Growing up I always noticed amazing, “raak vat” women (an Afrikaans saying meaning the same as having a can-do attitude). Over the last few years though, the number of amazing go-getter women in my circle have increased ten-fold. All around I find them busting it and succeeding.
The following post is dedicated to one such woman. I wrote it while humming
“I’m every Woman … it’s all in me … Anything you want done baby … I do it naturally …”
Whitney Houston may have made that line famous, but Lizel Cloete, owner of new-found CREATEstudio, really deserves to sing it. She can literally do “anything you want done baby!”
Lizel Cloete and I go back several years. I first came to know of her existence in my first year when I became friends with her lovely sister Jeanne. Fast forward about six years to the day I finally met her – I hijacked her and Jeanne’s sisterly get-together. I’ll never forget it. Lizel’s living room was filled with bits and bobs, craft tools of all kinds and a big square box that looked like a painting from one angle, a post box from another and, if turned on the side, it looked like a page from a scrapbook filled with memories.
That was CREATEstudio in seed form. But neither Lizel, Jeanne nor I knew it then. We simply accepted it as Lizel’s application to be Ideas Magazine’s next Craft and DIY Editor. When she got the job (it was a no brainer – that box had talent written all over it!), she packed up and moved from sleepy Somerset West to begin a new adventure in the hustle and bustle of the Mother City.
Lizel’s many years in the industry as jewellery designer prepared her for the many late nights at one of SA’s most popular decor magazines. After taking up a job at Media 24 myself, we’d often meet for a quick lunch, which was actually just a caffeine-reloader for Lizel in preparation for the late night ahead.
Her work at Ideas won her quite a faithful following and has seen her hosting workshops for Ideas readers and making guest appearances on the local breakfast show Expresso. To have the top craft and DIY guru in SA at your wedding is a boon, but having her as a sister when your big day is looming is an absolute blessing as Jeanne discovered two years ago. She attributes a lot of her wedding day inspiration to her big sis, “[Lizel] would send me emails titled ‘what about this?’”
Unfortunately Ideas Magazine, like many departments in Media 24, had to down size a few months ago and Lizel was one of the creative souls they could no longer afford to keep. “Boo!!!” I hear all of you say. That’s what I said too. But Lizel’s take on it was completely different. In fact, it was heroic. After the tears, disappointment and anger subsided, it dawned on her that she was just being kicked out of the proverbial nest. She realised that it was time for her to fly!
Monday 5 May 2014 marked the four-year anniversary of her Ideas adventure (as well as both of our birthdays – yup, I think we were meant to be friends!) and also the nearness of its conclusion. Today, Saturday 12 July, however, marks the beginning of an altogether new adventure – that of running her own business!
CREATEstudio is launching at Ideas Magazine’s annual Trunk Show today. The show offers Ideas readers the opportunity to walk through the pages of the magazine. They get to see, feel and buy all the projects they’ve seen in their monthly issue of Ideas over the year. But of course, the highlight of the show – what Lizel’s friends, family and fan base will be looking forward to most – is seeing her in action as founder and principal creator of CREATEstudio.
I know CREATEstudio will do well today and I know this is only the seed-form beginning of an even greater, not-yet-imagined adventure for Lizel. What’s more I can’t wait to tell the rest of Lizel’s “I’m every woman” story!
What “I’m every woman” women do you draw inspiration from?