We highlight four women who are making a big difference in their respective fields. Women that really live out their passions with a purpose and use their platforms for change.
From a multimedia journalist shining light on fellow female entrepreneurs and showcasing our beautiful country, to a stylist using her platform to celebrate her faith and follow in His footsteps. There’s a mom of two who speaks her truth about motherhood, fitness and mental health as well as our Sunshine Girl, who left SA for Greece only to return home 365 days later with a greater love for SA, a little wiser and with a two new podcasts – The Bailey Boost & The Bailey Boost Interviews. Today, we get to meet the women behind the faces of: Ondela Mlandu, Marilize de Clercq, Sarah Booyens and Bailey Schneider (Georgiades).
Just Breethe, is an emerging lifestyle brand specialising in engineered fit for the modern woman (and man), manufacturing products as sustainably as possible. ‘Okay’ has become normal and ‘good enough’. Marc, Founder of Just Breethe, believes that should simply not be the case, and the same goes for how we live our daily lives. “we have all been given a platform for change – we live in a technological world where we are walking billboards, why not use it for change?” He says.
“Celebrating women is what we strive for every day and Women’s Month is just an extension of that. – We want them to feel comfortable and beautiful, all while achieving greatness.” says Marc.
Podcast Host, Voice Over Artist, MC and Content Creator, Bailey Georgiades
The dynamic woman is also a mom to two boys and wife. “My day starts off quite busy, getting my 2 little boys ready for school. I have meetings soon thereafter, or I’m researching for my Podcast, creating content for brand campaigns, or getting in a game of Padel – my latest obsession.
Hardworking since her young days as university-radio host, blogger and more, Bailey has some words to share with her 16 year old self, “Everything you prayed for and manifested, came true due to your hard work and resilience – the key is consistency and remembering your “why.” Don’t be so hard on yourself – gosh I need to tell myself that today, actually. Always trust your gut because those feelings will never let you down. Importantly, get into a routine of taking your make-up off at night and wearing sunscreen every single day!”
Staying fit is great for your physical and mental health and actually something Bailey has been very vocal about on her journey, she says that The Movement Empire has been a saving grace for her. “They’re home workouts that range between 20 minutes and an hour and I absolutely LOVE them!
With social media often showcasing the highlights, and promoting the ‘doing it all’ concept, it can result in some imposter syndrome but that’s no longer the case for Bailey. “I used to believe that being able to “do it all” made you a superwoman and the reality is, most of us do try to do it all, but I’m starting to realize that it comes at a cost, whether it’s on your body, or your mental health. Today, I try to not do it all but do what I do, as best as I can and stop trying to achieve perfection. Doing my best does not mean doing it all or doing it perfectly,” says Bailey.
Multimedia Journalist, Ondela Mlandu
The award-winning journalist writes about careers, entrepreneurship, women’s advancement, wellness, travel and has been voted as one of the M&G Top 200 Young South Africans for 2022 – is a true Force to be reckoned with and as one can imagine – her days are full.
“No day is ever the same for me, but I never miss my morning workouts to ensure I’m centered as I start my day. I work on different tasks such as profiling incredible entrepreneurs, writing about careers and entrepreneurship, hosting virtual educational events and sometimes I get to travel throughout our beautiful country for work. I am very fortunate!” says Ondela.
Ondela has always been a go-getter with a clear vision and passion for change. “I’d tell my 16 year old self to not be in such a rush to grow up and reflect when she’s done something that makes her happy! To celebrate every win and learn to have more fun!” she laughs. “We often want to get things done and grow up, but often your journey and the path you’ve created for yourself starts out very very early on and when we grow up too fast, we deviate from our chosen paths”. She adds. “Girls, your lane is the best lane.” she adds. “You can create your own magic there! The minute you look in another direction, you allow room for either inspiration or for self-doubt, so choose wisely!” She adds.
Staying active is a sure way to keep your mind focussed and yourself goal orientated. “I do a lot of HIIT workouts to get my heart pumping, I walk for meditation and I listen and watch things that will affect my mental health positively.” says Ondela. “I’m a multitasker and I wish I could slow down. Being a multitasker doesn’t mean I’m doing it all, as there’s always room for progress, however I’d say – do what you can, but never neglect your well-being. Slow down when you need to,” she adds.
Style Mentor, Stylist, Personal Shopper, MC and Motivational Speaker, Marilize de Clercq
The trailblazing woman is also the founder of ‘Still Born, Still Loved’ – her NGO dedicated to her daughter, Gia. She is also a wife and a mother to her son and daughter, Gia who was still born at 39 weeks.
As a mom to Christian Kai, Marilize understands the challenges many young kids face in today’s age, her passion lies in Christ and if she has to tell her 16 year old self something, it’d be a simple as, “Work hard. Never procrastinate. Faith is always first. Jesus is the way. Believe in yourself and confidence is key.”
If you are a girl or a young woman reading this, from experience, “Stay disciplined. Stick to your standards. The narrow path might seem lonely, but you will reap your reward! If you don’t want to slip, don’t walk in slippery places. Self-respect is very important, if you don’t know who you are, and don’t stick up for what you stand for, you will easily get robbed of your values in a world that constantly pushes entitlement and drops its standards.” she advises.
Just Breethe understands that you need fitness clothes that look good, feel great and move with your body as you progress in your day, Marilize says, “Choose something that you enjoy when it comes to training, whatever that may be and set realistic goals. Consistency is key – and obviously a good (and beautiful) pair of running shoes and leggings makes you just feel that much better!” she laughs.
Influencer and Content Creator, Sarah Booyens
The charismatic woman behind ‘Mascara and Mimosas’ – mom to Aria and Maia and wife to Dan. She is an influencer, content creator and drives forward big changes through her messaging of body positivity, mental health and motherhood.
Her days are full but she always prioritizes her training while her husband, Dan, does the school drop-off. “Shew, our days are busy! It’s a 6am wake up call and between Dan and I we get the girls ready for school. He does the school drop off and I go to the gym. When I’m home I do a quick clean up while breakfast cooks (usually eggs or oats).
Raising two girls is hard, and not for the reasons everyone thinks. “When I look at our girls, I want them to know that they’re important, they matter and that they have people who love you deeply.” says Sarah. “We live in a world of many many challenges, especially for young girls, and it’s really important that our girls understand that they are capable of amazing things.” she adds. “Maia and Aria and every girl (or woman) reading this, you are completely capable, even when you feel like you aren’t. You are strong!” she adds.
Sarah has not always been into fitness, but has been prioritizing this for the past few months, “I swear by routine and keeping it fun – I train at one of our local gyms and run (even if I am the slowest) with the girls from Run For Coffee. Other than that, I try new things and incorporate movement into my day to day life. It doesn’t have to be a full on workout, riding bikes with your kids is great!” she says.
From what we see on social media, it seems everyone has their life in order with labelled pantry containers and arts and crafts, however Sarah says, “If it is possible to have a perfectly balanced life I honestly haven’t found the way, that’s for sure! I feel like more often than not, something has to give, I just try my best for it not to be relationships with my loved ones but I definitely don’t get it right all the time,” she says.
We are all able to make small changes in big waves, with social media platforms, friends and family networking and professional relationships – we all have platforms to take a step into the right direction. Sometimes that starts with conscious shopping…