I first realised my blog was a little out of date when a lovely new client congratulated me on the birth of Sienna. With two toddlers causing havoc at home, the days of welcoming out first-born are long gone!
My respect for mothers is now meteoric (gone are the days of overlooking Mother’s Day). Family, career, friends, mythical ‘me time’ - it’s so much to juggle, and all on no sleep. If I’m honest, as much as I love our little girls, going to work on Monday feels like a holiday.
The simple fact is that I love what I do and what Mulberry Mongoose represents. It has given me so much and helped me through some tough times. Life in the bush isn’t always easy. Power shutting down, no water, elephants knocking our front door in (three times), snakes in our bedroom - you name it, it’s happened. Also, I’m not really the tough chick type equipped for these catastrophes - I love getting dressed up and sharing a few bottles of sauvignon blanc with the girls. The thing is you just get used to a different level of normal. These days I don’t think twice about examining snakes to check if they’re lethal. If they’re harmless I move them, if they aren’t I ring my husband!
It’s not uncommon to bump into elephant on my walk to work either. You would be amazed at how hard it is to see a seven ton animal. Luckily they’re often big chilled out bulls who just flick me a warning headshake then carry on with breakfast. Sienna loves to hear about the time her pram wheel jammed in front of a huge bull elephant that I hadn’t noticed. I was literally 10 metres from him and desperately trying to pull Sienna to safety. Finally I just lifted the entire buggy under one arm, tucked Sienna under the other and ran as fast as possible in the opposite direction.
But I’ve got side tracked… back to business. To be creative and design jewellery is a privilege. Since starting in 2013 we have grown our overseas clients to include America, Australia, the UK, Germany and South Africa. Not forgetting Zambia of course!
Welcoming women from all over the world into our special retail shop and workshop is revelatory. Talk runs from fashion to conservation to celebrity gossip as we do what we love best - try on and enjoy jewellery.
Watching the ladies we employ learn new skills whilst investing in their own lives is a privilege too. All the ladies in our team (except our new retail girl, Clera, who is just eighteen) are mothers and many lead tough lives. When their child is sick they have to cycle or walk to the clinic and wait in a long queue no matter how serious it is. For Grace and Mirriam this is their first job and already they have learnt jewellery making skills, wood work skills and are now undergoing intensive metal and wire work training. The sense of possibility is great here and the willingness to learn is inspiring.
We are excited about 2016! Our youngest daughter Ava nearly has all her teeth so we have high hopes for a good night’s sleep soon. With that sleep banked we want to charge forwards with plans to launch our new brand, create fresh exciting designs inspired by the African bush, keep raising money for anti-snare patrols ($50,000 raised so far) and keep you updated on all of this and more with our regular blog updates and new Facebook page!
As always, thank you for your support, and we’ll be in touch soon.