The Stationery & Stuff Sale: Durban

If you haven't already then mark your diary for this week Saturday's
- STATIONERY & STUFF - sale that I am hosting at my new office inside the The Station: 39 Station Drive, Durban. My office has been reshuffled to create a new hub within The Station and I am excited to welcome in the new space with the sale. 

What will be on sale you might ask? A thrifty collection of pre-loved, gently used stationery, decor items & bric-a-brac. 
Quite simply as the name suggests stationery and stuff. The stuff part is made up of interesting finds, decor items, objet d'art and vintage, second-hand treasures. All the items are in a fantastic condition and are ready for a new and happy home.  

The inspiration behind this small event was the super successful Thrift Sale I hosted a couple of years back, this is very similar except smaller with curated, pre-loved items. 

Just to recap the sale is this Saturday, 30th September at The Station in Station Drive, Durban. The Station is in the middle of the U-shaped road and on Saturdays there is plenty of parking. Please note the event is cash only sales as it is for one day only. You are also able to EFT on the day. 

Spread the word and see you there!

The best of times, the worst of times...

Over the course of what feels like my life, but in fact is just the last year or so I have eluded to a whole bunch of things that were happening within my personal world, via blog posts here and there and via social media. Sometimes it’s difficult to actually be a private person, yet still online. It’s a confusing situation where blurting it all out might seem as if you are seeking attention or any other such stigmas that are associated with being authentic.

Yes... life isn’t all pretty office photos and sashaying around looking glamourous, in fact on most days it is quite the opposite of that. If your life is glam errrrryday (poetic licence) then please teach us how you do it.
I don’t prescribe to the confess all mentality that suits the style of some bloggers and vloggers. I don’t have anything against it, I just don’t always want to draw attention to the hardship of “stuff”. 
The all ambiguous “STUFF”, we are all going through some version of it. Sometimes loudly, sometimes silently, sometimes publicly, often times... alone.

I feel like my so called “stuff” has been following me around for long enough as I try to embark on a new journey and a new existence, whilst still holding onto what I value most. I thought it high time to share a few snippets of it with you.

What sparked off this post was my birthday and the idea I had when I turned thirty and did a 30 days to 30 challenge for myself. In this case I wanted to do a 3 days to 33 challenge (not ashamed to put my age online btw), but once I got listing it went far over three and soon I just realised that I needed to do those things regardless of a birthday and the very small and limiting number three. In sticking to the let’s not draw too much attention mantra... the simple story is I got divorced. Allow me this dramatic moment to just fling my arms in the air and tell you it is the most awful thing I have ever gone through... the road that led to it, the actual situation, the event itself. Tears, so many tears! Trying to stay afloat when your whole life that you envisioned is shattered right in front of you and there is next to nothing you can do about it.
So you get up a little each day, you pick up, you carry on, you try to rebuild, fail, cry, cry, cry, try again, cry, okay come on try again... keep going, try. Less tears, more lessons...

During this time there are certain very, very simple things that have stuck out to me. Things that are so simple I probably don’t need to list them out for you However, if this list serves to just remind one or maybe two people of a few important things then my job here is done. So I pondered and thought what is that list, what has gotten me thinking, learning and realising even more?

Save: We are reminded to save from the day we start earning anything, be it pocket money or that very first batch of tips from being a fifteen year old waitress. No matter how little... save your money. If you haven’t been saving then please start this very minute, no this very second.

Shut out some of the noise: The world is so noisy all the time. Mostly through social media. I found that while going through a very difficult time it was as if social media was even more noisy. Happy photos of other people not going through what I was. What did I do? I started an Instagram account where I just follow accounts that I want to see, no people, just quotes and beautiful photos, art, inspiring messages. It’s a personal space to escape to and is totally private. I also got strict with the endless scrolling and dedicated time to actually enjoying my time online. Paying attention, unsubscribing and not feeling guilty for not liking or participating in everything and anything.

Discover your gurus: With all the noise comes an influx of so called helpful insight and advice. In most cases it just adds to the already overflowing brain feeling. I found The Minimalists, a podcast that I have really connected with. It has taught me so much and it aligns with so much of what I hold true. It is currently the only podcast I listen to. It might not be the one for you, but discover who and what you want to add into your life. Find your guru, enjoy their teachings.

Self Love: Loving yourself is the most difficult challenge in life. It is something I realised I needed to pay a lot more attention to. I am me and my marriage didn’t work out and I felt rejected and very unloved, but somewhere in amongst the chaos I started to realise that I needed to love me, in the most humble of ways. Look after me, understand me and stop apologising for who I am. It’s a lifelong mission and the more I learn the more I realise how many people don’t even like themselves, never mind love themselves. Let’s change that, discover what makes you... uniquely you. Nurture yourself.

