by Brigette Mashile, founder of Roka Roko
Last week I met a man…wait, I had an interview with a man! He gave off the energy that he believed he was more important than me, or many of us. He had an attitude about him, which I proceeded to be ignorant of, sending him further into his ego. We all meet people like this, every-single-day…and so you learn to just exist with them. I was doing just ok until he said, “What else do you have to offer, I’ve met so many like you, you are all the same.”
At that very moment I wanted to laugh, but recalled I was the interviewee… and behaved. But I started wandering into my mind about his statement. I felt sorry for him. Imagine living a life where you think and say that all designers are the same, all musicians are the same, all engineers are the same, all entrepreneurs are the same. This would tell me, you haven’t spent enough time with a good large number of people in each of those industries.
If people were ‘the same’, then why are there so many of us…looking different. Why would God/Universe/Higher Power create so much diversity to have us all perform at the same level. And wouldn’t I have had the same doctor all my life? Or remained at the same gym all my life? Or been eating the same meal every day? I always tell myself to give each person a chance before I decide their fate. I need them to either disappoint or impress me.
We are all different but the same. In context of course. In biology, we are the same. In making clothes…no two individuals create a little black dress the same way. It is simply impossible, unless they are all trained at the same time by the same person. Or given a brief of step by step way to creating it. I have a lot of fashion design friends; I have spent time with each of them, got to know their strengths and weaknesses. This allows me to know who to refer to them for what. Imagine, me referring people to my ‘competition’! One day I will write an article on this competition concept.
In all the competitions (literally awards events), I discover new things from other designers. Other ways of doing things; amazing bead word; finishing; operating; etc. Assuming me and them are similar would create a blockage in my learning from them. It would create an attitude of undermining my peers. Assuming we are doing the same things…and of course, I do it better. This is a great loss of life. I believe other people are put on this earth to teach us; to show us what we are not aware of within ourselves. I have read the universe is within us, but it is so massive for you to discover all of it in one lifetime, so you need help.
Do not ever doubt yourself and your exclusivity. You are different. Those who believe it otherwise, do not know themselves enough. This is one of the things that keeps me waking up - each day I meet new people, with different ways of speaking, walking, eating, dressing, expressing confidence, etc. Each of them reaching for something in me; it could be a lesson or an experience of a lifetime. Entrepreneurs know this best; we are challenged everyday with different situations that demand a different part of ourselves. What a privilege!
Brigette Mashile is the founder and creative force behind Roka Roko, a custom fashion design business based in Johannesburg, South Africa. The company passionately delivers quality tailored and trendy fashion to make their customers happy, and specializes in styling women by creating unusual combinations with fabric, culture and style. Brigette has a Bachelor of Commerce degree from the University of Witwatersrand and a Fashion Diploma from Studio5 School of Fashion. She’s a former fashion buyer for a major retailer in South Africa, and an international direct selling company. She’s been passionate about fashion since the age of 10 and gained invaluable experience in the fashion world running informal fashion creation businesses until the day her own Roka Roko brand was born. Find out more by visiting the Roka Roko website www.rokaroko.co.za
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