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I’m taking full advantage of the incredibly smart world we live in.

A year ago I entered the world of online studying, and it proved to be life changing on so many levels. This week I entered that world again, and into day three I’m reflecting on how much my life has changed in a year.

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I chose to do an Online Digital Marketing course with Getsmarter, and I became enlightened as to how smart the world is, that we live in. One of the things that really stood out for me was the constant reference to ‘images are king’. It made perfect sense, that in a world where so much information is coming at us every second, the only thing that would stop us in our scrolling tracks, would be an amazing image.

With that knowledge in hand, I decided to sign up to a random online iPhone photography course, that completely changed my life. If like me you believe in the law of attraction, then this course epitomises all that I believe. One month into the course, I started designing potential future fabric prints, with all the new apps I’d been introduced to, and the incredibly generous advice that I was given by the members in the Facebook group. A whole new world opened up, and that very distant fabric design dream, started to not look so distant. In November last year I was introduced to the world of sublimation printing, and I saw my iPhone photos, that I’ve manipulated into fabric print designs, come to life.

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This course proves how smart technology really is.

Just over a year later I’ve signed up to study again. I’m now going to learn how to put the photos that I’ve taken, and edited, into proper print ready designs, so that I can produce exclusive fashion fabrics for Hayley Joy. I’ve seen the samples, and I feel like a kid whose been gifted a new toy, that is very, very clever. This world we live in is exceptional, we should all focus a little more on that, you will be blown away by what is at your fingertips.

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Future fabric prints designed by Hayley Joy.

I dream about filling Hayley Joy Shop, and Hayley Joy online, with the most sensational prints. By designing and manufacturing my own exclusive prints, I offer my loyal clientele the next level in Plus Size fashion, and that is exclusivity. Wherever you go in your Hayley Joy designs, you will stand out, because I’m going to now design the prints that we’ve all been dreaming about. No more lamenting about what we can’t have, now we can have anything and everything we dream about. If you want pink and purple with a touch of grey, I can create that. If you want a marble print (which is one print I’ve been dreaming about, and have never seen in South Africa), I can design it. The world of design is now my playground, and I am going to prove that there really are no limits to dream.

❤ Hayley

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I’m in awe of the smart world we live in.

 

I’m of that age where the simplest, smallest thing makes me stop and reflect on the amazing world we live in.

I subscribe to many different business and fashion publications, and over the last couple of days all I’ve read about is doom and gloom in the retail sector. I agree that fashion retail is facing challenging times, but I still maintain that as long as humans have a heart and a soul, they are going to want to interact with other humans. I think the secret is in creating an environment that is unique, special, interesting and most importantly welcoming.

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My words, my commitment.

The world is so much smarter, and so much more convenient, and so many more people are shopping online. How do you stay afloat in these interesting times?
You assume nothing and you stick to what has always worked. For Hayley Joy, it’s a combination of respectful sizing and exceptionally respectful service.

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Perfect affirmation for my commitment to good, respectful service.

I had a moment today when I sorted out the paperwork with the courier who collects our online parcels. He was busy filling in the waybill slips, and I stood looking at him, thinking to myself, that this man is the amazing conduit between my clients and I. He seamlessly arrives twice a day, picks up my parcels, and magically they are delivered the next day, all over the country. I’ve never really stopped to think how far we’ve evolved in seamless service. Back in the day you would pack a parcel, get in your car, drive to a post office, stand in a queue, book it in, and have no clue when it would reach its destination. Now I’m pretty much guaranteed that it will be there the next day.

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The Courier Guy.

Taking Hayley Joy online has been a very interesting experience, and the ease that online affords you, to reach clients who cannot physically come to the store, is the thing that has really excited me. For so many years I would get desperate emails from all over the country, begging for access to real Plus sizes.
Creating an online store wasn’t easy, because this is not a run of the mill product that you put online and wait for somebody to buy. I suddenly had to start convincing new clients, that my sizing is genuine Plus sizes. The trauma around the lack of decent Plus size clothing has inspired me to keep creating, to keep honouring and to keep flying the flag for genuine Plus sizes, and in this very smart world we live in, that dream becomes easier and easier to become a reality.

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http://www.hayleyjoy.com

The smart world excites me and at 52 years old I am in the perfect position to take Hayley Joy to the next level, and debunk all the doom and gloom about retail. I’m so up for the challenge.

