Quick fire 5:
1. Coffee, black or with milk?
Black coffee. Surely that’s the only way? Although, I do love a coconut milk latte.
2. What is your most used emoji?
Probably 😂. I use that emoji far too often and I generally use it three times in a row. Maybe I’m slightly OCD…
3. If you could invite any 3 people to dinner for the night, who would you invite?
My family. I know that sounds like a safe answer – but my parents and my brother really do mean the world to me. I’d rather catch up on life with them effortlessly around the table, than have celebrities sitting across from me.
4. If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?
I was hoping you’d ask this question. Without a doubt, Tacos – specifically the ones my mom makes! Thanks, now I’m hungry.
5. If there was a movie made about your life, which actress would you choose to play you?
I’d definitely choose Kate Winslet to play me in a movie – I love how she carries herself with such sophistication and elegance. Not saying that is who I am in a nutshell, but I feel that she’d be able to portray my quirkiness, my intelligence as well as my quieter self.
Could you tell me a little bit about your life right now?
Life in lockdown has been a big adjustment in our lives. I had just resigned from my corporate job and finished off about a week before lockdown was confirmed. This was a huge risk but it was such a blessing for me to be able to stay home with my almost 6-year-old son to help him with online schooling. It also allowed me to focus on my own business doing social media coordination and content creation, which is also so time consuming. Learning how to adjust to living a more minimal lifestyle financially has also been an adjustment – as my husband and myself are both self-employed. It has definitely taught us many life lessons, and I think as a family, we have come out stronger and closer because of it. We are always working on something, it feels. We have been slowly renovating our house, one room at a time – so our next project will be one of the bedrooms and the guest bathroom. I love that my husband does it all himself, being a carpenter – it just adds that personal touch to our home.
What gets you up in the morning?
Knowing that there is a cup of coffee waiting for me in the kitchen. 😉 As true as that is, I think just knowing that each day has so many possibilities. I love knowing that. Also shoot days, I love waking up knowing I’ve got a shoot to get ready for!
Could you tell me a little bit about what your life was like growing up?
I was blessed with a really ‘normal’ life growing up. We never felt the challenges that many kids face. My brother and I were both adopted. We are biological siblings and were fostered and adopted together. I guess many would say – ‘that’s far from normal’, but in all honesty, it didn’t affect us too much. We were young when we were fostered by my parents who adopted us. Although the adoption took about 7 years to be finalized, we had one another and we were loved so much that we never worried or felt like we didn’t belong. We went to a great primary school in Noordhoek, where we grew up on a beautiful property with a fynbos garden and a duck pond which we used to love canoeing around. It was the perfect childhood home – so much space to play outside and explore which we did all of the time. We had bunnies and dogs and ducks and guinea pigs and it was magical. I still miss that house. My parents are just the most phenomenal people. My dad always taught me that a cup of coffee has to be HOT. That when going to a restaurant or coffee shop, it will never be hot enough, unless you ask for it to be ‘extra hot’. My mom is one of the most humble and kind people I know. She volunteers at hospice and is always baking something to give to her patient or their family.
What were your dreams when you were younger?
I always dreamt of being a mom. I knew that was just part of who I was going to be. I also wanted to be a wedding planner or a teacher. I think I always lived in a bit of a dream land and wasn’t always aware of reality in some ways, but I knew I wanted to do something creative. My personality type loves doing things for others that can make someone feel special, loved or happy – so I always knew that I’d do SOMETHING with my life that made an impact on others.
How has the way your life has panned out so far differed or been similar to those dreams?
Well I am a mom! I had my son at 22 years old, so I definitely ticked that block. Being a content creator, working with brands and creating magic for them definitely is being creative and doing something that makes others happy. So I do believe that indirectly, I have ended up in that direction.
Who was your role model growing up and why?
My Mom has always been my role model. She is honestly just gold. I feel like you need to meet her to understand why. She is so selfless in every single way. She is rarely doing things for herself, but always for other people.
What personal challenge(s) did you face as a young person and how have those shaped you?
As much as adoption didn’t affect me as a young child, it definitely did leave me with some insecurities as I got a bit older. I found that in some ways it affected me emotionally. I struggled to trust people, or sometimes trusted people too quickly. I also struggled to find myself and who I was as a teenager. I had a desire to be accepted, but as I’ve gotten older it has helped me to find myself – know who I am, what I want, what I’m willing to accept from people and the energy I’m willing to surround myself with.
Has education played a positive role in your life and if so, how?
Absolutely! I feel incredibly blessed to have had a good education. I think it’s the greatest thing a child can be given. I wish I appreciated it more back then. I always enjoyed school – probably more socially than intellectually – but looking back on it, it has certainly helped form who I am today as well as helped me realize what I am good at.
What pivotal moments/people have there been along the way and how have they shaped you in where you find yourself today?
My brother has played a huge role in my life – when things were a major struggle for me, he employed me and allowed me to gain experience in a corporate environment. It gave me that structure I needed and that security I needed to provide for myself. My dad has also always been there – not always the way I wanted him to be at that exact time – but over time, I realized that there was always a reason for how he did things, as the outcome was always better. Both my brother and my dad are business men who have worked incredibly hard to be successful in what they do. This has taught me the meaning of dedication, sacrifice and working hard to get what you want and where you want to be in life.
A pivotal moment in my life happened at the end of last year – my Instagram account I’d worked so hard on over the years was hacked and I had to start all over again. Although it seemed like the end of the world at the time, it taught me that starting over was an exciting, new opportunity to rebrand and show the world all of the new things I had to offer. It has done better in the past 8 months than what my old one had done in 4 years. All of my clients hung on and the brands I worked with continued supporting me. This was a real eye opener to me.
How do you use your current platform to create a positive influence for young women in SA?
My platforms are directed mostly at women. Initially I created a platform that was purely about motherhood. My agent then told me that not only was I a mom, but that I had so much more to offer my audience. That it was a place for me to use my voice, to speak out and to share about the real and raw moments about life in general, as a woman AND as a mother. Sharing challenges as well as the good things in life is my way of influencing women. It’s so important for us to realize that we are never alone and that there is always somebody else who is going through something similar to us. It makes the journey far less lonely, and it has been beautiful connecting with so many women on such an authentic level.
What are you still hoping to accomplish in the next couple of years?
My dream is to create a content creation agency over the next few years. I am so so excited and enthusiastic about what I am envisioning, it’s just about making it happen now. Personally, we want to grow our family and finish renovating our home. We want to travel more and to just be closer as a family.
What piece of advice would you give to the young women of South Africa?
My piece of advice is that we need to work hard for what we want. Nobody is going to spoon feed us and we need to realize that we are capable of reaching every single one of our dreams without having people cheering us on. If we want something badly enough, we need to work for it. Nobody can stop us from reaching the stars!
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