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My year of juxtapositions…so far.

In conversation with a very dear client this week, she told me that I absolutely have to share my experiences so far in 2017, because there are so many people going through so much, and sometimes it takes somebody else’s experiences to put your own into perspective…so here goes…whew, and it’s only the middle of March!

2016 was a year of immense challenges both personally and as an entrepeneur. The world as we knew it shifted once again, and new challenges presented themselves. Personally I was dealing with watching my beloved father dying a very slow death in front of me. Watching the slow degradation really took its toll on me towards the end of 2016, and it was only my faith in focusing on the light, that enabled me to keep the darkness at bay.

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My words.

 

But then as life does, it always offers up two choices. I had embarked on a journey to realising my dream of designing and printing my own exclusive fashion fabrics, that would allow me to take my Plus size fashion collections to a whole new level, and that was my welcome diversion. I completely immersed myself in my great love which is all things fabric related. And so 2016 came to an end, and I was able to go away for 4 days and indulge my love for iPhone photography. I discovered a love for bugs and macro photography, and captured nature at it’s really ‘up close’ best.

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Totally in love with capturing the Bug World with my iPhone.

And into 2017 I came with an excitement I hadn’t felt in a long time. I went full steam into converting my iPhone photos into fabric prints, and on the 10th of February we printed our first samples of my exclusive designs. Realising my 25 year dream was a defining moment, and I came alive with a feeling that made me really excited. I rushed home after work to share my excitement, only to find that my Dad had taken a really bad turn. An hour later he died in front of us, and even though I never got to share my news with him, I knew that he had moved on, to release me to be able to go forth and give this new venture my all. It is a venture that will prove many things, because I’ve gone into it knowing very little, but am determined to take full advantage of the amazingly smart world we live in.

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A Rose captured, edited and transformed into an exclusive Hayley Joy fabric print.

On the 11th of February, 24 hours after my Dad passed on, my beloved mother tripped over a shoe and fractured her hip. At this stage you’re probably reading this going “what!!”, well I felt the same way as I stood looking at her lying on the floor. It is 5 weeks since her fall and I have been ‘nursing’ her, never having taken care of anybody on this level before. I’ve been asked so many times how I do it, and it’s a crazy thing, but there’s a side of you that kicks in and you just do it. As negative as the actual experience was, there are many positives that have come out of it, the most important one being reconnection. We had all become so disconnected whilst dealing with my Dad’s illness, and in a crazy twist, my Mom’s fall forced us all to reconnect.

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Reflections, reactions, reconnections.

They say that things happen in 3’s and I so hoped that it wouldn’t be true, but unfortunately we’ve been dealt another devastating blow. Three weeks ago my father in law was diagnosed with incurable lung cancer, and has been given four to six months to live. I’ve had to go from being supported to being the supporter.

I’m not one to question, so I’ve accepted that this is our journey in 2017, and our lives at the moment are filled with many juxtapositions. We live with tremendous sadness, and we live with tremendous excitement. The diversion that the excitement provides from the sadness, is one we will only truly understand in the months to come.

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Floral photography – my necessary diversions. 

You’re probably asking how I’ve stayed upbeat and focused. My only advice is to find something that you can immerse yourself in when the going gets tough. I hope that your going is not as tough as mine has been, but my iPhone photography and iPhone editing, has been my absolute ‘sanity saver’.

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A Hayley Joy original fabric print inspired by all things floral.

Life as I knew it, is going to be forever changed in 2017, but I have a little toolbox in my head, filled with ‘life tools’ and I think I’m going to be calling on them a lot. Feel free to reach out if you need support.
❤ Hayley

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Plain white fabric at 9am, print at 11am, Hayley Joy original at 1pm…dreams coming true.

I often used to joke that if I had my life over, I would have chosen fabric design rather than dress design, because my frustration in my line of work, has always been my inability to buy prints that I can see so clearly in my head.

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Quote I live by.

Being a Plus size myself, and designing for Plus sizes, means that I have a pretty good idea of what works in terms of prints.
My aim on my new fabric design journey, is to debunk the theory that Plus size women don’t do colour, and that they don’t do bold, because they do, and my sales statistics prove exactly that.

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Bold and colourful prints designed for a future Hayley Joy, Plus size collection.

So with my passion burning, I have realised my dream, and am designing and printing my own designs, that have been carefully thought through. I want to offer exclusive designs that have never been seen before, and I want extraordinary, because it’s time.

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Future fabric designs, designed by Hayley Joy.

It’s been a really interesting experience, because I’ve designed so many potential prints that have ended up being deleted. Having the luxury of being able to print a sample, and see the print before it physically goes into production, means that I have complete control over the quality and design of the print and the colours. I’m also able to test the market by making a sample first, and I’ve loved the response to the sample made up in this design. I’ve had to put a note on it saying “Sample only, not for sale!”

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Never ending possibilities.

I cannot even begin to explain the feeling I had two weeks ago, when I saw my fabric design dream come true.
I had plain white fabric at 9am, I had my own exclusive print at 11am and I had my first Hayley Joy original at 1pm.

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Hayley Joy shape top in Lime Green print with black mesh overlay.

This wonderful Lime Green print with so many design options makes me so proud. I spent a long time creating it, because I knew what I wanted.  I just had to teach myself how to create it.
There are no limits to dream and I’m dreaming very, very big.

❤ 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

Balance in Leadership

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Balance in Leadership

I enjoy leading and learning, and am privileged to have nurtured a team, who are comfortable to give me constructive feedback that I continuously learn from.

Allowing my team members to express themselves and to actively participate in making decisions about fabric, designs and the final look and feel of collections, has proved to me that the Boss doesn’t always have to make all the decisions. Some of our most successful designs have come from input from the seamstresses who vary in age from 30 – 60 years old.

For so long I did this alone, now working as a team, is so much more rewarding than working solo.

❤️ Hayley

 

 

 

Positivity in Negativity…

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I’m sharing this little rant of mine because it’s one of those stories that starts out as a negative, and turns into a huge positive.
I try my hardest to provide the best service I can, and yes I’m human, but I have as many checks in place as I can, to make sure that we don’t slip up, and if we do, they are minor slip-ups that won’t destroy a relationship with either a client or a supplier. So when I’m on the receiving end of really bad service, that is potentially damaging to my business and my reputation, I do tend to get a little angry, and worried about who I am entrusting my brand to.
 This was my question (quite a long one.)

‘Why am I teaching my courier company who are going to handle all my online deliveries, and my bank who are going to handle the payments, about customer service and communication?
’

Uncollected parcels…no communication for reasons.

Undelivered business credit card ordered end Feb, been sitting with relationship manager since first week of March.

Am I missing something here? I thought collecting parcels and delivering credit cards was the easiest part of both jobs!

So whilst sitting pondering a whole lot of things about these two situations, this pertinent quote popped into my head. And that is the positivity that came out of the rant. The bigger I dream for Hayley Joy, the bigger and better I am going to deliver. I want to prove, that it doesn’t matter how big we grow, my commitment to providing good service when I opened Hayley Joy retail 9 years ago, was and is, always going to be my number one priority. I have hand picked the right people in the right positions, and together we are going to make your online shopping experience, is as good as your physical experience is, when you shop at Hayley Joy retail.

Rant over…HJ feeling much calmer and wiser. ❤️

It’s a sign!!

Now A Shape not a Size is a reality. Is it really possible that on day one of Hayley Joy’s Shape Revolution, we were featured by @PumpOracle on Jan Smuts Ave. This is all taking great SHAPE!!

Xxx H

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