❤ Hayley

To expand or not to expand (pardon the pun)

 

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This is me, in one of my favourite looks…all black with a pop of colour.

I get asked this question all the time…please open a shop in Pretoria, please open on the East Rand, West Rand, please open in Durban, Cape Town, P.E., Bloem, please open in London, Sydney, Germany, New York etc. etc. I get emails requesting agencies, and so it goes on. I’m going to attempt to explain the ‘why’ behind my decision…here goes…

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All of me focused, is so much better than none of me focused.

I could never in my wildest dreams, have imagined how crazy things would become at Hayley Joy. I opened a store, in a small centre, doing something nobody else was doing. I set out to create a beautiful, safe space, that all the forgotten women out there, could claim as their own. Being Plus size myself, meant that I knew exactly what was needed. I also quickly realised, that the need for realistic regular sizes and odd sizes, was a very real need, so I went from setting out to open an exclusive Plus size store, to having a store that supplies all sizes. This decision has proved to be incredibly rewarding.

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A Shape not a Size, taking the stigma out of sizing.

Not only do I have the store, I also have a full production facility, that supplies the store. Hayley Joy production, supplies Hayley Joy retail with 99% of it’s stock. I wear many hats at Hayley Joy, but my main job is to develop the shapes and styles, which are unique to Hayley Joy. I have developed a unique size curve, exclusive to Hayley Joy, based on true body measurements. This is what really sets us apart, the Hayley Joy, Plus size range, fits and flatters like a true Plus size range should. The Hayley Joy range is all about respect and honesty. I was determined that when you come shopping at Hayley Joy, there will be enough variety that will afford you choices, you won’t just have to buy something, because that’s all there is.

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My production manager Tina, and I, planning a fabulous new dress style.

So to the dilemma of expansion. Because I wear so many hats at Hayley Joy, I have had to accept my limitations. I cannot be everywhere all the time. The two most important factors to me are the quality and styling of the garments. It takes a huge amount of my time to develop a new style, and I can never delegate this. A lot of the designs come together while I am working in the store. I’ll be chatting to a client and we’ll start thrashing out ideas and I will take that with me to production the following morning, and it’s there that my production manager Tina and I, will start planning a new concept. I’m hands on in production and am militant about quality. I never, ever waiver in my quest to put out beautifully designed, perfectly manufactured garments. It says so much about who and what Hayley Joy is about, good quality shows that we respect ourselves and our business. Once again time is a factor here. Because I insist on such stellar quality, our production is a bit slower, this means that unless I give work out, we can never open more stores. I have attempted to give work out, unfortunately it’s always a disaster, as the quality is never up to ‘my’ scratch. I have an awesome production unit and am really loathe to mess with it. It took a huge amount of input to get it to where it is today. There is such a fine line between growth and reality.

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I’m this hands on!!

The reality is that I absolutely love what I do, I have more passion now than ever before. I want to always feel this way, and I honestly believe that the day it all becomes overwhelming, is the day I will stop loving what I do, and it will show in the final product.

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This says it all!

In my search to find a way to offer Hayley Joy to women all over the world, I took Hayley Joy online, because this is an expansion that doesn’t require me to be too involved. All the background aspects are taken care of by a team, and I only get involved when I need to liaise with a client in connection with size. It will never be as effective as opening bricks and mortar stores, but it carries so many fewer risks, and it allows me to take care of what is most important, and that is constantly creating new styles and shapes, that fit and flatter all of us.

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Online orders, on their way to fulfilling my Shape journey.

 

❤ Hayley

Reflecting and Projecting

2016 was a year of learning for me. In my 52nd year I went back to school for the first time in 35 years. I chose to do an online digital marketing course with Getsmarter…yes me…the once VERY technologically challenged girl!
I ran my business and I studied for 10 very intense weeks, and I passed…proudly.

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A certificate that makes me really proud.

I learnt how to REALLY delegate. Yes me the one time control freak. And how did it feel I hear you asking, it felt sooooooo liberating. If you’re not good at it, try it, it is life changing. Hire right, my business coach Brent Spilkin from Growing Pains said, never a truer word spoken. Delegating allows you to dream big, and deliver even bigger.

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I love these words.