Find moments of happiness or joy: In the shitty times it’s so easy to just scrap every single moment as awful. I’ll tell you this... despite having a broken heart there have still been moments that have taken my breath away, but I had to realise they were there for the seeing and feeling. I had to lift up my head and look around. Most importantly I had to go out and experience things and people and see that despite it being the darkest of days there is always a flicker of beauty to be discovered. From a beautiful day on the beach through to a rainbow while running through the rain.

Don’t wait: Life is happening. We are all waiting for that "one day". What do you want to do? 
Stop putting it off, find a way to make it happen. Waiting is just a form of denying yourself. Go and do it! It might be simple and for me many things were, but once I went and explored and got moving again I realised and wondered why had I been waiting to do some very basic things for myself? I skateboarded, I went trampolining, silly, fun things.

Exercise: Yeah, yeah... I know if you hate it then this might sound like the worst idea ever. I feel as if exercise saved my life. It kept me going and instead of becoming a couch potato surrounded by tissues (sometimes I have those days) I am now the fittest and strongest I have ever been in my life. I don’t always feel like it, but I stuck it out and it feels awesome.

Small acts for self: It’s important to have a few things that you can repetitively do just for you. I need those things to keep me sane. They are small and easy for example I like taking baths, listening to music and exercising. When I get down I can rely on those little rituals to keep me going. 

Make a vision board: I know it might sound airy fairy, but it’s a great way to see what you want your life to actually look and feel like. It need not be fancy or full of huge, expensive dreams. Mine has simple pictures on, but it’s a happy brain space that reminds me what I am working for and that my ideal life is happening and it’s my job to “style” it if that’s what I actually want.

Get outside: So easy, yet so easily forgotten too. I seemed to have forgotten that I love the beach and the ocean. I have spent more time on the beach in the last eight months that in the last eight years. Nature has a wonderful way of humbling us and reminding us that there is a much bigger picture. In most cases the experience is also free and as a single gal I need all my pennies.

Clean out: Baggage physical or mental got booted and the cleaning out continues. I blame The Minimalists, but it feels great too. Trips to charity stores, the dump, the recycling centre... each one has been cathartic in its own way. Out with the toxic junk, time to make room for better things and by that I don’t mean material processions.

Music: I have always loved music. While I lived in London I was never without my iPod and little has changed. Finding new favourite songs for every mood from kickass to crying mess are essential. My music keeps me going.

Reach out: Hey, I’m not okay and in saying that people helped me to feel better. I have also learnt that I need to reach out to others, check in, ask, listen...

Journal: It’s a cliché, but keeping a journal has taught me how to unpack my thoughts and to also see my progress. I get to say all the things that I am thinking and by letting them out they no longer hold as much power. It shows me where I was in denial, where I have devloped and through that I have gained invaluable personal knowledge.

If a good day comes, don’t question it: The days I have felt good, I have worried or wondered why today? I have learnt to just enjoy a good mood day if it comes along. If I feel better then I need to embrace it. Tomorrow might be awful again so I damn well deserve to have a positive day. 

Empathy isn’t real, experience is: I have always thought I am a very empathetic person who could understand the emotions of almost anyone. Well, guess what I can’t. Empathy is not real, but experience is. You might not really know how someone is feeling, but try to be understanding. I have tried to be patient with friends in the past who got divorced and thought I was doing a great job. Now having gone through it myself I understand that I never fully got how much they were suffering. I now know that I need to be more tolerant of others and their emotions. 

I don’t have it all sorted out and I have a far road to still walk, but in evolving I am building and changing for the better and who can argue with that!

My Second Home: Station Drive

I have been fortunate enough to call Staion Drive my "second home" for over two years already. The changes and community development have been a wonderful thing to be part of and to witness. Recently, Cheapflights chatted to a few local bloggers, including Ask Ashe and I about our favourite things to do in Durban, besides lying on the beach, working within Station Drive was a clear winner. I always suggest it as a must-visit for friends making their way to our city.

“It’s a vibrant, colourful area brought to life by a community of creatives working together to shape an experience that truly showcases a unique side of Durban as a city.”

The Station Drive Precinct is fast becoming one of Durban’s most interesting and inspired destinations for locals and tourists alike. With gentrification being the buzz word the globe over, it offers a prime example of the city working in unison with creatives and independent brands.

From the Morning Trade Food Market through to “First Thursdays” the taste of Durban is served in an authentic, yet truly delicious way. Fashion, food and vintage treasures can be found in amongst creatives hard at work. Offices and interesting shops are spread around the precinct in working pods such as The Loading Bay or The Station, developed to serve and assist small business growth within the area. 

How lucky we are to have such a creative hub within the heart of our city. It makes me so happy to go to work there each day! 

The Business Sessions: Tailor Made to Suit your Brand

A selection of creative sessions to help you build your business and brand.

In June I launched The Business Sessions, a set of exclusively designed consulting sessions and weekly classes and I am ever so happy with how the introduction and subsequent sessions have gone. It has not only inspired new and existing clients, but been a very firm confirmation for me of why I LOVE my job. Hosting entrepreneurs in my office and via Skype, open discussion, teaching and guiding them and then seeing them grasp and understand concepts is a beautiful thing to witness.

