Last week I went along to Jarrolds department store to see Jo Malone talk about her new biography – I have long been an admirer of her and her products ever since I discovered them in the Sloane Street shop a number of years ago. Listening to her talk about creating her creams in her kitchen, her passion for fragrance – how she worked to put food on the table for her family , surviving breast cancer and then after selling her name to Estee Lauder – starting again with Jo Loves was truly inspirational.
Like me she is dyslexic, and hearing her talk about how she “sees” smells is very much how I am with vintage clothes – I see things on rails and images start to form of outfits and ways to put them together start coming together I “see” who is going to wear it and where they are going. Like me she got her “selling” skills from her father and once she gets a spark of idea it explodes into many different tangents!!
You must buy this book – I laughed, I cried but most of all felt my passion for what I do kick back in full force – it has been a tough 2 years with illness – not on the same scale as Jo but nevertheless it brings you down and can leave you drained from energy and without the drive that once pushed you to create wonderful things. I know that I will read it many times more and reach for it whenever I start to doubt myself or need inspiration.
It also got me thinking about the strong women that have been and are part of my life – some I have know personally, others through the media, books and history but all of them have given me strength, encouragement and inspiration.
First and foremost my mother who always kept my feet on the ground but encouraged my passion, allowed me to fly and do what I loved, picked me up when I fell both physically and mentally, listened without judgement and gave advice when it was needed.
Another relative was my Aunty Vi – my grandma’s sister so my Great Aunt – I think?? She was a forceful lady – General Manager of The Ship Hotel in Brighton in the 40’s and 50’s, ran a gentlemen’s club in London for many years. When I was 16 she took me for afternoon tea at The Ritz and told me all about life – how I should always be a lady but not necessarily ” a good girl” all of the time and how to deal with boys!!
Many of the influencers in fashion that I admire were women – Coco Chanel, Elsa Schiaparelli, Diana Vreeland from the past and now Miuccia Prada, Diana Von Fusternburg, Vivienne Westwood and Grace Coddington among others.
I am also very lucky to have fabulous friends together with totally amazing and strong passionate women that I work with on a regular basis as part of my business and everyday life that inspire and support me every day. Many of whom run successful businesses, work with charities raising money or donating their time. Some have been through a rough time of late but have come out the other side smiling and stronger for it. All of them have a passion for what they do, encourage me to do more, make me laugh when all I want to do is hide away and cry.
It can still be hard to be a women – with negativity from all angles – men, media, other women, body shaming and unrealistic body images it goes to prove that when we stick together, encourage and support each other we can take on the world and succeed in whatever we want – whether it be in business, career or motherhood – so this post is a tribute to all women out there who have found their passion, still looking for their purpose or just getting by – be encouraged you can and will succeed in whatever you to choose in life.
It is also a THANK YOU to my friends ( you know who you are) and family who have believed in me, encouraged me and most of all inspired me to follow my dreams and my passions, worked alongside me and given your time. And to those who I have never met but through what you do have inspired me or given my ideas and just done what you do fabulously – thank you!!