FREE SHIPPING WHEN YOU SPEND US$99
To celebrate National Business Women’s Week (Oct 17-21), I thought it was the perfect opportunity to tell you about how Wild In Africa came to be ...
It wasn’t actually a conscious decision to start a business and just a few years ago I would have never guessed I’d have a jewellery line! But fate, in the form of severe sickness, stepped in.
At 15 years old I suffered a severe bout of Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and have struggled with my health ever since, including chronic fatigue and a very weakened immune system which plagued me with illness over the last 25 years.
In 2013 I moved to Africa to pursue my dream of making wildlife documentaries. I worked in many remote regions of the continent, sometimes with access to only basic food and, in the beginning, working myself to exhaustion, usually for free, as I tried to make a name for myself.
I continued to push my body beyond its limits to pursue my dreams (and just as I was really establishing myself), my poor body finally failed me and I was found unconscious on a dirt path in the Masai Mara, in an area frequented by lions. No-one knows how long I was laying there, but it was long enough for the gravel to be firmly embedded in my face. I was medivac’d to Kenya’s capital, Nairobi where I was hospitalised.
The next 3 months I was bedridden while my frail body tried to heal. I was skeletal and close enough to death that I didn’t have the energy to even care anymore. My angel of a mother jumped on a plane from Australia and stayed by my side for the next month while I slept all day. Eventually, after 3 months I was out of bed most days and my mental clarity had returned. I was frustrated that my body could not yet keep up with my motivation. I couldn’t even hold a camera and certainly didn’t have enough stamina to be out in the field (that would take another 3 months along with a very slow reintroduction).
This frustration pushed me to find a creative outlet other than filming and photography until I was properly back on my feet. So, I dismantled some of my beaded bracelets that I’d collected over the years on my travels and redesigned them.
I was hooked.
Soon, I was sourcing beads from all over the world and creating different styles and selling them on Etsy. I was surprised at the reception they received and soon I was making regular sales.
My past as a graphic designer (9 years and a whole other life and story) meant I had an understanding and appreciation for marketing. Before I knew it Wild In Africa - Bracelets for Wildlife was born, registered and open for business!
Animals, my main passion, have given my life so much happiness and meaning. It’s the least I could do and that’s why I wanted my charity bracelets to give an amount that truly signified my commitment - 50% of the purchase price.
If people are going to buy bracelets because they want to support conservation then I was going to be very clear about exactly how much of what they’re spending is being given. It’s that simple.
That was May 2017, and I can hardly believe how we’ve grown. More importantly, I’m so incredibly excited about the future and how we can give back to wildlife conservation in a real and meaningful way, together.
Don’t miss out on future posts so be sure to sign up for our Wild Tribe (scroll below to sign up).
SEDEX (Supplier Ethical Data Exchange) is a global non-profit organisation that audits social and environmental performance to ensure improved working conditions throughout the supply chain globally.