I learnt how to take a random chance and I signed up for an online iPhone photography course, that has completely transformed my life. It has unleashed a creativity in me that I never knew was there. It has taught me patience, it’s taught me to be so much more observant, it’s connected me with some of the most amazing humans all over the world. It’s awoken my creativity on an explosive level.

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One of my favourite photos on my new iPhone photography journey.

I learnt how to expand my business without stretching myself thin. I took Hayley Joy online and have enabled women all over the world to have access to true Plus size fashion, designed by a genuine Plus size designer. To date we have not had one garment returned for a refund, and have only had two size changes. That is an enormous achievement in the online sales world.

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So how do I top 2016 in 2017?

I go back to school to do an online graphic design course, to realise a 30 year dream, to design and print my own exclusive ranges of fashion fabrics. They say that the only way we are going to make it in business, going forward, is to stand out. I have every intention of taking my new found love and knowledge of photography, and creating collections of fabrics that have never been seen before. I am going to listen to the future predictors, and I’m sooooooo going to stand out. I want to be that girl that at 52 took on the world and did it her way.

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Future fabric inspiration from my magnificent Jacaranda tree in my garden.

❤ Hayley

Floating – a series of future fabric prints, designed by Hayley Joy, for Hayley Joy.

I’m combining my passion for fashion, with my passion for print. Welcome to the beginning of my print journey. I hope you enjoy the evolution of my next venture of developing exclusive fabric prints, for my in store, and online Hayley Joy collections.

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Hibiscus flower, my inspiration for the print series called Floating.

For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a dream to design my own fashion fabric prints. For the last five years I’ve been privileged to have a wonderful partner in China, who allowed me the freedom to design my own fabric collections. The only drawback was that I had to use existing prints, that I could tweak colours and layouts of, in order to allow me to order smaller quantities, rather than the usual 1000 metres per colour, per print.

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Edited Hibiscus flower providing the inspiration for the ‘Floating’ series of fabric prints.

2017 is the year that’s going to allow me the opportunity to design and print my own exclusive designs, in any quantity I desire.

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Now we’re  really ‘Floating’

I’m taking my love for flowers, and my new found passion for editing photos with a variety of mind blowing apps, and I’m creating a series of prints, that will  become future fabrics, exclusively for my Hayley Joy Collections.

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Striped Petals

This first series is called FLOATING. The original photo is a Hibiscus flower taken in my garden with my iPhone.

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Pretty Petals

❤️ Hayley

 

 

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‘Floating Petals’

Manufacturing privilege.

I am so privileged to have my own factory. Manufacturing my own collections, allows me so many freedoms to do things that I would never be able to do, if I was bound to outsourced production.

I am able to respond to the needs in my retail store, as and when they occur. When I bought this range of prints, it was this red print that really stood out, and I knew it would sell out fast, I just didn’t expect it to sell out in a day!

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Red African print Mracle Shape top.

I was lucky enough to be able to get more fabric, and the next morning, all other production was put on hold, and we cut another range of Miracle shape tops, and they were in store two days later. It still gives me goosebumps, 30 years later, that we can respond the way we do.

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Production on the rail, always a welcome sight in Hayley Joy production.

I often feel like a live in a fashion dream world, because in the real world  you wouldn’t be able to repeat on demand. I have geared my production, so that there is always room to change the plan. I like that we can, it may not always make good business sense, but it sure keeps things interesting.

Walking into Hayley Joy production, is like walking into a sweet factory for me. Seeing the stock hanging on the rails is a moment I always cherish. I have a wonderful team, a beautiful working space and a job that I love with everything I have. I make clothes and I make a difference, my perfect combination.

In my wildest dreams……

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Passionate for Prints.

If you’d told me two years ago when I designed the Miracle Shape top, that I would have built up a following of clients, who would respond the way you all respond, whenever I make a new collection of these tops, I don’t think I would have believed it.

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Production ready for retail.

It is a dream come true, to know that every time I go fabric shopping, and I put this incredibly rewarding shape into production, you all respond exactly as I dreamt it, with such gratitude.

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Pink Paisley miracle shape top.

It is such a privilege to be doing what I’m doing…every.single.day.
❤️ Hayley

In store now in a variety of prints.
Sizes M – 7XL
Prices from R799 – R899

Hayley Joy
Shop 10
Dunkeld West Shopping Centre
281 Jan Smuts Ave
Dunkeld
JHB
(At the back of the centre)
011 325-2488

I hold many keys to Plus size self-love, it’s time to start unlocking.

