From starting a kid’s fashion line to her journey with IVF, Leisia shares her story with us…
As a self-professed lover of online shopping, I was over-the-moon to learn about a subscription box service that sends chic, basics, high-quality clothing for my kids. Having to juggle a million and one things, I am always looking for ways to simplify my life and make it more efficient. Enter Little Starters, a kid’s wear subscription box that allows you to shop online, try at home and send back (with free shipping!) what doesn’t work. It can’t get more convenient than that! Behind this innovative brand and service is co-founder and mama-to-be, Leisia Tsang. Leisia shares about influential women in her life (shout out to her mama!) who have helped push her to achieve her dreams in the fashion world as well as inspired her to become a mom herself. She candidly shares about her journey to getting pregnant and what her hopes and dreams are for her little girl. Read more in this edition of The Bump.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and how you ended up in Hong Kong.
I’m American born Chinese and grew up in Iowa with dreams to move to California. When I was 17, I moved to Los Angeles to study. In a blink of an eye, ten years flew by and I met my husband, Roy on a whim during a short visit to Hong Kong. After almost a year of long-distance and taking turns with long haul flights back and forth, I made the leap! I secured a job as the Divisional Merchandise Manager (DMM) of Womenswear for Lane Crawford, moved to Hong Kong and months later, we were married!
What was your first impression of Hong Kong?
I found living spaces to be extremely limited and very expensive!
How did you get into the fashion world and how did you end up in kidswear?
I studied Merchandise Marketing at FIDM in Los Angeles and spent the first ten years of my fashion career building my experience in design, product development, merchandising and buying. Moving to Hong Kong and transitioning into a multi-brand luxury retail at Lane Crawford, just when the e-commerce site was launching, exposed me to a more global and digital retail experience. After four years, I was ready for a change, ready to try something new. The idea to introduce a subscription business to the market together with having a base in Hong Kong, the gateway to China, it only made sense to build an affordable clothing brand that appealed to a growing market – kids!
We’re big fans of Little Starters. Tell us more about the brand and how it came about?
My business partner Ellen and I always wanted to do something in the kidswear realm. We wanted to start something that felt relevant for parents today, something progressive in its format. Introducing our brand, Little Starters, through a subscription service seemed to be the most forward thinking way to pursue the dream – especially because it’s still such a new concept for Asia.
Living and working in fast-paced cities like we both have, we understand how a busy lifestyle can put pressure on one’s time for family and maintaining a social life. Little Starters is a shopping solution for babies and toddlers that allows you to try before you buy in the comfort of your own home and we wanted to introduce that concept here.
(Editor’s note: I can attest to the convenience of having high-quality, yet trendy basics sent to my home for my kids!)
Tell us a little bit more about your pregnancy journey.
We had quite the emotional rollercoaster experience when it came to trying to get pregnant. In the beginning it was all fun, we were like many newlyweds… not trying but not “not” trying. As more time passed my ovulation cycle became part of our lives. With my husband, Roy being an airline pilot and not always around, it was just another obstacle when it came time to our window every month. After four years and four IUI’s, we decided to give IVF a go. We found out our first attempt through IVF was successful just 10 days after the embryo transfer, so it was a mix of relief and happiness for both my husband and me.
Do you know the gender of the baby? Are you keeping it a secret or doing a reveal?
Yes! It’s a girl and we couldn’t be more excited!
Name a moment in your pregnancy experience where you’d like to freeze time.
The first time I felt our baby kick.
What are your top three cravings?
I haven’t had any real cravings… but I am looking forward to being reunited with sushi and wine!
Name a funny moment in your pregnancy.
Hands down launching Little Starters the exact same day we did our embryo transfer! We did our IVF in Los Angeles, which is 15 hours behind Hong Kong, and I will never forget the excitement of going live with Little Starters from bed at 5AM while my business partner and I FaceTimed and sent out our first ever email announcing the launch… now that’s something that only happens once in a lifetime!
What has been the easiest trimester and which one proved most difficult?
I’ve been really lucky and have had a very easy pregnancy.
What has your experience been with being pregnant in Hong Kong? Healthcare system?
We’ve had a really wonderful experience in Hong Kong with a lot of positive energy to keep us going throughout our long journey. We’ve been fortunate enough to go through private healthcare with a wonderful OB-GYN and team of nurses at Central Health Medical Practice that have seen us through our IUI’s and partnered with our fertility specialist in LA to support us through our IVF.
What do you think every woman should know before getting pregnant?
Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. It’s a gift and I feel super blessed to have the opportunity to be carrying our child.
Any good suggestions on books to prep you for motherhood?
I’ve not read any books but my girlfriends near and far have sent me a wealth of information which has literally taken over my iPhone notes.
Do you follow a specific fitness programme to stay in shape?
I’ve done a lot of walking and hikes up to The Peak since being pregnant. I also feel eating healthy has attributed to keeping fit throughout my pregnancy.
Any fashion tips and tricks for maternity dressing?
Don’t buy maternity clothes – instead buy options that you can wear later. Beach dresses are your best friend.
Name a mama you find inspiring and why?
My own mom. She’s your typical Chinese mom and delivers tough love by the day which has given me the strength and encouragement to chase my dreams. Also, my good friend and Founder of Skin Laundry, Yen Reis. She is a mom of three, who has an insane balance when it comes to her growing international business and motherhood.
What are your hopes and dreams for your baby?
To grow up healthy, happy, and confident.