NEW GUEST BLOGS
I've teamed up with some amazing customers to bring you guest blogs - this first one is from the amazing Vicki Lowes - here's her blog on the power of the accessory:
“A preference to the habitual voyeur of what is known as... Parklife!” Sorry, my ’90s indie kid, who is still well and truly kicking inside of me (and out when I’m dancing in the kitchen along to the tunes on Absolute Radio ’90s!), took over for a minute.
On a serious note, though, confidence is something that many women struggle to feel, to display and to maintain. In a world where we are often judged by the way we look, it can be challenging to feel as though we are good enough, pretty enough, just enough, really.
Growing up, I was pretty much a typical indie kid. I loved to wear a band name t-shirt, heavy eyeliner and, every now and then, a short skirt with my favourite Doc Martens, which were adorned with glitter glue words spelling out Blur and Manics. Along with the heavily lined eyes, I would use a Stargazer blue glittery lipstick as an eyeshadow. I remember seeing it either in a magazine or on TV, thinking it would be a good idea, and just going for it. On my wrists, I’d choose hundreds of bangles alongside a spike studded bracelet. I’d probably seen someone wearing one at a gig and decided it had to be done.
So, even at a young age, I used accessories as a way of projecting things about myself to the rest of the world. I guess that’s what I still do.
At the age of 28, I had a molar pregnancy which progressed into choriocarcinoma. I had to undergo months of gruelling chemotherapy. Unfortunately, there was an error in the amount administered in my final cycle. I became terribly ill and almost died. Luckily, my body fought, and I am still here today. However, it was a testing time. Making it to 30 was a massive achievement.
Let’s rewind a bit, though. When people hear the word ‘chemotherapy’, the first two things that pop into their head will probably be sickness and hair loss. I suffered from both. My first cycle was fine, but towards the end of the second, I noticed hair falling out in clumps. I decided to take the plunge and shaved it to a number three. I rocked that shaved head look, despite my sticky-out ears that I had been teased for all my life.
While I did enjoy sporting an array of bandanas in various colours (I did have a wig made, but hated how fake I felt wearing it), I still felt as though something was missing. I needed something that would represent me, the me I felt I was inside, the me who loved music, the me who never entirely conformed to society’s ridiculous expectations. And this is where the power of the accessory comes in. When you are so ill that you can hardly lift your head up off your pillow, when you need help to wash, when you are bedbound, that does not stop you from wanting to feel human.
When I first met Carol from One of a Kind Club at a Norfolk Tweetup – I think it was the one at Copa Cubana – I remember being dazzled by her confidence and unique style. As soon as I returned home from the networking event, I immediately searched for her business online and loved what I saw. Unfortunately, there were just too many quirky pieces to choose from, so it was a while before I actually did. As a huge Manics fan, leopard print was always going to feature in my attempts at accessorising, so I have several pairs of fabulous earrings with that pattern.
I often feel as though my confidence would have been much higher during the darkest days of my life if I’d had the opportunity to sport some of the unique designs Carol makes. You can never underestimate the power of an accessory, especially on someone that is experiencing the toughest of times.
Vicki is mum to two daughters (despite her chemo journey), a qualified teacher, private tutor and writer. You can read more about her, her life and her opinions over at blossomeducation.co.uk