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And as for my hair? This time last year, I was in a corporate job at a company I’d been a part of for years. Having gone straight into work after school, being part of a corporate was all I’d ever known, but I increasingly started feeling restless, wanting to do something for myself. I’ve always loved crafts and sewing, and produced costumes for a performance company abroad. I loved making the hats so much that I thought to myself: I can do this as a job.

Last May, I decided to resign from my job, and pursue hat making. I did a three-day millinery course, but it taught me very little. A short while later, I bumped into an old client, who mentioned a South African milliner, Albertus, living and working in New York. I contacted Albertus who gave me leads for internships in SA, but when nothing came of them, he invited me to join him in New York as an intern. Arriving there in July was like realising a dream. I was suddenly free, and felt young again as I slept on air beds and budgeted money for food every week. It was like being a student all over again!

Arriving back in Johannesburg two months later, I was a different woman. Stepping out of my comfort zone was the best thing I did for myself. I learnt things from Albertus I couldn’t have learnt here, and I’ve hit the ground running, getting together supplies and equipment I need to make my millinery dream a reality.

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