DAY JOB: SIDE HUS­TLE:

Marie Claire (South Africa) - - READ LIVES -

DRESS,

SHOES, BOTH ZARA.

Mak­ing cloth­ing and hav­ing my own la­bel has al­ways been a dream of mine. It never felt re­al­is­tic so I did the nor­mal thing and got a job I didn’t love just to pay the bills. I then got wind of an op­por­tu­nity in the film in­dus­try and, since I only ever wanted to work in cre­ative en­vi­ron­ments, I jumped at it. I started as a re­cep­tion­ist and worked hard and climbed the lad­der un­til I be­came a pro­duc­tion man­ager and stylist. In 2009 I was re­trenched. I should have been fear­ful but in­stead I felt un­be­liev­ably grate­ful for the time I now had to find my ul­ti­mate bliss. While look­ing for work I taught my­self to sew. It was tough but I was de­ter­mined. I can re­mem­ber a time I used my last R5 to buy a me­tre of fab­ric and made a pat­tern from an ex­ist­ing tank top and stitched it by hand. A friend liked it and bought it for R20 and told more of our friends.That was an em­pow­er­ing mo­ment for me – mak­ing a way in­stead of wait­ing for some­one to make it for me.

A year later a cloth­ing re­tailer re­quested an in­ter­view with me for a visual mar­ket­ing po­si­tion and, with a lit­tle pres­sure from my fam­ily and the need for fi­nan­cial sta­bil­ity, I took it.The hours were in­tense and the work hard but I could only use this as a means to an end. I kept sewing and build­ing up more cus­tomers, teach­ing my­self more and more about the phys­i­cal craft of de­sign. Be­ing a de­signer was all I wanted and I never wa­vered or set­tled. After two years I left the company and started my own business, Gore­jous. It was one of the tough­est times in my life but with­out that hus­tle I would not be who or where I am to­day.

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