This is a slightly different post to what you would usually see here on our feed, but in light of of the current crisis I wanted to share with you a story of how eco.mono came about out of what was pretty shitty situation.
So here goes, Originally from the UK I moved to Australia in 2013 as a bright eyed bushy tailed 23 year old. I landed a job working in corporate event management which is something I was doing back in the UK. Fast forward to mid 2015, after being promoted only a week earlier I was made redundant (while I was sunning myself on a boat in Thailand after one of busiest and most stressful months of my life). Although this was a scary and uncertain time it allowed me to sit back and think about what I am truly passionate about and what sets my soul on fire.
I wanted to talk to you a little about this today, as I think right now more than ever so many people will be feeling this uncertainty due to losing their jobs because of COVID-19. I am not here to tell you everything will be ok, I am just going to offer you a little hope. When I got the news I had been made redundant, I felt incredibly useless and undervalued. It impacted my mental health more than I could have imagined it would. It doesn’t really matter how many times people will say to you “don’t worry you will land on your feet” the floor has just been swiped from underneath you and you weren't prepared for it.
It took a week or so for me to get my ducks in a row financially and also, did I mention...my Australian visa relied on me having a job. After many conversations with immigration, the company I worked for and my partner we managed to figure out the visa situation. But now, what the hell was I going to do for work?
I tried to look at this as a very unique situation. I could actually advertise that I was looking for work. Usually, if you want to move on from a company you’re probably not telling everyone on your LinkedIn page that you’re looking for a new venture. So, I upgraded my resume and I told everyone who would listen that I was looking for work.
What happened next is a lesson from me to you on what NOT to do.
Basically, I was quickly offered a job, it wasn't exactly what I wanted, nor was the salary even close to what I was previously on, but of course I snapped it up. I had NEVER been out of work since I landed my first job at 14 years old working in my cousins hair salon. I just wanted to feel valued again. However, It turned out to be an absolute shocker. For many reasons, this new job was definitely not the right fit for me. Honestly, I probably knew in my gut as soon as I walked in on my first day but I stuck it out for 6 months.
This was such a huge wake up call for me, by now I’m 26 years old and I wanted to put my heart and soul into something I really really cared about. I took it upon myself to write out a list of my passions vs a list of my key skills. From here I began writing a fashion blog, this was mainly set up as a creative outlet for myself. I love fashion and style, It really has always been a huge part of who I am. Then one day, not long after I started the blog, I watched a documentary called The True Cost. I was absolutely blown away by the devastating impact the fashion and textile industry has on people and the environment. I couldn’t believe I had played a part as a consumer in an industry that exploits its way to the top.
I took a deep dive down the rabbit hole of ethical fashion and to be honest, back in 2015, albeit only 5 years ago I was uninspired. Think brown hemps sacks...we have come a very long way.
Fast forward a couple of years, I had been running the blog a little while by now, I decided to take the leap and turn it into a business. I surrounded myself with positive and inspiring people I could learn from outside of my close circle. This is how I became such good friends with Lois Hazel, I remember sitting on her cutting table at her studio and pitching her my business model. She said “sounds great, you can stock LH if you like? There you go you’ve got your first brand on board”. I left that meeting feeling reignited,I was beaming. I now knew what I wanted to create could be possible and I was ready to put in the hard work.
I suppose, all this comes down to is, you never know where life is going to take you or what is around the corner, so don’t give up. Put yourself out there time and time again, be prepared to get knocked down but keep going. You’ve got this.