The daydreams we have as a kid about what we want to be when we grow up follow us into adulthood. It’s so hard to let go of those dreams, even if the real world leaves us disillusioned and disappointed. But fear not, you don’t have to let go of those dreams. You just have to look at them from a different angle.
Welcome to Lean In. A podcast that explores ordinary people’s extraordinary lives through honest storytelling. My guests share with me their journey of discovery, laughter, personal experiences and healing.
If you are going through a change or challenging period in life, Lean In is the space where we can surrender to the cycle together.
In this episode, I had a poignant chat with my beautiful friend Vanessa Conrad. Vanessa is the brilliant mind behind the brand Kind Humankind. Through selling gorgeous one of a kind clothing, Kind Humankind works with disadvantaged countries to permanently improve lives. Every sale helps provide consumers with fair-trade, environmentally-friendly fashion while using only natural fibres and improving the communities that make them.
Vanessa always knew she wanted to be a fashion designer. She knew it before she even knew how to express it. Daydreams of the glamorous life of a fashionista filled her head throughout her life in Brazil. However, the world around her in Rio de Janeiro was harsh and cruel, and she tragically lost her father at 11 to violence.
Even losing her father didn’t take her dreams away. At 25, Vanessa finally started Fashion school in Australia, and she loved every second of it. However, after graduating, she quickly learned that the fashion industry was not what she had envisioned. Instead of a glamourous lifestyle, she was surrounded by a toxic work environment and disillusion.
Mourning the loss of her dream, Vanessa eventually took a trip with her husband, exploring far off places that had always called to her. After an especially eye-opening trip to post-earthquake Nepal, Vanessa became enamoured with the natural fibres and incredible craftsmanship of the local villagers. It was then that her dream took on new meaning.
In this episode, Vanessa and I discuss her incredible story in detail. We touch on how important it is to pick yourself up after things don’t work out the way you thought they would and reimagine your dreams.
Other insights we touch on:
Vanessa’s love of creating
Why being Brazilian shapes who she is
How her grandmother’s old sewing machine changed her life
The period of her life that paralleled Carrie Bradshaw’s
Why you need to mourn your disillusioned dreams
Why Vanessa thinks everyone should do yoga teaching training
The conversation that led her to Nepal
The moment Vanessa was touched by the divine
The beauty of the people of Nepal
The mission of Kind Humankind