A common conversation in Hayley Joy retail is body image. This quote made me start thinking about how every conversation has the same thread…if only I could lose some weight.

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Imagine….❤️

Well let’s be honest, by now we do understand that we didn’t arrive at our current weight in one month, so it definitely isn’t going to take one month to lose it. We spend so much unnecessary time obsessing about our size, and what other people think about our size!!

I love walking on the beach, but I don’t love being in a bathing costume, so I don’t walk on the beach. Why? Oh because I think the whole beach is looking at me, well they’re not. They are more likely to be doing a bunch of other things, than they are ever likely to be looking at me. So why do I allow my insecurities to define what I do and don’t do.

I have a very strong opinion about this fact, actually I have two options. The first one is, what makes us think that we are so special that everybody is looking at us, because they aren’t, they are looking at their cellphone screen, scrolling on Facebook…that’s the reality. My second opinion is that if we spent as much time loving ourselves as we do bashing ourselves, we would have so much more time to do the things that make us happy.

In my never ending quest to make women feel better about themselves, I have started to design styles that I would normally never have designed, because I was being led by my assumption that nobody would wear sleeveless, nobody would wear white, nobody would wear anything that wasn’t a traditional cover up for Plus sizes. The response has been phenomenal and I am loving how I’m getting previous stalwarts to shift their emphatic ‘no I will never go sleeveless’, to ‘what the hell, I’m done worrying what everybody thinks’. It is a very important shift for me and my business going forward, because I hold many keys to unlocking self love.

I strive to be the Plus size fashion designer who designs respectful and well fitting fashion, and now I’m taking it a step further and pushing the limits ever so slightly, by designing Odd size and Plus size styles that are not perceived as normal for these sizes.
I’ve designed a fabulous sleeveless swing top sized from S – 7XL, with perfectly engineered armholes, because we don’t get fat in our armholes. I never understand why Plus size armholes are always cut out so deeply, that every bit that we don’t want to stick out, sticks out. I’ve incorporated every design aspect that is required to fit and flatter all shapes and sizes, and every time I see this design on the various body shapes, I gain more confidence to push the design boundary even further.

My design journey is a very inspiring one and it is now becoming a very fulfilling one. More love for ourselves ❤️ Hayley

Today I’m a brave and proud Plus-size woman.

Brave, because posting a photo of myself on social media, is a huge step out of my comfort zone, and proud because this photo is the beginning of a whole new venture…Hayley Joy Miracle Active wear has been born.

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My legs…stepping out of my comfort zone.

Exercising is not my thing, I don’t yearn to run, skip and jump, but I know that it’s important for me to move. After all the years of being bent over a cutting table making patterns, my muscles were shrunken and inactive. At a very bad stage in my life, when I was in so much pain I could barely move, I was introduced to Linda Green who owns My Pilates. After much convincing (MUCH), she convinced me to give Pilates a try, and 3 years later I diligently go and stretch my painful body.

Being overweight doesn’t help my cause, but it is what it is, and I cannot allow that to be an excuse to not do some form of exercise.

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Hayley Joy Active wear honouring all Shapes and Sizes.

Now comes the big question…what to wear! I have had this conversation in-store and online for a while, and it has set me on a very determined path. I started researching, and to my horror I have discovered that if you want to make an effort to be healthy, you are in trouble from the word go, because there is very little (if any), respectfully designed exercise wear out there, for Plus size women. Our needs are VERY different, and you cannot take normal size exercise wear, and ‘Upsize’ it. We need more fabric at the top of the pants, because if you have a tummy and a generous behind, a hipster cut crutch is definitely not going to be appropriate. There is nothing worse than spending an hour pulling your pants up because they keep rolling down under your tummy, and the appropriate tops are non-existent.

My commitment to all things Plus size has inspired me to develop a range of active wear so that no size is excluded from exercise.
I am about to embark on a very exciting design journey, and I am starting off by sharing a photo of me in the very first pair of Plus size, genuine Lycra, leggings. I have done a full hours Pilates class in them, and oh my word, they are AMAZING!! No rolling down, no cutting into my waist, they are just perfect.

Watch this space, I’m on an ‘Active’ mission!!
❤️ Hayley

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