Today I am going to talk about dreams. And my mother.
When we moved to the United States in 1996- my mom was not legally allowed to work for FIVE years.
That’s half a decade.
And my mom is not a “stay at home” mom. In South Africa she ran a travel company. And worked part-time selling leather goods for a company called Exclusive Touch.
She was busy. ALWAYS. She worked all day and on the nights she got home at a decent hour we often had family events to attend to. She has three older siblings- so we had a lot of family gatherings. (Christmas Eve present distribution used to take FOREVER as a child.) Braai’s (Barbecues for you foreigners), dinner parties, rugby matches, outdoor water skiing, trips to the game reserve. She was planned down to the minute.
So when we moved here it was like she got placed on pause. Told that she had one job- take care of the house.
Which is a job and a half as any parent knows and I am by no-means knocking in ANY way.
But my mom is a business woman. Like her mother before her.
And sitting idly on her bum after she’d vacuumed for the third time was not in her favor.
So she started training. She took color analysis classes online and went to workshops. She started babysitting people’s children in our apartment complex. She started working. And making plans.
She was Nordstrom’s first personal shopper when they opened their Richmond store. And she continued to take courses on image consulting, color analysis, style and figure. She read books voraciously and we have seen EVERY episode of What Not To Wear.
And in 2000 she opened Younique Image Consulting- an image consulting business based on the Proverbs 23 woman and my mom’s belief that every woman should have the tools to look her best.
She has helped hundreds of women in Richmond find their own style, she has developed some of the best relationships with stores and store owners in Richmond. Her clients aren’t just women who need help, they become friends, family members, tennis partners, wine aficionados and so much more.
My mom doesn’t just help people find their style- she helps them find the confidence they didn’t know they were lacking to live out their dreams. She gives people their life back.
And today marks the final day of her first session of the “International Image Academy” school.
That’s right folks- my 51-year-old mother has opened a school. She is now training women to become image consultants. She has an amazing business partner, someone she met when she joined AICI (Association of Image Consultants International), whom she currently serves on the board with.
And they decided to expand upon their dreams, to continue their education, and to become leaders in the industry.
And they deserve it. My mom is one of 120 women in the world with the level of qualifications she has.
In 6 BILLION people my mom stands out.
When I get frustrated or worried that I am not successful enough or where I want to be with my life- I look at my mom and what she has accomplished in the 18 years we have been in the United States. She went from a housewife, to a part-time worker, to a small business owner, and now to an educator. She has never once ceased to dream bigger.
So this post is to say thank you mom and congratulations. Congratulations on being the best role model, on dedicating your life’s work to helping other women (and men) love themselves again, to refusing to think small and to make your dreams come true at any age.
You are exceptional.