Be Authentic

Be Authentic

The Story Behind The Story

Sometimes the question - so why did you start your business? is easier than the question - how many children do you have?

I'm not too sure why - as it is basically the same question - with potentially the same result - people not knowing what to say - or awkward silences.  Maybe the second one is more personal, and the first I can be more 'businesslike'.

So anyway, I've been asked to write a small piece around my inspiration as an artist, as a creative person.  Why did I start handstamping jewellery ?  What inspires me?  Why do I love it ?

How Much to Share

With the question - How many children do you have ?  I find my answer varies depending on who I am speaking to.  A couple of years ago I felt indescribably guilty if I said two.  Like if I said two, it meant that the baby that died, didn't count.   But now, I can pick and choose what I say - sometimes it doesn't matter if the other person knows about Koby - they don't need to know, I don't need to share him.  Sometimes I just don't need the silences, or the awkwardness, or the sympathy.  Sometimes I just need to say I have 2 children.   Sometimes I can even say I have 3 children, and just not elaborate.  I like that, because then I can acknowledge Koby, without having to explain.  

But with my business.  Koby is THE reason.  My business wouldn't have existed without him.  If he hadn't died, KJdesigns would never have been.  It just wouldn't have happened.  So, writing this piece, I'm standing up in front of (figuratively) 30 strangers and telling my story.  Hi, I'm Susan and my precious baby died.  These strangers who aren't familiar with my business, who are mostly older, and who don't know I've lost a baby.  They don't know he is the inspiration for my business, and it seems like I'm opening myself up for that conversation again.  For those sympathetic looks.  Or worse, because they were perhaps from the generation who were told to forget and get on with life, those looks like what on earth are you going on about, you have 2 children, just get on with it.

The Reason

Koby is the reason.  Koby is the inspiration.  Koby lead me to my creativity, lead me to this.  I can't tell my Business Story without him.  And you know what ... whatever their reaction - it doesn't matter.  It is my story.  Full stop. 

My Story

"My name is Suz Coram-Stanley and my business is creating personalised handstamped jewellery and keepsakes.  My precious miracle baby, who we were told we would never conceive, was stillborn at 6 months gestation, and changed my life.  My darkest days brought me inspiration and creativity that would turn into KJdesigns, named after Koby James.  My search for ways to remember and honour him, lead me to handstamped jewellery, and after not being able to purchase this in NZ, decided to create my own.  My passion and renewed interest in life was ignighted, darkness because Koby couldn't stay, and light because even though he wasn't physically here, he saved me.... "

The Moral of The Story

I'm not too sure why I struggled with how much to say or share.  Usually I have no problems sharing KJdesigns story - it is safer, easier sharing still difficult topics from a business point of view, rather than a personal one.   I've shouted from the rooftops that Koby will ALWAYS be my baby and I will talk about him, and include him in my life as I see fit.  He is my forever baby, and will be forever part of our family.  The struggle of this story, however, reminds me that it is SO important to be true to yourself.  To be authentic.  Don't water yourself down for people.  Be you.  Don't have regrets. 

Posted: Monday 15 May 2017