and remind brides everywhere to live happily ever now. Our vintage inspired shoes with modern comfort are personality driven, based on unforgettable women, encouraging them to embrace their own fabulousness. We do everything with a “sense of style & humor” because we believe we can have it all and have fun doing it.

Related: Read about another Clothing & Accessories entrepreneur here. 

How do you define success? Happiness = Success. It starts from the inside, and then shared between two people, and then spread to the world. If you touch one other person and made a mark on a moment in their life, it was absolutely worth it. 

Biggest Success: We started with zero connections, experience, and only 1 person believing in us. We’ve since snowballed color and untraditional material trends for brides, mothers of the bride, bridesmaids and dancing queens in over 28 countries, while whooping stage 4 cancer and making an independent name for ourselves. We strive to empower women through expression and giving and have started a new giving arm raising money for cancer research and helping women of all circumstances start off on the right foot.

What is your top challenge and how have you addressed it? Our number one challenge was when Jessica had to drop everything and go to Hong Kong for nearly a year leaving Emily to handle the entire business herself. But Jessica is alive (having beaten cancer) and Emily survived and we credit this insane survival to having a fearless and positive attitude, and we truly believe the power of people can create miracles.  

When Jessica was diagnosed it was the kind where they tell you you need to think about what to do with your last days. We felt the last year almost came to a standstill, just trying to maintain quality levels of customer service that we expect from ourselves. The creative aspect was put on hold, and now we are gathering ourselves to get back up into full gear. Jessica is almost done with 16 months of chemo, and after that we feel there is so much yet to be done. We know what we want to do, and that is give.

Related: How another female entrepreneur dealt with a cancer diagnosis. 

Who is your most important role model? We are inspired by not only inspirational women in history such as Jackie O and Audrey Hepburn, but from the women in our lives. Our mother, our friends, have all fallen and gotten right back up and dusted themselves off. Every shoe is not only based upon a woman in history but it is also based upon a modern day heroine- one of our friends who aligns with the enigmatic qualities of what it means to be a lady that has endured. These women are all strong, fierce, and fabulous.

Twitter   @missheylady

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Edited by The Story Exchange