I was born in 1968 in Dundee – Scotland’s fourth-largest city. I was brought up in a village called the Coaltown of Wemyss.
Being half-Jamaican made for a very interesting time growing up in Fife. School was a bit of a struggle as I am dyslexic and this was not diagnosed until I was at University.
Not sure how it happened, but I went off to University and studied Business and IT. I got my first graduate role with a company I greatly admired – Barnardo’s Children’s Charity. From there, I worked for the next 18 years predominately in the Energy and the Financial sectors.
In 2015, I was made redundant. Whilst on gardening leave, I started to visit the Victoria and Albert museum. I went to see the Savage Beauty exhibition by Alexander McQueen. As I walked into the exhibition, I heard him talk about how it was good to fail. “That’s how you learn”, he said. Those comments went around in my mind for days, then I filed it into my sub-conscious. I became self-employed and went back to working in the Financial sector.
In 2016, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. For me, this experience was life changing; it made me really think about how society sees women and how many women feel that they must conform to a certain look to be accepted in the world.
As a woman turning 50 this year, I have felt the pressure to conform. But instead of conforming, I decided at the beginning of 2017 to take time off from working in IT and enrolled on a Fashion Styling course at Central St Martins College. Finally, I felt that I had found what makes me feel free and excited to get out of bed every morning.
My husband and I decided to end our 16 year relationship at the end of 2017 and we started a new chapter as best friends. This spurred me on to go back to Central St Martins and take a course on “How to be an Independent Curator”.
I’ve failed many times, but what I have learnt has been invaluable x