Doffie’s initial inspiration
My life as a young girl began in W.A. country town of Collie and I born into a complex and troubled, family dynamic. When I was around 3 years of age it was discovered I had contracted polio and this was to have an impact on me but also on my family, as it was likened to an AIDS epidemic and very little was spoken about it in the community but there was a lot of fear felt in and around those that cared for the children with polio. I had a serious case I was later to find out, as I was very quickly hospitalised in a city hospital that had been set aside for polio victims and isolated from others. For 12 months I only saw my parents and older sister once a month for a short-day time visit.
The hospital that was named “The Golden Age” was In Leederville and was in fact an old hotel and very similar to a hotel that still exists in the main street of Collie. Sadly, I discovered when I went searching for it more recently, that it had been bulldozed to make way for the Freeway.
It has been remarkable for me to discover a lot of valuable insight within the pages of the books now written on the subject of Polio and its effect on both the children, families and the wider community. To my delight I have been able to read some remarkably happy stories in the books about kind staff, matrons and the wonderful man who was chief gardener for many years inclusive of my time spent there. Also much to my surprise a story is told about how someone discovered that colour assists children to heal and that some of the walls were painted in different colours and someone was commissioned to paint a wall mural.
I found myself wondering as I read these “Bibles” (a wealth of information that was written by victims and their families many years on) is this is where my creative endeavours were first inspired that led me into my own business and the creation of: “Doffie House”?? I had begun a career as a secretary and then became a nurse but very soon I had the determination to create my own business and put my stamp on the retail Perth market. At the start the doffie brand was created as a craft-based enterprise, where we made special childhood heirloom products and then I developed it into both nursery and children’s room décor and eventually into whole family home, interior design and styling.
It was with this Entrepreneur Spirit that I had honed up in myself by seeking out role models and teaching programmes, that led to me attending the ELI: “Excellerated Learning Institute” Business School in Hawaii – the mastermind of Robert Kiyosaki. It was a two-week, live-in course. It had a very definite effect on both my personal life and how I went about my own business and that has carried over to this day. This was also the case for many who were part of it with me that I am still in touch with and some of them recall my inspiration that I refer to here. It came as a result of an exercise we were given to do that involved a mind map and a graphic presentation which we went on to present to our whole group in the business school.
The Exercise was in response to the Question posed:
When you don’t “just” have to work to make a living what is it you would like to create your legacy and a way of giving back to others?
This was to prove for me one of the most remarkable parts of the course. What came out of the named exercise for me was a deep desire to work one day with young girls and young women from the inside out. I felt then as I do now that the need is very real and that by doing the inner work with them as mentors and wise women, it would help shape their lives and so too their choices in personal health and relationships on all levels, inclusive of the children they may one day have as mothers.
So, I set to and did my mind map and graphic presentation on this dream and purpose and developed what was to stay with me all these years. I got awarded at the Business School for my efforts. I am not sure for how many others but for me it got stored away for the right time in my future. I knew then (as I do now) that it was to be a business model that would be shared and shaped by other great and talented women and that we would together develop it, with a true sense of community and care.
When I look back to my childhood and growing up years I recall there were not a lot of role models in my life but there is one that I do remember all too well. Her name was Christine and she was one of my Sunday School teachers and she seemed to pick in me what many others missed. She would tell me often how much she loved me and saw a wonderful spirit and heart in who I truly was, inwardly. She encouraged me to be creative, to dream big and to be my unique self.
To me she was exotic; she was tall and elegant and had gorgeous brown skin and long dark hair. She had some awareness of our family dynamic not being the happiest as she boarded with us as a family for some time and she was also aware I did not have a very close bond with my mother. She had a huge imprint on me as I can picture her to this day and somewhere I still have a photo of us together. What this experience taught me now many times over, is that we never really know how much difference we can make for some young person seeking to carve out a life for themselves. In fact, regardless of their economic or family background, they often need or crave outside validation and inspiration.
The timing of when I registered the name was to be some 24 plus years after my graduation from Business School: On 15/01/2015. My youngest turned 21 years of age at a similar time. So, I put that dream of making a difference and forming a legacy into the registered name of the “Golden Age Finishing School for Girls” and I have been patiently building a network of contacts for both facilitators and attendees and talking to parents and other business and professional people about their involvement and support.
What is needed is for it to be a registered company and to be highly professionally structured but also my dream includes the rebuilding of the “Golden Age” to marry up with the original floor-plans that have been held all this time in the archives of the “Post-Polio organisation here in WA”.
Although it was way back when that this dream first took shape for me and the need was recognised, it does seem that right up to this current time it is as wanted and needed in our community as ever. Young girls and young women today need purpose and direction. So, they achieve for themselves with our guidance and mentoring from the inside out. It is vital that they be given every opportunity to discover the pathway to be able to live their lives with grace and integrity.
Always seeking to Encourage all aspects of what it entails to be a young woman but also never forgetting:
Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
To provide diverse instruction through workshops and experiences with the aim to facilitate self-inspired, motivated and connected young women.
To enable young women to live a life of grace and integrity.
**The business has been registered as sole proprietor but the aim is to be registered as a Company with ASIC.
“Here’s to strong women, May we Know them, May we Be them, May We raise them”