The size ten looking back at me – Jenni Button’s and my glory story

Jenni-Button-store-copy Back in the prime years (did I just say prime? is it not the prime years now she wonders?).  Back in the prime years, living in South Africa, Jenni Button was my idol.  An icon in the fashion industry, sleek, elegant and classical designs much admired and barely affordable by moi.  But I loved her look.  Loved her philosophy.

The joy of the day that I found myself able to afford a few pieces by  Jenni Button, and better still, fitting into the size ten clothes – oh, happy day I remembered fondly. Still hanging onto that one.

Fast forward to the story of a women who built up a formidable business, went into a partnership deal and lost everything, including the use of her name in the fashion industry. Pointless legal battles and like my waist, went sideways. Jenni, like my body, had been sabotaged.  

Unlike my body, menopause does scoff at the size 10, Jenni did not succumb to the muffin top of life, and despite huge loss on both the financial and spiritual scales, turned her talents to Philosophy, her new clothing line.  Quick to thwart any more surprise attacks from those ugly powers of high, she also registered her name internationally, for one day, clever woman.  

kko0Qn85 The real Jenni Button

I do believe, nasty, scheming, unkind people never win, and so it was a delicious taste of Karma when the new bossy company went into liquidation a few years ago.  Sadly Jenni Button, Hilton Weiner and Aca Joe, all favourites, went with the sinking ship.  Lesson learnt I hope.

The real Jenni Button, as she likes to call herself, is going strong and a story for all of us.  Especially me. Still remains a fond memory of buying her clothes, feeling special being able to do so and the clothes may lie fallow in my cupboard, but will never be tossed for the size ten, like Jenni’s story, may well find restoration – post menopause.  I look at them every now and then, not with sadness, but fondness and expectation.  They are my possibles.

Interviewed by the ‘Entrepreneur’ magazine in 2009, Jenni told her heartfelt tale.  She also spoke of hindsight, learning from a bad experience (like Jo Malone) and moving on.  Some of her insights to success and inspiration are valid even today, and advice we should all follow, and I quote:

Jenni Button’s secrets to success & inspiration

  • If you don’t have absolute passion and pure conviction about your business venture, don’t bother doing it.
  • Being naive has its virtues in business but make sure you get all your admin perfectly in place. Many an otherwise savvy business person has been brought down because they didn’t dot the i’s and cross the t’s when it came to issues of partnership agreements, tax or legal documents.
  • If you choose to delegate (something I don’t do easily) make sure you check and double-check that it’s been done, and done properly. Your business relies on it.
  • Make sure you have a business plan and that it covers all potential areas of risk.
  • Do not procrastinate! “Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” – Don Marquis
  • Change your thoughts and you can change your position in life. “It’s not the strongest of species that survives, nor the most intelligent, it’s the one that’s most responsive to change.” – Charles Darwin
  • “Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve.” – Napoleon Hill.
  • Refuse to be a victim! “The most potent weapon in the hands of the oppressor is the mind of the oppressed.” – Steven Biko
  • Be flexible. “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” – Albert Einstein
  • “If moment by moment you can keep your mind clear then nothing will confuse you.” – Sheng Yen
I think of Jenni every time I peek in the cupboard and defy all who say, throw out the old clothes, for these are now even more valuable.  An inspirational, beautiful woman and one I hope to meet one day, preferably in the size 10 clothes she made for me.  Felt like a princess, thanks Jenni!
Images: twitter and destiny

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