From dreams to reality..

Not many of you may know, but I am actually a nurse. I had always dreamt of pursuing a creative profession after high school. I loved drawing, painting, sewing, sculpting, writing and photography. I had always found so much joy in the creative process and wanted more than anything to become a designer, either in clothing or accessories. I often dreamt about starting my own brand and perhaps owning a little boutique. However, life had other plans and I ended up in university studying a Bachelor of Nursing degree. Once I had graduated and begun to work, I had given up almost all my creative pursuits, apart from an occasional drawing or painting during random sleepless nights. 

But then, something amazing happened. My high school sweetheart took me on a weekend away to Melbourne, got down on one knee and asked me to marry him. 

As we planned for the wedding of our dreams, I started looking for the wedding dress of my dreams. And I found it. In a beautiful little boutique called Brides by Francesca. During one of my visits, the store had a trunk show for a bridal accessories brand called Maria Elena Headpieces. The pieces were stunning! I remember how they sparkled, adorned with pearls and crystals, and set in pewter. As I stood there, in front of the mirror and watched as the sales assistant placed one of the crowns on my head, I fell in love. 

Crowns had always fascinated me, their power to transform the way you looked and felt about yourself for that specific moment. For a bride-to-be in her future wedding dress, that feeling was magnified tenfold. However, I had literally spent five times more than my original budget on my wedding dress, and as I reached for the price tag on that gorgeous Maria Elena crown, I knew it wasn’t meant to be. Don’t mistake me, the amount of detail that goes into each of her headpieces is worth every cent that she charges, but at that time and in my financial situation, I just could not justify the purchase. 

However, it was now too late, a seed had been planted deep into my mind and I knew I would feel incomplete if I didn’t wear a headpiece on my wedding day. Then it dawned on me, nothing would be more special than creating the headpiece myself. Too many years had passed since I was able to express myself creatively and I felt like this was finally a chance to do so. I watched one YouTube video on “How to make a daisy spray comb”, listed down all the recommended materials and headed to the nearest Spotlight. 

That night I watched that YouTube tutorial on repeat as I clumsily attempted to recreate the ‘daisy spray comb’. I remember feeling so proud when I had finished making it, holding it in my hand and admiring it from every angle. I’m now so fond of this memory, it brings the biggest smile to my face. As you can see from the photo below, the headpiece was terrible! I only recognised this in hindsight, however, in that moment, I genuinely believed I created something magical. 

Fortunately, I realised before my wedding day that it definitely wasn't 'magical’ and got to work on creating more headpieces so I would have several options to choose from. I tried an array of different materials and techniques and spent hours cooped up in my room in the small hours of the night, designing, twisting bits of wire, embroidering and yes, even gluing *face palm* pieces together. Finally, I made a very simple crown made of glass pearls and crystals. I enjoyed the process so much I even made hairpins for my bridesmaids, flower crowns for my flower girls and wrap-around rosary beads for my bouquet. It was safe to say, I was addicted.

My wedding day came and went and yet I yearned to continue making them. I was lucky enough to be granted three months of annual leave after my wedding (the perks of being a nurse) and would regularly spend late nights making more headpieces. I had no idea who or what I was making them for, I just knew I enjoyed doing it. Towards the end of my leave, my husband asked me if I had considered turning this hobby into an actual business. If I was being completely truthful, I actually already had thought about it but was afraid of what other people would think. More than that, I was worried that the pieces I had created weren’t good enough. However, it was beyond encouraging to realise that someone else believed in me and what I was capable of creating. My husband then earnestly encouraged me to keep going, to keep practising, designing, brainstorming and creating, and told me that when I was finally ready, he would help me launch my business. 

And that’s how Lavender & Lilac humbly and organically began, from a little dream that I had held onto since I was a young girl, to the little brand that it is today. 

Dawn PerezComment