As a woman, what does being “strong” mean to you? That was the thought that stayed with me all day yesterday after attending the Good Housekeeping Shine Strong high tea, at the invitation of CNA. The answers were so different for each person at my table.
For me, being strong means not allowing myself to fall to pieces in the face of adversity, whether it’s been the challenges I’ve faced in growing my business so that I can provide for my family, or what we went through just a few weeks ago: placing Travis in residential care. Being strong means sometimes putting myself first. Being strong means reaching for my dream – like starting my own agency – even when a small part of me thinks it’s impossible.
But I am getting ahead of myself. Let me tell you a bit about what an incredibly lavish event the #GHShineStrong high tea was. If you haven’t been to the green oasis in the city that is Shepstone Gardens, just off Louis Botha in Orange Grove, you have to add it to your Things To See In Jozi bucket list. It feels like you tripped down the rabbit hole and landed in Wonderland. Gorgeous spring flowers and bunting everywhere, champagne and fruit juice on arrival. And the sponsors’ stands! Just wow.
Of course, I made my way to the CNA stand immediately to see what they had on display for us.
As someone who makes her living as a writer, I am such a stationery fiend. (Don’t touch my black Pilot Fineliners!) I wasn’t disappointed: there was the bright and cheerful range from Caroline Gardner (plus their cute owl range) and a whole selection of adult colouring books, including the popular Mindfulness Colouring Book that I actually gave one of my cousins as a gift earlier this year.
The biggest delight for me was the range of bakeware from the Little Venice Cake Company. If you follow me on Instagram, you’ll know how much I love to get my bake on!
|The sweetest goodie bag from CNA.|
You could also have your photo taken with the Pantene team, get your make-up done at the Benefit stand, have your hair done at the Braun stand, or grab a cupcake from Lancewood. Sasko was also there with their versatile Sasko Quick Treats range.
Our host, Gail Mabalane was just radiant. And Sally Emery, the editor of Good Housekeeping, spoke from the heart when shared with us what it means for her to be a strong woman.
But the absolute star of the day was the talk by Lucilla Booyzen, who is the founder of SA Fashion Week. She started her talk with pictures of her as a child, telling us that she always has this picture in her mind and it reminds her that inside, she is still that same child and has the same dreams. Then she spoke on how to tap into the unlimited potential we have inside ourselves, and how we, as women, let circumstances hold us back when in fact, those barriers only exist in our minds.
“Everything you want, also wants you,” she said. It rings true, don’t you think?
All in all, it really was one of the loveliest, most beautifully organised events I have attended in a long time. Thanks CNA for the privilege of attending. It was the perfect note to end Women’s Month on.