Mathematics Grad Brings Style and Service to Senior’s Daily Living Aids

After her mother suffered a stroke, Aries Lee devised an entrepreneurial idea that would change her mother’s life and bring a sense of style to home assistance living aids.

Native to China, Lee came to Canada to complete high school and went on to pursue a Bachelor of Mathematics, graduating in 2005 from the University of Waterloo. “It’s known for being the top school for math, so getting into Waterloo was my ideal goal,” Lee explained.

After graduating from the University of Waterloo, Aries Lee did what many young math grads living in Hong Kong do – she began a career in banking.

Although she always had an entrepreneurial spirit, she had yet to find the right inspiration around which to build a business. “I remember wanting to be an entrepreneur as a teenager - I just didn’t have any ideas.” Lacking a clear business direction, she found work in the highly active Hong Kong financial sector. Then, in 2012, her life changed dramatically. Her mother suffered a stroke – one serious enough to hospitalize her for four months.

Lee recalls that in that time, she and her family worked tirelessly to outfit her mother’s home with medical and daily living assistance devices to accommodate new accessibility needs. Upon being discharged from hospital, however, her mother’s home wasn’t quite the same. “Everything we sourced made my mother feel like she was still in a hospital – she no longer felt comfortable in her own space.”

That was all the inspiration Lee needed to establish HOHOLIFE – a business born by drawing on skills developed at Waterloo combined with a personal need for highly functional and humanistic daily living assistance aids. Her desire to become an entrepreneur was realized and she has been helping people age with style and dignity ever since – from foldable walking sticks to jeweled, magnifying pendants.

As the first business of its kind in Hong Kong, HOHOLIFE realized quick success and has already expanded from its first physical retail space to include satellite shops around the city and an e-commerce site. It has also turned heads by winning national awards including the 2018 Hong Kong Emerging Service Brand Award, the 2017 SCMP Enterprising Hong Kong Brand Awards and a Living Business award presented by HSBC.

While HOHOLIFE continues to focus on the need for comfort and style to reduce the indelicacy of medical technology, like many successful entrepreneurs, Lee is already looking to the future. Along with her company co-founder, she is using her math background to take on a new project. Taking advantage of the infinite possibilities of the Internet of Things – where individual specialized devices share information with each other to form an interconnected living network – Lee and her colleagues are designing a homecare system to collect data to track physical changes in aging patients. This system will alert clients to potential issues and identify concerns that might, for example, warrant a doctor’s visit. 

“Female entrepreneurship is different from male entrepreneurship,” Lee notes. “But having been one of few women in math, I learned persistence and that is what enabled me to pursue my business.” Lee’s advice for aspiring female entrepreneurs? “The most important thing is to do something you’re proud of … go for it!”

To see the impressive, growing list of startups and spin offs coming out of the Faculty of Mathletics, or to include your own, visit