Posted by Liz Harwood on

A while ago I was asked to facilitate a workshop for a class of disadvantaged 18 year old teenagers. It was a real awakening moment when I realised that no one had told these kids they were limitless. That they could step boldly into their imaginations and create a future that they'd like to live. It was humbling. They had been conditioned to believe that what they had, was all there was.

I told them differently.

I'm the founder of FAMARA, that's my dream, and I'm joyfully grateful to have had the opportunity to have achieved so much in the last four years. I've not had a silver spoon, or investment, and each stage of the climb has been both perilous and incredible, in equal measure.

I'm also grateful for having had a number of different careers and can declare that those that have brought me most pleasure are those where creativity flows, and where there is a belief that anything is possible.

In reflection recently I was pondering how FAMARA could bring together my 'dots' in the new world we'll enter. If you haven't listened to this amazing video, please do so now. It's the best 14 minutes you'll spend today.

I was interviewed by the most amazing business coach friend of mine regarding the use of intuition in business. Following our conversation (post interview) she helped me realise that I've created FAMARA as an activewear brand not only for adventurous women, but for every woman.

We aren't conditioning our customers to believe that they need to be skinny or young. Our only quest is that we find the adventurous amongst you, those that want to dare to be different, and provide you with lifestyle garments that flatter, that inspire and that are unique to the individual - you.

Living my dream meant I needed to let go of quite a lot of fear, that even included the fear of success. I'd been a single mum for 20 years, and it took some courage in 2015 to make me stand back from a relatively successful corporate career and ask myself - what are you doing?

I still have imposter syndrome sometimes, I wasn't trained in textiles, or in art, and yet it's been a passion since I was 14 years old when I cut myself a pair of trousers from my parents plush red velvet curtains, and made a pair of knickerbockers that Adam Ant would have been proud of!

Life kicked me hard at 20, when I lost the most important person in my world. She, that underpinned my everything, disappeared, and I was left with a void that I could never fill. At that moment life became defining. Instantaneously, I realised life was a very precious thing. Life could, and had been, snatched away, and I vowed (even though this was not a conscious vow at the time) that life would not pass me by. I

would learn to seize the day.

Five years ago I’d been on the way to achieving my corporate career goals, however been pulled off course by some unfortunate circumstances where two contract companies went into liquidation and left me out of work. I was owed quite a considerable amount of money. After the liquidations, financial fear took hold and I considered my options as an artist but jumped back to the ‘comfort’ of corporate contracts.  Except it wasn’t comfortable, it was quite the opposite.

At the same time I had sold my first 2 paintings. I'd never sold any before, sometimes given them away, but more often put them in the shed under a blanket.

The nagging voice that I'd crushed under pillows for 20 years begun to be heard and with it unleashed a flow of possibility, a tantalising voice of 'what if' that would pervade my sleep, seep into my veins and spew a flow of creativity that appeared to be boundless.

At that time in February 2016 I had no idea what that meant in terms of a business, but I did know that something was afoot and that I should seize it with both hands!

What was it?

I vaguely knew the answer and started a list combining all the things I loved.

How would I afford it?

I certainly didn't know the answer when piles of bills were mounting on the doormat.

When would I do it?

At the time I daren't ask or believe that a dream where I would create an income from my own creativity could ever become a reality.

I wrote my first business plan in 2016 with a 10 year goal to deliver FAMARA in the way I visualised her from the beginning. I find myself half way along that path.

During this time of lockdown, I've revisited, reorganised, refocussed, and re-inspired the vision of FAMARA and I know that the last 4 years have brought me to this point deliberately.

In February this year, I closed my flagship store, knowing that I needed to reflect on the success of the previous few months, research what our best sellers had been and look for a new area to open a store. I decided meanwhile to redirect funds that would increase the brand awareness - but as I locked the shop for the last time, I wondered if I had done the right thing?

3 weeks later I had my answer when the world was unexpectedly thrust into a vortex of uncertainty and I don't mind admitting in the first few weeks of lockdown my heart sunk as I considered whether my journey with FAMARA might have come to a premature close.

I'm delighted to say, that wasn't the case.

As we focus more on our brand vision, the energy is becoming contagious, the amazing team that work with me are brainstorming and I'm loving the new ideas! Those include the launch of our new website next week, a summer of beautiful health and fitness tips, the community FAMARA Tribe that we'll be inviting you to join and a beautiful new collection of activewear.

Many years ago I created a 6 week online course, Be Limitless. I believed then and truly believe now that we are all only as limited as we allow our thoughts to be. It's my goal that everyone in the FAMARA tribe will know that we can all be Limitless by living our individuality, and living our dreams, every day.

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