For July and August the sessions continue and are open to a new group of students. I have simplified the process slightly in order to make it as clear as possible how it all works. 

- Type of Sessions -

One on One: When you need a bit of extra TLC.
Fully focused on your business, process and personal requirements.
Booked on a day and date that suits your individual schedule as opposed to fitting in with the timetable. You learn at a pace that suits you.
These are held in person in Durban or via Skype or Facetime for those who aren't based here.
R1200 for three sessions.

Small Group Classes in Durban: When you want to connect with like-minded business owners.
A group of students (no more than three) with a more general business focus.
You will receive individual assistance too, but the group setting allows for further learning from the experience of fellow students and is a great networking opportunity.
The classes are once a week for three consecutive weeks in a row / see timetable.
 Each week follows on from the previous with a clear plan and homework to keep the momentum. The timetable (scroll down) outlines the dates and times at which the group classes run.
R900 for three sessions.

- Session Info -

As you work through the sessions or classes depending on whether you select one on one or group classes, you will receive practical examples and insight that you can implement within your own life and business. Each session is taught by me, personally, no pre-recorded messages, no videos... the real life person version. It ensures you can ask questions directly and we can tackle your individual requirements. If your schedule doesn't allow for you to attend weekly sessions, there is the option to have one on one mentorship to suit your schedule and pace. 

- You can select from the following -

- Social Media Content Creation - 

Tell your story, grow your brand, showcase your business. 

You can attend either in the group class as per timetable or book these sessions one on one to suit your unique schedule.

Always wondering what to say online, how to say it and when? Then these are the sessions for you.
A focused set of three sessions to guide you through the process of creating and writing purposeful content to market your business and creatively build your brand. On offer are focused steps that you can personally implement and test out to see results in action.

"Meaningful content creation is a personal passion of mine. I'm fortunate to have worked on some large scale projects that yielded great success for locally based businesses, both within the creative and corporate spheres." 

Each set of sessions includes a selection of tools to get you inspired, time for Q&A and measurable steps and actions to implement from day one. Not sure if this is the course for you - let's chat.

- Developing a Comprehensive Brand Experience -

You can attend either in the group class as per timetable or book these sessions one on one to suit your unique schedule.

Don't you love that feeling in your heart when you leave your favourite shop, with a prettily wrapped parcel after having received outstanding service? It's time to create that "happy feeling" for your very own customers.

"Our brands have the opportunity to change people's lives in a beautiful, positive and happy way. Who wouldn't want to share that valuable type of sincere joy through their business?"

A focused set of three sessions to guide you through the process of creating your own comprehensive brand experience. Add value to your customers through an authentic and connected offering and ensure it lines up with the mission of your brand.

Each set of sessions includes a selection of tools to get you inspired, time for Q&A and measurable steps and actions to implement from day one.

- Planning for Creative Business -

Developing a plan that suits your business and lifestyle.

You can attend either in the group class as per timetable or book these sessions one on one to suit your unique schedule.

We often hear how consistency is key both online and in achieving our goals. But, first you need to know what you are creating consistency towards. It's time to shape a plan that creates that direction for both your life and business. 
A focused set of three sessions to guide you through the process of understanding what you want to become known for within your industry and creating a plan around it that respects your lifestyle and values. We tackle some of the tough elements like setting boundaries, thinking about the future and what will essentially make you a happier and therefore more successful business owner and all round human.

Each set of sessions includes a selection of tools to get you inspired, time for Q&A and measurable steps and actions to implement from day one.

- Workshop: Style your Brand for Social Media -

Currently Durban Only

Beautiful photos are everywhere we look, but what about your own images that represent your brand? It's easy to use stock imagery, but how about creating and styling a library of images that truly represents your business and in turn creating a brand presence. This half day workshop will take you through the steps to styling your own images that are in line with the vision you are aiming to create. From the practical to the pretty we will work on examples and actionable steps.

"I have lectured on styling at a tertiary level and styled images for a host of local brands with great success for both print and digital. It's time to be inspired, hone your own eye for composition and showcase your brand in style!"

Each workshop includes a selection of tools to get you inspired, time for Q&A and measurable steps and actions to implement immediately.

- Claim your Spot -

Small focused groups, individual attention, direct access to the teacher... these rates are designed to make it affordable for you the business owner. My focus is guidance and adding value. Human to human... good old fashioned communication based on true connection.

One on One: When you need a bit of extra TLC.
Three one on one Sessions: R1200 for all three sessions (R400 each). Included are some lovely items for you to use during the classes to keep you inspired. You and I work one on one so the attention is directly on your business.

Small Group Classes in Durban: When you want to connect with like-minded business owners.
Three Group Classes: R900 for all three sessions (R300 each) collectively which includes a host of additional treats and supplies to get you focused. You get direct access to me as I teach the sessions and the groups are limited to only three students.

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