COURAGE BEGINS WITH VULNERABILITY
Twenty years ago, we were three bright-eyed, fresh-faced women meeting for the first time - picture a brightly lit office somewhere in London. We met at work, the beginning of the career of a lifetime for each of us - the heady world of fashion buying and merchandising.
The next ten years flew past in a fantastic blur of friendship, talent, travel, exciting ideas, unbridled creativity and banter. We bonded over humour and readily became the best of friends, together heading deeper into the world of High Street chain brands.
As the years ticked over, disillusionment, unfortunately, grew. Our love for this highly-coveted career was fading, though our bonds were more vital than ever. Individually (and probably in secret), we dared to imagine something better. A business without corporate greed, bullies, unscrupulous expectations and compromising demands. A workplace where women weren’t constantly passed over for promotions or penalised for taking time out to have children.
We weren’t fully aware, but our private revolution had quietly begun. The seeds of discontent had rooted deep yet were curiously blossoming into a courageous notion - a dangerous idea. And most interesting of all, it had struck each of us at precisely the same time - one who-knows-what day in who-knows-which lockdown.
You often hear about chasing dreams, but we think it’s equally courageous to dream in the first place. Dreaming of something better starts with admitting something is wrong and sitting with the vulnerability and uncertainness of what lies ahead. And so, vulnerable yet determined, we dreamed up Self Published.
We dreamed of shoving a spanner in the algorithm of scrolling sameness, of bamboozling the monotonous oh-so-boring blandness of perfection. We dreamed of humour and connection, championing fearful-but-frightfully-funny women who were just as genuine and honest as us, who didn’t take themselves too seriously.
We dared to create a brand that didn’t puff itself up or over-earnestly promise self-acceptance but instead wholeheartedly committed to better practices - like taking care of their suppliers, of the planet and other people, sourcing ethical products and trying as hard as possible to put impact over profit.
So, did we leap? Yes, we did. Feet first, no lifejacket, all in. It was time to make dreams our reality.
We spend a lot of time working on the details of Self Published - both the business and the jewellery - so each part of what we’re creating makes us proud. And amongst the chaos of life, we’ve found a small but meaningful pocket of purpose. We’ve also connected with many other brilliant people along the way, nudged by the universe - or perhaps just gravitated toward like-minded individuals looking for a better way. However it’s unfolded, each of them has left a mark and played a part in who Self Published is and is becoming.
From where we stand today, we have plenty to be thankful for. We have our families who have supported our mad dash for purpose. We have each other to thank - for nurturing our bond (and keeping the banter alive). And we have our followers and customers supporting our dream and sharing our vision.
And, most important of all - we have our little seeds of discontent. The disillusionment didn’t feel good, but somewhere in the fog and fatigue, there was a hint of something else - dare we say courage?
So, find that kernel, we say. Sit with it, sing to it, tap into it. Crack it open and see what’s inside…You might just find exactly what you need.