2005 was by far the year where I took the most risks, creatively, and it paid off in a big way. I bought hundreds of meters of white habotai silk and set to work dyeing it up in a variety of season colours and themes. I took these silks to the local designers in Johannesburg to see if they would buy them.
Nkhensani (Stoned Cherrie) was delighted with what I had made and she bought up most of my stock. She turned the habotai silk into flowing kaftans, layered skirts and feminine blouses. Through the course of that year, my silks showcased at Fair Lady Lifetime Achievers Awards and SA Fashion Week, two of the most prestigeous events on the local fashion calendar.
This was the most intensive creative work of my career to date and I felt myself being stretched by the process. It became a challenge for me to create something so beautiful that the designer simply had to have it. It became exciting to try to make it in the colours that they were already using in their collections to make sure of the sale.
From this starting point I went on to produce stock items for the Stoned Cherrie store and fabrics for garments for celebrities, singers and even a Miss South Africa pageant.
Stoned Cherrie is such an iconic brand, it was a great and honor and priveledge to be part of the Stoned Cherrie story. As the pictures of the events emerged in the press, I waited in anticipation with the scissors to cut them out and add them to my growing scrapbook. I never got over the excitement of such a "find". Every time it happens, I still have a small heart attack. Is that something that I made?
And I think back to the day I made it... It was a risk. I was uncertain. I thought it was terrible the first time I looked at it. Would she like it? Would she like it enough to buy it? These are big questions for a creative person to face. I like to take rejection so personally.
Lucky for me, Nkhensani liked them and bought them. My risk paid off and I became a part of the South African fashion narrative.
Have a great day in full colour! (Go out and take some risks.)