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m y   s t o r y

I am blessed.

I am married to my high school sweetheart &

we have 3 incredible girls, who make every day a gift.

I am surrounded by friends and family who love and support me,

and I spend most of my life laughing.

 

In 1998 I obtained my teaching diploma from Durban College of Education,

and started my teaching career. 

 

I always keep a journal next to my bed, to jot my creative ideas down when inspiration hits. 

(That's usually very late at night, as I am definitely a night owl!)

 

In the early hours of August the 9th, 2005, I was re-designing our house in my journal,

and I drew a sketch of a glass water feature for our entrance.

It was at that very moment, that I was struck by reality. 

We were only making enough money to barely scrape by, and we had 2 young children at that stage. 

Who was I fooling?

I'd never be able to afford to have a glass water feature made for me. 

I was cross with myself for getting my hopes up, for wasting my time with all of this dreaming.

I threw my book down on the floor, and lay back in bed, seething.

I did some serious soul searching that night in the darkness.

 

Then, like I'd just been hit over the head, I stopped and suddenly thought,

I don't need anyone to make the glass water feature for me.  I'll make it myself!

 

I woke up early in the morning, filled with excitement. 

I gathered a whole lot of dry twigs from our garden, I put them into the braai, and I set it alight.

I then took my daughter's purity bottle, and smashed it and put it on the spade.

When I put the spade into the fire, the glass just crackled.

 

I didn't let anything stop me.  I was on a mission. 

I was more driven and focused than I had ever been before.

I was driven by this force that I cannot explain.

Along the way, I was faced with people who told me that I was being ridiculous,

but I didn't care. 

This was something that I had to do.  I had to learn how to melt glass.

 

My dad and I sat for hours experimenting with different blow torches and gasses to start with.

I still have the jaffle-iron we melted our first piece of glass in. 

And the glass is still very much embedded in it! 

I keep it in my studio as a reminder of how far I have come.

 

It wasn't an easy journey. 

The mantra that got me through was, "you fall down seven times, you get up eight."

Through sheer determination, I did it. 

 

I taught myself how to work with glass.

 

 

1 9 9 8

I qualified as a teacher

 

2 0 0 1

Brad & I got married

Hannah was born

 

2 0 0 3

Emily was born

 

2 0 0 5

I decided that I would teach myself how to melt glass

 

2 0 0 6

I resigned from teaching to work with glass full time

 

2 0 0 7

I was filmed working in my studio by Top Billing TV Show

My work was featured in the SA Homeowner Magazine

My baby range was featured in the Your Baby Magazine

 

2 0 0 8

I was a finalist in the Nivea Art Start Awards,

and my artwork was hung at the KZNSA Gallery

 

2 0 0 9

Kaylee was born

I created the 100m glass artwork that runs along the front of Bridge City Shopping Mall in KwaMashu

I was profiled on the Mom's Matter website

I was part of an art exhibition with local artists, Welcome Danca & Bheki Khambule

at the Fresh Paint Gallery

 

2 0 1 0

I donated an artwork to the Every One Counts Campaign for abandoned babies

 

2 0 1 1

I was featured in the Home & Tuis Magazines

I was also featured in the Mercury Newspaper

 

2 0 1 2

I took a break, and went back to teaching to hibernate and rediscover myself

 

2 0 1 6

I was invited by the Director of the Durban Art Gallery to submit an artwork

for the Essence Festival

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2 0 1 7

My glass artworks were at the Imbizo Art Gallery in Umhlanga

I was featured twice in the Get It Magazine in Durban in the May & December editions

Started creating the first network of hubsites for South Africans

(www.onsouthafrica.com)

 

2 0 1 8

Invited to attend monthly Brunch with Darren Maule

Was interviewed on DYR (Durban Youth Radio)

Appeared in several online articles

Was profiled in The Crest Magazine

Invited to demonstrate glass work at Waterfall Prep.

Invited to demonstrate glass work for 2 groups of 20 home-schoolers

Interviewed for SABC Radio

Featured in an article in The Mercury Newspaper

 

2 0 1 9

Identified & Awarded one of Standard Bank's KZN Top Women In Business

Was the Specialist Grade 3 - 7 Art Teacher at the Local School

Spent every spare minute working on OnSA

 

2 0 2 0

Invited by the US Embassy to Attend an Event at the Personal Residence of the Consulate General

After Cyril announced Lock Down, I rebranded OnSA to Net So & opened it for free

Was Invited to do a Zoom Interview for BNI SA

Attended a Life Changing Business Retreat with Cindy Norcott

My sister, Kate, & I created the Brand, Forever Sistas

We bought a local Graphic Design Company & are branching out...

www.foreversistas.com

 

s a r a h . w h i t a k e r @ l i v e .  c o . z a