Photography by Vairdy Frail
I have spent 36 years learning how to be a daughter, a friend, a sister, a spouse, an employee, a manager, an employer, and most recently, a mom. Each day is an opportunity to grow in each one of my roles. I will highlight several of the moments that had the greatest impact on who I am today: moving to California from South Africa at the age of 4, meeting my husband, moving to the Midwest, being a retail buyer (which challenged me both as an employee and as a manager), deciding to start a company and having a child. From each of these experiences I have learned empathy, patience, determination and humility.
What is something about yourself that most people don’t know?
Even though I teach classes with over 30 people in them every day, I still get petrified of public speaking. Whenever I have to speak, my hands get clammy, my voice cracks a bit and I get this very awkward laugh. I still feel like the 5th grader dreading my turn to speak. Oh and my face still sometimes gets beet red.
You’ve had so many successes in your life when you look at your beautiful family and growing business. From the outside looking in, you’ve got it great! Have you ever struggled with insecurities, poor self-confidence, anxiety or depression?
Of course. When I was young I struggled with feeling that I was different to my friends. I was born in South Africa and my parents were immigrants in California, that alone made me feel that I was an outsider. Throughout junior high and high school and even into University I lacked the confidence that I ‘belonged’ with my peers so I placed my self worth on small things such as whether a guy liked me or whether I was invited to do something with friends. It wasn’t until my late 20’s or even early 30’s that I stopped relying on exterior situations or people to give me my self worth and instead looked inside.
What is your biggest insecurity in regards to your appearance (if anything…) and where do you think it comes from?
Hands down my face and not feeling pretty enough. Women are very self critical and we constantly compare ourselves to others. It unfortunately starts at an early age.
January is a month where everyone seems to jump on the diet and exercise bandwagon but studies show it doesn’t usually last more than 3 weeks. What are your thoughts on dieting and trends like juice cleanses.
Be kind to yourself and set realistic expectations, the worst thing to feel is failure, so when deciding on New Year’s resolutions, make actionable and achievable goals. I heard a great quote today, “if for some reason you fall off the wagon today, then get back on tomorrow, one day doesn’t define success or failure.”
Have you ever had plastic surgery? Thoughts?
No. I used to have great boobs- after a year of breast feeding and pumping they have been reduced to two sad looking things that vaguely resemble boobs. I joke about giving them a little life after I am done having kids but in all reality I don’t think I will.
From one woman to another your boobs still look great 😉 If you could give one message to women of the world what would it be?
Be vulnerable, get uncomfortable, expose yourself, only then do you have the room to become you!
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Instagram Handle: @barmethod_van