It was in 1983 when Christine’s business began to flourish that she met Alina Chang. Three years prior, Alina bravely immigrated from Laos with her family on a refugee barge and received sponsorship by members of Christine’s church.
“I was so excited when I arrived” reminisces Alina, “I didn’t know what was in store for me in Canada…I didn’t even know where Canada was!” Despite being unfamiliar with her geography, Alina quickly became settled in her new home and it didn’t take long for Christine to learn that the young voyager was a skilled seamstress. Thus began an amazing relationship built on creativity and a shared love of beauty.
Before long, Alina took charge of the growing cottage industry and introduced Christine to equally talented members of her family. From her sister Phouy, to her mother, grandmother, and eventually her husband Ming, Alina encouraged all those closest to her to utilize their skills within the business. When asked what she loved most about her early years working with Christine, Alina says with a huge grin “I loved to make fancy robes with antique lace and rosettes…and pin-tucked blouses, it was all so much fun.” Her eye for detail and delicate workmanship married perfectly with Christine’s aesthetic, and together they built the brand what it is today. Now, 45 years later, Christine has a coveted silk sleepwear collection with a thriving production team, thanks to Alina’s unyielding commitment to the “Christine family” since their meeting 35 years ago.