30 Apr At Home With Michele Throssell
Q: Let’s start at the very beginning: What did you want to be when you grew up? And what did you study?
A: I wanted to be a Veterinary Surgeon but sadly my science and mathematical skills were not up to scratch! After completing a degree in Politics, Philosophy and Economics at UCT, I knew I wanted to pursue more of creative career and not something corporate. At one stage I even loved clothing and fashion design!
Q: Where did your creative journey begin and when did you realize this was your calling? Did you have a “big break”?
A: My creative journey began when I started a business with my sister, Jenny, called “Out of Africa”. We made a line of jewelry, heavily beaded necklaces and bracelets. After getting married, I moved to Natal and joined a small clothing company as a partner. We manufactured and designed children and ladies’ clothing, which we sold to the big chain stores. It was here I developed a love for fabrics and for creating beautiful things.
My “break through” job was a large syndicate home at Leopard Creek. I had never had such a big job before and it was so empowering to know that they trusted me even though I was relatively new to the game. This was the real start to my career.
Q: What have been some of your biggest challenges in getting to where you are now, and how did you overcome them?
A: I am a control freak – I like everything to be in order – so one of my biggest challenges was trying to be a great mother, wife and homemaker as well as run my business. I had no real, formal design training so my development was through trial and error.
Q: What advice would you give to those just starting out on their creative journey?
A: Make a list of your intentions and desires and look at this list before you go to bed at night. In this way you can harness the power of intention to fulfill your dreams and desires.
My motto in the office is: “It’s all in the detail” …take care, be thorough and love what you do.
Q: Please share with us a picture of an area or object in your home that is particularly special to you, and tell us a little about it?
A: I have sent a picture of my collection of hands. About 15-18 years ago I received a gift from my mother – a beautiful cast of my dad’s hands. Hands symbolize love, creativity, faith, divine grace, vigor and hard work. In my travels, I have found many a hand and these have become a collection for me over the years.
Q: What are you doing at home to keep busy? Is there anything you have taken on to challenge yourself during this time?
A: We are working on some exciting new project presentations and renovations! It has been a great time to brainstorm, create and collaborate on many of the projects we’re working on with two of my children who have joined my business. I have loved the added space and time at home to enjoy family and my many hobbies; one of which is making homemade soaps, creams and oils from organic and beautiful essential oils.
Q: How has the pandemic affected your business, and do you see your business changing out of this experience?
A: Winston Churchill said, “Change is the price of survival”. I have consolidated my business over the last six months, but I believe despite the changes that we have made, we will continue to change as the world changes due to Covid 19.
Having had time to reflect on ones business, we need to trust in the flow and guidance of the universe. Something that appears to be difficult is usually the greatest teacher. We are excited about what lies ahead: the changes and challenges that may face us.
Q: What is the best advice you have ever received, either professionally or personally?
A: Deepak Chopra, in his book “The Seven Laws of Success” speaks about The Law of Least Effort in which he says, “All problems contain the seeds of opportunity and this awareness allows you to take the moment and transform it into a better situation.”