Apologies for lack of blogging of late, Miss Wednesday is presently unwell and spending rather more time sedated by Matron than she appreciates. But last night she spotted something on the internet that made her cheer very loudly indeed…
A story on the BBC website about a young lady by the name of Laura Green, who has “a passion for fashion” and “didn’t want to work in ASDA”. Fair play. But Laura is a girl with a little extra. Well, actually, Laura is a girl with a lot extra. Drive, determination, guts, vision, passion and flair, to name just a few of her attributes. Plus an extra chromosome and, sadly, it’s that particular extra that lead to her being basically written off by the teachers, tutors and mentors who should have been helping her. Because Laura has Down’s Syndrome and DS is something that too many people still don’t understand. People with DS should never, ever be underestimated. I have friends with DS and their grit and determination is something that never fails to leave me in awe.
Here is Laura’s story in her own words: BBC Magazine – A Passion For Fashion
Of course, plenty of people have a dream of running their own business, whether in the fashion industry or not, but most of them never do anything about it. Now the reasons behind their failure to even try are legion but let me just say this: if you want something enough, you’ll find that there is a way. It may not be quite the way you expected and there will almost certainly be boulders strewn along the path that seem like insurmountable obstacles but if you keep walking and peep round the side, you’ll find that there is always a way around or some kind of hand or foothold to get over the top.
Back in 2009, battling a bout of ill health, I realised that I was unemployable and must therefore find a way of gainfully employing myself. Obviously, because I’m an undisciplined nightmare with the attention span of a ADHD gnat in need of a massive dose of Ritalin, it had to be something that I could do every day without being bored senseless and the idea for The March Hare flickered and Miss Wednesday was born. Nobody thought I could – or would – do it, probably least of all me! But I had to do something so I did vast amounts of research, found premises, talked to the bank and wrote a business plan.* The bank “manager” (bless him, he had no more managerial power than a cashier and had to refer everything up to Corporate, so I soon ditched that particular ‘horse’) was very enthusiastic and not a little surprised that the business plan was a good one. (Apparently he hadn’t expected me to actually write one, let alone one he felt was “excellent”, so that shows you to what extent people tend to write me off and I have no obvious “disability” to battle!)
To cut a long story short, there were many, many rocks and boulders in the path but I just kept walking. Some friends showed incredible faith in me and helped me weather the bad times and The March Hare vintage emporium metamorphosed into Wednesday March, which is still going today, although in different premises and minus the true vintage element, which proved to be financially incompatible with earning a living in an area where the pasties are king and the tourists tend to be fond of them, ie real vintage clothing is way smaller than modern people. Retro/reproduction was the way to go.
Plenty of people dismissed me as just a “housewife with a dream”. (Excuse me? Housewife??? I’m not domestic in any way, shape or form!) Others felt I either couldn’t or wouldn’t do it. People either nodded and smiled indulgently with an expression of, “Yes, dear, whatever you say,” or told me straight that I would never or could never do it. I call those people ‘dreamstealers’.
I just said, “Watch me.”
Never let anyone steal your dream. Whether that dream is starting your own business, losing the equivalent of another person in weight, running a marathon, climbing a mountain, learning to ski or taking up a musical instrument at any time of your life, the only person to whom you may need to prove anything is you.** In the words of a global brand that I’ve never felt the urge to wear, just do it.
* The business plan is key to starting your own business or mode of self-employment. If you can’t bring yourself to write one, then you’re not going any further with that dream. There’s plenty of help out there. Find the facts and figures you need, open a nice new document and start writing. Help will come. And yes, you’re basically manipulating figures to suit your purpose but you still need to do it. The waffly blurby bit about your particular business is also an excellent way of concentrating your mind on what it is you actually intend to do. Write that plan. Rewrite it. Do it. Without it, you’re going nowhere. It’s your passport to the future you want.
** There may well be other people to whom you want to prove something. Just get going and prove it to yourself first. Then you can stick two fingers up at them if you still feel the need. You may find that when it comes to it, you rather enjoy just smiling at them.