The fifth instalment in our Remarkable woman series takes us into Sydenham, South London, where Sara Atteby lives with her husband, Daniel and their three children, Aminata, Laggoh and Keisha. Sara, a talented 37 year old Photographer, was born in Atherton, Queensland. She moved to Brisbane "at around four" where she spent her formative years.
Sara tells us:
"I wanted to be an Artist. I didn't know what to do after finishing my Degree (in Visual Arts) so, as my dad was originally from Germany, I bought a one way ticket there".
"I needed to grow. I was very quiet and found it really hard to make small talk. I chose Drama in High school because I needed to challenge myself. Moving to another country was scary. (understatement, much?) But I learned to speak German fluently, I met and married my husband and we started a beautiful family so it wasn't all bad! Daniel (also a Photographer. Creative couple!) is from the Ivory Coast. They lived in Belgium but married in Denmark due to some extremely boring unfathomable laws that failed to recognise their union legally (despite already having two children together)".
"My favourite garment is my red coat. I LOVE red! I bought it a few years back. I had decided to buy a coat that I could keep for a long time. One that was of a good quality and long lasting. I like items that you can wear over and over. Something my kids could wear if they wanted to when they got older. Quite nostalgic I guess".
"I went looking for a 'good coat'. One that could be dressed up or down and that I could wear with jeans or a dress. I wanted a coat that would make me feel grown up and sophisticated".
"I went shopping alone - I can't shop with the children and I don't like clothes shopping. Its hard with a growing family. You're the last person you spend on. You look for cheap clothes especially with kids clothes as they grow so fast. My eldest daughter, Aminata, has an expensive jacket we managed to get in Haacht, Germany in the sales. It's a beautifully made unisex jacket that all the children have worn at some point. I will keep it as it has such sentimental value and its so beautiful. I only wish I could have fitted into it myself!".
"Anyway…back to my coat. I made a special trip and scoured the shops of Bromley, South London. I wanted it in wool with a high collar to cover my neck as it gets cold quickly. I was looking for 'stylish'. Classic. I went into lots of different shops. I had tried to hold out for the sales but it was too early in the season so everything was full price".
"I fell in love when I saw it and tried it on. The cut and colour are perfect. The sales assistants in Hobbs were friendly to me and I remember the lighting was nice. I think that these things are important. I would wear it all the time but I don't want it to fall apart! I wear it to church and have been complimented on it several times. I'm a naturally quiet person. I prefer to observe. But I also like to surprise people (*shy grin*) I can let my red coat do the talking. I love being identified as 'The lady with the red coat'".
"Theres something about the colour red. Its fiery! It represents love and passion. Its a living colour. Colour is so powerful, isn't it? My mum always looked younger than her age and I still get asked for my ID! I don't often wear makeup but when I do its to help me look older. When I wear my red coat I look and feel like a grown woman".
We love Sara's story. What courage and determination it must have taken for a naturally shy young woman to pack her bags and move to the other side to the world. What we love about this remarkable woman is her willingness to step outside her comfort zone, her sense of self belief. Many of us, young and old, could do with a healthy dose of this.
Wearing colour can lift and elevate a disheartened spirit. Here at Reddskin we believe wholeheartedly in dressing to improve the day - to 'Wear your Happy'!
How do you wear YOUR happy? And how important is a shops ambience to you when you go clothes shopping? We'd love to know - just answer in the comments below.
Next time on the blog: Meet an outspoken Artist on an exciting journey…in fact she may be packing her bags right now!