Have you ever thought that disruption is creation?
Let me tell you a story that convinced me that this statement is true.
My name is Mara. I am originally from Italy, from the south of Italy, from an overpopulated neighbourhood of a sunny and famously mentioned place close to a volcano.
Let me start by telling you that I love my family, I love my country and I am happy I was born there, but with the same intensity, from a very young age, I wanted to leave.
In those lands everything seems impossible. You are allowed to have dreams that you will never achieve. You need to be open to compromise, always, in any circumstance. And on top of all this, the patriarchal structure of the society, the stubbornness with which people are attached to traditions as to a life jacket in a sea of uncertainty, were the fertile soil from which my wings absorbed nourishment.
At some point I decided to break the chain
I decided to give myself the opportunity that generations of women before me didn’t have.
Unfortunately, between the decision and the action, several years had to pass.
‘Tradition’ wants you to live with your parents until you get married, then you live with you husband and the new family you will create.
I had different plans
I broke up with my boyfriend after several years as I had ended up in an abusive
relationship, started smoking and became anorexic. After studying foreign languages and literature, I ended up working for a company that sells hardwood floor.
But I wanted to travel, see new worlds, new cultures, and build a new life. Still, I felt stuck. I was at the bottom of what was a life others had written for me.
After the umpteenth fight, the umpteenth cry, the umpteenth blurred vision of a dark future, I bought a plane ticket. I remember going back and forth on that pc screen. I was one click away from the rest of my life.
I flew to Heathrow and came to London
I landed with a lot of hopes but I felt small, so so very small. That feeling accompanied me for a long time. For a long time, I felt lonely, disappointed with the flat I was living in, unhappy with the food I tried to eat, working like hell with also night shifts.
But I didn’t give up. When I jumped on that plane, I decided that my old story, the one that held me back for so long, was over. I was ready to write a new one.
The disruption had to end, creation had to open its wings wide and take off.
Bit by bit I started getting better jobs and better paid, I met my now husband, I made
friends and dived into the melting pot that only London can be.
That inexperienced, small girl who arrived in London to stay six months, had started the rest of her life. What I thought was the worst moment of my life was only that ‘disruption’ I needed to spread my wings and finally fly.
We moved to Mexico where I founded and directed my own publishing house, then Lisbon and Greece, then back to London. All of this whilst getting married, working, having children, and creating my indie fashion brand. I was finally doing only what I love.
I started my now main business when in Greece. When we moved there, I had a young daughter and my son on the way. I didn’t have family around. My husband would work crazy hours and I…felt lost. I couldn’t find myself anymore. I became ‘the mum of’ or ‘the wife of’ but myself as a woman, as a person with dreams and passions was nowhere to be found.
By instinct I went back to what always made me feel well: creating with my hands
There is a special power in the creative process independently from the outcome: it distracts your brain from the elements that bring stress in your life and ‘makes’ something tangible out of what they were raw materials, offering immediate satisfactions and fulfilment.
Just by coincidence I landed on hand embroidery that I started in my life at the age of 8 with my mum and grandma. It brought me so much joy that I started creating more and more. At the beginning I was making hats and bags but then slowly, when I understood that I wanted it to become a profitable business and not only a hobby, I migrated towards a specific kind of fashion for being more commercially viable and more requested by customers.
‘The rest is history’, like they used to say
Today I am a fashion brand owner and designer where I create garments embellished with hand embroidery and motivational words to support, inspire, and uplift women. I am a podcast host at ‘Empowering Voices’ where I interview talented women who, through the
power of storytelling, become inspiration and hope for other amazing women out there. I am also writer, painter, illustrator, and I give workshops around London.
I always tell that the best companions in your life are courage and determination
From the ancient land where I was born, I definitely learned resilience, the strength to never give up, the attitude to face life with a smile, the capacity to dream wild and give it all in.
You will always be afraid of trying new things that life forces you to face but be courageous and be determined. Jump, take the leap, amazing things are waiting for you on the other side.
No matter what, trust yourself in this adventure, the best is still yet to come.
by Mara Girone, Simple Sophistication
You can check out ‘Mara’s’ website here
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