Head of our Startup Fashion community, Susan Langdon is a Canadian-born, Asian woman who has also been leading the Toronto Fashion Incubator (TFI) since 1994. TFI is a non-profit organization that fosters new fashion entrepreneurs. Susan has also received an Order of Canada for not only being the first BIPOC woman appointed to a leadership role in the Canadian fashion industry, but also for her tremendous efforts in helping many equity-deserving individuals launch their business.
What does Asian Heritage Month mean to you?
“Growing up in Toronto, the world’s most multicultural city, wasn’t so easy when I was a child. Other cultures were not embraced; they were barely tolerated. Bullies at school called me racial slurs, humiliated me in class and threatened to beat me up. I often felt inferior and that I didn’t fit in just because I wasn’t White. To finally see Asian heritage being celebrated and applauded, is such a wonderful thing. It makes me feel like I belong to a community and it makes me feel proud.”
What is one of your most proudest moments as an entrepreneur?
“I received the Order of Canada in December 2020 and that was a career highlight. To be recognized and honoured by the country I love is the most rewarding experience of my life and I am forever grateful.”
What’s one piece of advice that you would give to yourself when you were first starting your business?
“Don’t be afraid to set high goals for yourself. Dreams do come true, but it requires a strong work ethic, tenacity, and vision.”
This piece is part of Startup Canada’s wider campaign to celebrate and honour Asian Heritage Month. Find more entrepreneur stories such as Susan’s in our full list of Asian entrepreneurs who are shaking up Canada.