From many moons back, my dream was always to be a fashion designer, however for a number of reasons this was not to be. My path took me into corporate marketing and research where I was very happy for many years, 20 to be exact, but there was always a yearning to be more creative and at a point the beautiful PowerPoint presentations and creative campaign development was no longer enough.
After some real self-reflection I realised that my real passion and love was still fashion, style and all things related – and I especially loved how accessories could take something relatively simple and make it magnificent and this was the thing that excited me.
Early 2019 after listening to the audio book Taking control of your life by Mel Robbins, I decided to take action and actually do something about it and I ordered in my first lot of findings, craft wire and beads and began to tinker in making earrings.
Initially this was for myself and I loved being able to wear different earrings almost every day (still do) but women were noticing them and there was a genuine interest and I began to think that there may really be something in this. I was surprised and grateful for the interest and support which lead to the birth of my business / brand called Aurora as my side hustle.
Towards the end of 2019 I became overwhelmed with being an employee, manager, wife, mom, step-mom, budding entrepreneur at night whilst still trying to maintain some kind of balance with family and time for self … something had to give. So I took the plunge and resigned from the corporate life I had known for so long in January 2020 and dove into the unknown in March 2020!
Little did I know when I made this decision that the world was about to be turned on its head with Covid19 and the devasting knock-ons from this. Whilst this has been an incredibly tough and trying time to get a business up and running, I have taken a sense of comfort in the fact that the brand / business continues to gain traction day by day and in these tough times I am taking the positive and feeding off this. I also focus on the fact that this too shall pass – and whilst there may be a “new normal” I believe what we are in right now is not it and it will get better.
What Covid19 has brought to me personally though is the heightened sense of the importance of the role each and every one of us has to play being the change we want to see and the important role that small local business has in changing the face of business in South Africa from the bottom up. Some of my Aurora projects have allowed me to do more of this by working with talented crafters in local communities from KZN to Johannesburg and proceeds of the work they do allows them to take back to their family and community enriching their lives a little more than before. Developing a wider network of empowered crafters to work with will continue to be a key focus for Aurora into the future allowing women to not only look good but also do good.
Today I am continuing to sell accessories that are personally designed or chosen by me and each accessory that is sold is still personally touched by me before it gets to its final home assuring quality and attention to detail. My rule – if I wouldn’t wear it personally then its not good enough to be sold.