During the 1980s, it was commonly known that gender stereotypes for women are that they are more emotional, and more likely to stay in and look after the family. The changes in the activities and representation of women and men in the society slowly took place, but majority, women are still observing the societal norms. Despite this gender stereotyping, Madam Stella broke through the chain, pluck up the courage to pursue her dream to establish a beauty academy.
Despite coming from a family with aesthetic medicine background, Madam Stella Hong was a
fashion designer and sewing coach before stepping into the beauty industry. Later, Madam Stella started to involve in the beauty industry and founded the beauty academy – Stella-in International Beauty Centre and Therapy Academy. Madam Stella has always been inspired by education- orientated concept, and she hopes that she could share the knowledge of massage and beauty through education. Madam Stella’s mother is a Nyonya; BaBa Nyonya is well-known for their unique customs and culture. They assimilated Malay’s customs and Chinese culture into their lives, and thus created a rich fusion culture of their own. This special heritage has injected a variety of inspiration into Madam Stella’s beauty career; and to commemorate her mother’s kindness, she developed a set of “Nyonya Peranakan Massage”.
During her younger days, Madam Stella discovered the “power of healing hands”, when her father was ill. She helped to massage her father every night to relieve his pain, so that he could fall asleep soundly throughout the nights. This inspired her that the “touch” has a magical healing power. When we were babies sleeping in mothers’ arm, to a simply handshake between grown adults, there’s a kind of energy transmitting from the touch. It’s a way of sending love and strength through our hands, with this belief, Madam Stella integrated this conception into her massage treatments to benefit many for more than 50 years, without any breaks in between.
Madam Stella is one of Malaysia’s beauty legends with 50 years of experience in the industry; she is currently the international consultant, master trainer for beauty therapy, Spa and wellness industry. She works hard in building her academy as a context to preserve and transmit the knowledge in the industry. The International Beauty Centre and Therapy Academy she founded has a long-standing legacy, not just providing skills but also offering a strong foundation for the cultivation of the students’ confidence as well as professional ethics. Along the way, she helps the students to discover their own unique potentials and they strive to produce well-qualified, knowledgeable, independent and competent beauty therapists. In 40 years of operation, Madam Stella has helped countless women to become a competent therapist and achieve great career path in the beauty industry.
“I see my students as unpolished gems; each is invaluable in their own rights and only need some guidance and encouragement for their beauty to shine outwards. In the end, it is not the paper qualifications that matter, but the right attitude, as well as the strong commitment and love for the profession, will determine their success ultimately.” says Madam Stella.
The path of pursuing two passions in her life – Beauty and education, whether is full of struggle and hardship or an easy way; Madam Stella will not ever be tire of these. She has been and will continue to be a beacon of light for many. She will never stop sharing love and wisdom, as well as professional knowledge, hoping that the students will continue to improve their skills and expertise towards upholding the standards of the industry and professional ethics.
Watch this video to find out more about her story, contributions and achievements!