I always find inspiration in the wisdom of great thinkers and innovators. Writing my first (guest) editor’s note since leaving Elle, I inevitably resort to one such trailblazer, the enigmatic author Anain Nin who invoked the stirring message of “Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one’s courage.”
Reflecting on the past six months since the launch of my new venture Salon 58, I am astounded by the pace and reward of my life’s expansion. An expansion nudged by an awakening to a new breed of entrepreneurs who are inventing their own vocations – where success means improved personal and community development rather than improved income which is also the underlying message in author James Wallman’s book Meaning is the new money. Choosing to function within a community-based economy, striving towards the challenging yet rewarding synergy of a collaborative and a customized vs. aggressive approach allows time, space and the power of sensory stimuli to build relationships with the Salon 58 audience. It’s about constant conversations, the narrative of the brand and not so much the product anymore; about personalised, curated content and putting something together with an authentic point of view. These are the new values I explore daily and live by – they challenge my very existence, my sense of reason and my conviction to follow my dreams and passions. They keep me awake at night and propel me to dust off my sometimes broken ego and continue my ambition of building a sustainable platform embracing cultural values, shared experiences and discovering new opportunities.
“How am I doing; is this a success story, a perfected new business model?” – I am still haunted by the very real and practical issues we have to confront. But deep inside, I want to trust that the new balance is about an emotional and meaningful connection between the brand, collaborator and consumer with purpose and ethics as core values. I enjoy the new company I keep, the creative game-changers of our country and continent taking risks and reaping rewards, articulating our homegrown aesthetic with authenticity and pride.
Thank you, Skattie, for this collaboration, conversation and keeping good company this week – such a fine balance.
Quotes by: Jackie Burger
Salon 58 website: www.salon58.co.za