Haslinda Md Isa

Fashion has been a part of her life since she was a little girl. Her mother was a seamstress, as that was the only way she could help contribute to household finances. Being the only daughter, she would always be the one to try out her mother’s new baju raya designs. By observing her mother, she picked up some knowledge of fashion, but it wasn’t something she decided to pursue until many years down the road.

Under a special academic programme to Paris, France through a JPA scholarship, she spent almost six years there. She took a Degree in Hotel Management at a reputable school in Strasbourg, then known as l’École d’Hôtellerie Illkirch Graffenstaden but has since been renamed Alexandre Dumas, while her Masters is from Institut Vatel Paris. Besides being fluent in French, she also picked up Italian during her years abroad and has sound knowledge of the language.

Most of her summer vacations in France were spent working at various hotels and restaurants as part of her course requirements. Out of all the places she worked during those summers, she most fondly remembers her days at Hotel Ambassador which is a walking distance from Galeries Lafayette, the most luxurious shopping complex in Paris. Walking by all those luxury boutiques sparked a love for fashion, a hidden passion that began with her seamstress mother all those years ago.

Upon returning to Malaysia, she worked for Perbadanan Nasional Bhd (PERNAS), a GLC mainly aimed at helping Bumiputeras enter the private sector. It has subsidiaries in many sectors including mining, property, hospitality and construction, among others.

She currently teaches French at local university UiTM, where she has been for the last 18 years. Part of that time was spent teaching at the Permatang Pauh campus before she was transferred back to the main campus in Shah Alam.

Haslinda was a coordinator for Asian and European languages for more than five years, but despite her experience is still enthusiastic about her job. Ever the bubbly lecturer, she loves her students like they were her own children.

She started to further her studies to obtain a PhD in education, but temporarily stopped due to a change in priorities. However, she still hopes to continue when the time comes.

She found love with young entrepreneur Mohd Rizal, an experienced entomologist with a passion for insects, as he believes insects have lived in coexistence with other creatures from the dawn of time. They are now happily married with two boys. The family enjoys plenty of time outdoors together, which is perfect as Haslinda loves outdoor activities in her leisure time.

One day, Haslinda realised although there are several hijab brands both online and offline offering shawls in various fabrics to choose from, shawls with luxury embellishments and refined detailing can only be custom made in designer boutiques. She and Rizal started MyPapillon due to a desire to bring luxury to public through an online platform.

Rizal’s sense of detail is a great asset in the intricate hijab business. They both hope their boys will inherit their passion and one day inherit the business, continuing the work and love they have poured into it.

Working on MyPapillon together, Haslinda and Rizal form a seamless partnership, aiming to be different by giving their customers hijabs with intricate detailing and embellishments which can only be found from designer boutiques. Through MyPapillon, they bring the hijabs from designers to a more accessible online platform.

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