This week I had the chance to speak to my twin Michele for the first time. Even with the 24 hours of geographical separation between us as well as the 12 hour time difference, her warm and enthusiastic voice resonated through the phone making all of this hard to believe. Michele is currently based in Australia and tells me how the Australian culture has influenced the way she works in her business. She says it has driven her to be more focussed than ever as it is a place where efficiency and consistency are key if you want to succeed. When speaking to me about being separated; this strong-minded sister act do not let this throw them. They tell me how they simply don’t feel that far apart from one another, they speak every day without fail and continue to share their lives with each other even though they are nearly 10,000 miles apart.
Living in security and stability in Australia is a far cry from their humble beginnings. Michele told me that living day to day and wondering where the next meal would be coming from was a regular part of her childhood in Cameroon. Michele and Christelle grew up with their five siblings and their single mother who worked hard for them to survive and become fearless, independent people who are capable of great things in this world. They recognise what it is like to struggle and they also recognise what it is to succeed. However Michele tells me “where they are today is a miracle and a blessing” so she emphasises to me the importance of appreciating what you have and staying humble. “Appreciate the people whose path you cross because you never know when their support could help you in life”.
Aside from providing security and stability for her family, Michele’s leading drive is the appreciation she gains from customers and fans of the brand. “When people can relate to what we are trying to do; break down cultural barriers and embrace our vibrant African prints whilst falling in love with a whole new sense of style, that is when it is all worth-while”. Michele expresses to me that her love for fashion runs deep; “whenever I feel sad, I change and put something nice on. Clothes can alter the way you see yourself. Especially when your body changes with age, weight or life events such as having children. Our brand is created to give you confidence and energy through unique and timeless pieces.”
This dynamic duo both tell me how they work well together; Christelle is the sister who takes the risks and has a creative flare. Michele keeps them both grounded and makes the decisions about when to pick their battles, take risks and be realistic with the money they have to fund the business. Michele even jokingly says “If I wasn’t here we would have gone bankrupt by now!” On the flip side she also tells me how if Christelle had not taken the risk and put their life savings into starting this business then they both wouldn’t be here today either.
Next Monday we will teleport you all into Michele’s world of fashion and talk to you about her favourite pieces in and outside the collection. This is also your time to get involved, we want to spread the message of self-love and expression around the world. So let us know about your story in the world so far and an image of you wearing your favourite piece of the collection. We will pick our favourite story to post at the end of the month.