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Inspirational Stories

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Inspirational Stories

This is my story...

A life changing experience at the age of 40, reminded me, that for as long as I could remember, all I wanted to do was make a difference. I also wanted to make beautiful clothes. I never could have imagined, how combining the two, could and would, determine my destiny.

I gave up smoking on the 23 June 2004. I had tried to give up numerous times, only to end up smoking double. A severe bout of bronchitis gave me the one and only chance to kick it, which I did...easily...and then, two weeks later I hit the wall....splat...and collapsed in a heap, with the last 40 years piled on top of me. I had thrown my crutch away and now had to face every problem head on, with no help...DAUNTING!! In the depths of depression, I knew this much, I had 2 choices, drugs that would only mask the problem, or find somebody who could get to the root of the problem. I crossed paths with 2 amazing women, both practicing alternate therapy, and embarked on a very, very empowering journey. At the time there was nothing empowering about it. I was so broken, that I had just enough energy to ward off the numerous anxiety attacks, that were coming at me in the hugest waves. The worst times were at 2 in the morning. I would wake up, the freak out would start, and I would pace up and down the house, for as long as it took to breathe through the waves of anxiety. Slowly, with lots of patience, we started to peel back the layers, and began to uncover the real issues, and I started to address ‘my stuff’. The hardest realisation for me, was having to admit to them and myself, that I was much more comfortable, dealing with, and sorting out, other people’s problems, than having to face ‘my stuff’. We worked tirelessly on me learning to honour myself, and it was during this time of resurrecting Hayley, that I decided it was time to go and make a difference.

I have a weight problem, I cannot buy clothes in regular stores, and this got me thinking. How many women out there are going through this exact trauma everyday of their lives? I knew this much, I could design and make clothes, now I just needed to design and make them in much bigger sizes. So, 7 years ago, I took a huge leap of faith and opened Hayley Joy, a ladies fashion boutique, offering regular and odd sizes, and specialising in Plus-sizes. I was determined to create a space, that would make women of all sizes feel welcome, and instill in them a confidence, that somebody was genuinely interested in making a difference in their lives, by offering a range of clothing, that genuinely fits and flatters.

The HJ journey has been an incredible one. I have experienced gratitude on a level that I never imagined possible. This is where my yearning to make a difference really came into play. In the beginning we only offered up to a 3XL. I soon realised that in order to make a REAL difference, I would need to size all the ranges, up to as big as the demand. I am fortunate enough to have my own factory, and this has allowed me to push all the design boundaries. I love that HJ production can step up to any challenge I throw at them. One of the recurring requests was, why can’t regular styles be upsized into Plus-sizes?

This was a real challenge for me, but one I knew if I got right, I would change many, many lives. I started by developing shapes that are exclusive to HJ. This was one of the few times that I was grateful to be a Plus-size. I used myself as the template and developed various shapes, that we could then style according to current fashion trends. What a revelation, HJ retail now offers various styles, in various shapes, in an array of prints, plains and mix and matches.

HJ production is now able to produce all styles from small to 7XL. My main goal was to create a space where all sizes had access to all styles. This was very important to me, as I was determined that no size would ever be maligned at Hayley Joy. HJ retail has worked incredibly hard to build up faith in our shopping experience.

My incredible staff understood my vision from the word go, and I am so blessed that they honour the brand as if their own names were it. We all have the same provide a range of clothing, in the most authentic way we know how, and in doing that, we change lives and experience a level of job satisfaction that makes us want to just keep doing it better and better.

One simple philosophy defines Hayley Joy...REAL sizes, for REAL women, in the REAL world!!

072 784 4587

Born to Shine Magazine