I always wanted to volunteer more when I was living in Dubai, I was so busy with work. When I left Dubai, I gave all of my art and craft supplies to START and got to know the charity quite well.

START hosts workshops for children with special needs including Autism and Down Syndrome. START’s programme aims to help children augment their critical thinking, problem solving and cognitive development. The workshops are taught by practicing artists who volunteer their time to create lesson plans and directly engage with the children. I love to paint, so volunteering seemed perfect to me.

On my latest trip to Dubai for Dove, I blocked off an afternoon to volunteering and it was one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. To combine my love of creativity with a great cause was amazing. The workshop was run out of the Jam Jar in Al Quoz.

If you’d like to volunteer or to get more information, you can go to www.STARTworld.org. Thank you so much to the team at START for having me that day.

So when we embarked on our excursion to what we were told was Dubai’s only thrift store, we later learnt that there was more than one in Dubai and as soon as we find the other, we will fill you in on it too!

Check out some of my instagram pics! The last one shows my purchases! You can follow me @simoneheng!

So here’s the virtual tour of the thrift shop, hope you like it as much as I did!

I hope you liked the video and please make sure to subscribe to my Youtube channel for more videos! Special thanks to Poroma, my intern, for the amazing camera work.

Here’s a sneak preview of that DIY overall dress:

For more information on opening hours you can call the store:

Holy Trinity Thrift Store

 Oud Metha Road
 +971 4 337 4947

My hand customised espadrille creations are now live at Hamac The Dubai Mall, along with the ADFF celebrity autograph book.
Hamac have posted information about the auction on their Facebook page Hamac Beachwear Paradise, in a special app that will be called “Simone Heng Charity”. Updates on the highest bidder will be available on the app and it wil be shared the global Havaianas Facebook page, which has about 3 million followers.

I have asked for Friends of Cancer Patients to be the charity to receive the money, it’s in memory of my father who died of cancer in 2004.

This is my Mum and Dad when they were younger. They were in love til death do them part, married for 35 years.

Friends of Cancer Patients charity, based out of Sharjah, does everything from providing transport to and from chemotherapy sessions to buying wigs for patients after they have lost their hair. If you have ever seen the ravaging effects of this disease on someone you love or their family, you will understand how deserving this is as a charity to support.

October was Breast Cancer awareness month and as the daughter of a cancer victim, I couldn’t let the month go by without a word on how your love of creating things can come together with helping cancer sufferers.

On Friday 19th and Saturday 20th October, My Craftland supported local breast cancer recovery group, Breast Friends, by bringing volunteers together for a 24-hour sewing marathon!

For 12 hours on the Friday and 12 hours on the Saturday volunteers formed production lines to produce mastectomy cushions and bags to help patients recover from surgery in comfort and keep active as their bodies heal. These items will formed part of a care pack for patients, which will be distributed via Brest Friends and medical networks in the UAE.

Here are some pictures of the event:

To find out how you can support next year or to find out more about My Craftland events email Jennifer@mycraftland.com or go to www.mycraftland.com

Here’s me, in pink for Breast Cancer (thanks to Austyle for the Tallulah dress), at my recent stand up gig for Breast Cancer awareness. I hope everyone has healthy boobies and makes sure they stay that way by regular checks because cancer is a quiet killer and the worst news in the world, is the diagnosis of “too late.” I’ve received that phone call about my Dad and it still makes my heart ache.

Thanks to Marta and Alessandra from www.womeninwedding.com for the image above.



On Friday, Richard Gere was in the gifting lounge at the Abu Dhabi Film Festival. I am completely tripping that he laid eyes on my crazy DIY Havaianas espadrilles. When I began this blog in July I could never have dreamed that my DIY projects would make their way to the gifting lounge for celebrities.

Let’s take a look at where these Havaianas espadrilles started out from:

From here I decided to make 2 very different espadrilles. The male espadrilles would be inspired by Alexander McQueen’s skull scarf and the female pair by the AW ’13 Baroque opulence trend.

I began by cutting a stamp out of a potato in the form of a skull. The canvas took really well to the black fabric paint and I finished the shoes with studs. Easy and simple:

Here is how they turned out:

I then took the female pair and embellished them with loads of tulle, vintage buttons and of course a coat of spray paint.

This is how they turned out:

Havaianas Middle East sent a picture of these to Havaianas HQ in Brazil and they loved them so much! I am so happy. The shoes will be auctioned for the Friends of Cancer Patients charity in memory of my Dad, Robert Heng, who died of cancer in 2004.

Here are some pictures from the gifting lounge of how they were displayed:

Here are some images of celebrities looking at my DIY espadrilles at the ADFF gifting lounge:

Nate Parker: Star of The Secret Life of Bees, Abitrage and The Great Debaters

Golshifteh Farahani: Leonardo Di Caprio’s co-star from Body of Lies

Mohamed Al-Daradji: Variety’s 2010 Middle East Filmmaker of the Year

A massive thankyou to Havaianas Middle East, Abu Dhabi Film Festival gifting lounge, Virgin Radio Dubai. Photography courtesy of the super-talented Kelly Brbich of The House of Photography and videography by Tim at Entertainment Media Professionals. Thanks also to Poroma Pant, my amazing intern, for driving us to the capital.

Here is the video of me and the shoes: