Back in 2006 I had a 2 year old daughter and wasn't feeling ready to go back to work.... I had to find a way to make my own income, despite the fact that we were living on our boat in the Caribbean.
I was already a trained Fashion Designer having graduated from Fashion School in 1992 - and I had even made the final Top 3 of the Australian Fashion Awards with my graduation collection. Here is the video clip of my collection on the catwalk. LIVE telecast around Australia.
Since my graduation I had traveled all over the world and worked in the Fashion Industry in some weird and wonderful places. Culminating in my career high job, as Head Design for Billabong South Africa. It was here that I met my husband and we hatched an adventurous job to quit our jobs, buy a sailboat and sail across the Atlantic Ocean to the Caribbean.
We didn't think about what would happen when we got there - just envisaged an idyllic life of swooning around the boat in a bikini watching the palm tree's sway on the distant beach.
The real adventure though was just getting there. Finding the perfect boat that was within our budget, learning to sail and to navigate, provisioning for a very long passage (it took a total of 55 days at sea with some island stopovers along the way)
To hear more about our ocean passage from the wild and windy Southern Coast of Africa, all the way across the Atlantic to Brazil, and then up the coast of South America to Tobago, here is a link that features a series of those videos.
Our first year in the Caribbean we did indeed float round, exploring but we started to run out of money and we needed to find jobs, so we sailed up to the island of St.Maarten, where we had heard we could get jobs on mega-yachts or in the tourism industry. St.Maarten normally boomed but since it was the season right after 9-11 it was not that easy. Eventually we fell on our feet though.
Fast forward to growing up, getting married and having a baby girl on the boat with us. I needed to find a way to make a living without getting a job and leaving my baby. My good friend Lucia, who had been the Production Manager at Billabong South Africa asked me when I was going to start my own clothing line. It was one of those life changing AH-HA moments that I remember clearly today.
Now here we are 16 years later, by baby girl is all grown up and I am still hand designing pure cotton colorful resortwear.... but no longer from my boat in the Caribbean. Now I am back home in my cute little studio in Australia.