It’s my birthday, I’m gonna party like it’s my birthday. I’m one year old this weekend and I like it. Hey, don’t tell EJ (the mother of the Sisterhood of Style), but I’ve taken over her blog ’cause I wanted to write to you – the sisterhood about what it’s been like to have been the Sisterhood of Style for one year. Let’s celebrate. But first, let’s reminisce.
Back in the late hours of 2015, just as EJ was having a bubbles and about to ring in the New Year, she had only just started to imagine me. I was a mere dimple in her cheek, a twinkle in her eye and wee nudge about to go in the right direction. EJ was sitting next to a woman at a party who asked her what she did. She told some bland story about working in a corporate but lit up when she talked about her passion project; her dream to bring more confidence to women in New Zealand by helping them with their style. My ears perked up just then and I became a bit more than a dimple/nudge/twinkle.
The next morning, when she saw the same woman down at the beach, she said to EJ that she spoke with so much light in her eyes, passion in her voice and with utter conviction, she thought that EJ was talking about a business she’d run for a long long time. Nope, got that wrong, I hadn’t even been born yet, but maybe, just maybe, that was the night I was conceived.
EJ kicked off 2016 deciding on a name and how to make her dream a reality. She knew the name had to be collaborative and community based. She wanted to share what she knew, share what she was learning through a Diploma in Styling, life-experience, fluctuating weight but always a confidence with what she wore.
And that’s where I came in. One hot January evening, on a date night with her husband, who quickly turned into her #instagramhusband, they came up with the name. Like a shooting star, I zoomed across the sky (and the birthing canal) and shot straight into her heart, or like cupids arrow I shot her in the butt, big time. Sisterhood of Style was born. I think they may have even given themselves a high five and for the rest of the date (they were watching the latest Bond film), EJ buzzed with excitement and didn’t even blink at Daniel Craig with his shirt off. She knew, with utter certainty, that this was THE something she’d been wanting to something up, for sometime.
You see, at the heart of what I am, Sisterhood of Style is wanting to help every woman to feel confident when she gets up in the morning and get’s dressed, or goes out to an event, walks into a shop or looks at her wardrobe. We (that’s EJ and I) want her to look with wonder, or at least not dread at her clothing and think, “How am I going to look badass today?” We figure, if you have to get dressed everyday, why not make it fabulous? And to be clear – that’s YOUR sense of fabulous, not EJ’s. We want the Sisterhood to be about you and what makes you comfortable and, a little bit rock and roll. We will push you a little to try new things – jumpsuits, different lengths, colours, patterns, black when you always wear colour – this list goes on. But you will always feel happy in the knowledge that you can tell EJ she is barking mad and stop. Or not :-).
So you want to know who EJ is when she’s at home? She was born in Christchurch and moved to Auckland when she was 10 with her family. Her parents divorced when she was 18 and she has a brother and a big bunch of stepfamily on both sides. They, like most families are not without their dramas and fighting and frustrations. She met the Welsh #instagramhusband in London and dragged him back to Auckland to live in 2001. He’s a patient man, loves his football and is a total dude supporter of SOS. She has two sons that keep her on her toes and she now hears herself giving them the stern talking too’s her mum gave her. Soap in mouth may have been mentioned a few times already. She won’t mind me telling you that she’s 42 and has been a size 10 and a size 16. She now flicks between a size 12 and 14, depending on the shop and how little exercise she has done and how many donuts and wine she has consumed. There is a very good reason I tell you this though – it’s because she is just like you, a normal kiwi women, whose size DOESN’T matter. She wants to spread the word to NOT give two shits about your size and concentrate on how you feel. If you need to do something about it, then do! Go you, but if you are happy and feeling confident in what you wear, then get to it girlfriend, Sisterhood of Style has got your back. EJ’s motto is “I don’t care what size the clothing label tells me I am – as long as I feel freaking fantastic in the clothes”.
For full disclosure, I came on board with EJ at a time in her life when she felt über confident. Life isn’t always easy, it ain’t all made up of those Instagram squares, but it’s a good one to have. When I met her, she was peaking with her confidence in style, she knew what she liked and she ran with it – every single day and in the past year her confidence in challenging herself to do more, be more, try more with her clothes has seen her fully embrace her penchant for leopard print, patterns and bold colours. But, as I said, that doesn’t mean you have too. But she’d like to help you find your “peak confidence in YOUR style”.
It’s been the most incredible and the most challenging year. It began with the first excitement of posting on Instagram and making it public about what she was doing (the actual date of my birthday), but the year just grew and grew for the Sisterhood from there. Along the course of the year, we’ve hosted workshops with bunches of gorgeous friends at her home, at yours and in between. We’ve styled things you just didn’t know how to wear and we’ve seen the light go on in your eyes as EJ revealed easy tips and tricks to make your style work smarter, better, sexier, faster, longer – for you.
We’ve had one on one shopping trips with some beautiful women who simply had lost their faith in shopping and finding what suited them, or had changed body shape post baby, or was about to embark on a new job or needed a seasonal change in wardrobe.
We’ve spent time in your bedrooms, within your wardrobes, with courageous women who open them homes and let EJ guide them on finding the best of what’s in there and maximizing their style at home.
We’ve taken countless texts, Facebook messages, emails and phone calls from friends and clients, asking for advice on what to wear to a certain event, comparing outfits, and eager to know if the shoe they had on, worked. She’s now bundled this advice into a package for you, the Sisterhood called “Stylist in your pocket“.
We’ve spoken to, met and engaged online with some of the most inspiring, awesome, talented and fun women in New Zealand and beyond. I know EJ feels lucky to have met so many of you, in person and online.
I feel stoked to be the Sisterhood of Style – so imagine what EJ must feel at having dreamt me up and giving me life. It’s a dream, a passion, a calling and a movement. The Sisterhood is strong in all of you and EJ wants you along for the ride. If there was one piece of advice you need to hear before I go, it’s this. Styling isn’t a luxury, if you value how you feel about yourself, if you want more than just the same old boring stuff you buy, if you want to feel a thrill when you’re complimented or you look in the mirror and think “Damn sister, I look fabulous”. The Sisterhood of Style is so much more than clothes – it’s about building your confidence beyond what you already have. You don’t have to have clothes that shout from the rooftops, you just have to have the confidence to wear them well and with passion – and not let them wear you.
So thanks Sisterhood, I love being me – the Sisterhood of Style. Make sure to tell EJ how much you liked me blogging on her behalf, so she doesn’t get too angry at me 🙂
If you would like to book a styling session, or want to chat about any style related queries, then drop EJ an email firstname.lastname@example.org she’d love to chat.