Never Stop Learning


I love the fact that we are constantly learning, adapting and exploring. Getting back from a 3-week adventure in the USA has been exhilarating.

I’m feeling refreshed, inspired and ready to tackle 2018. One thing I always say is that one can never know enough… None of us have ‘made it’ or are wise enough or know enough about life. I value learning so much because it enables us to expand our minds and grow as human beings.

Travelling definitely teaches me a lot about life and people, I can’t wait to share some travel stories, I have so many to tell!


One of them is a story of a couple who moved to Los Angeles. 

We were on our way from the Roosevelt Hotel poolside to meet up with the said couple who I hadn't met yet (they were friends with my travel companion, Cassie) and we headed to an unexpected, rougher part of LA… There were a few shady characters around the neighborhood to say the least. Anyway, we walked down the street and into this store which was surprisingly clean, well designed and beautifully decorated. Inside the cozy store, we were met by the couple (I’ll name them Ted and Susan for privacy sake.) After wandering around the store for a while and all the small talk was done with, Ted began to tell us a story (we were the only ones in the store, and a great sense of anticipation.) He told us of their amazing house back home where they lived previously and the community they loved and yet despite that, they both felt they needed to move to LA... Not exactly what they had planned but nevertheless what they felt a strong pull toward. They packed up and moved which included many sacrifices on all fronts (friends, a house, finances, jobs.) After they had re-located they were faced with this opportunity to open up the store that we were now standing inside, did I mention they both had zero experience in doing this. Ted explained one opportunity after another that they were presented with in LA, things that people would only dream of. Things like meeting the head honcho of their carpet manufacturer by chance (can't name any names but this is one fabulous connection to have.) I was blown away by what they were explaining, it just seemed so out of this world in the best way possible! So, they are in LA living in faith doing what they felt called to do! How encouraging is that??? Moving to LA! One of the most expensive, competitive cities in the world and getting so far already, in such a short time! I just know they are both going places.
I do wish I had recorded the story and overdubbed the names so I could share it with you right now hahaha (it prob would have sounded like some underground mole scenario.)
So I hope you are encouraged to grab ahold of that big, fantastic, terrifying dream of yours and show it who's boss... Because YOU can! 

I did a short course last year that taught me so much about running my business. There are so many things that you don't think about when starting up and it can be overwhelming to try and do it all on your own. Surround yourself with encouraging, inspiring people if you’re starting up (or even if you’re in it already!) I’d highly recommend taking the course if you’ve started a business. It has helped me with my planning, finances, understanding the ins and outs of running a business and visualizing the future of my business (amongst other things.)

If you’re keen, head over to GetSmarter for more info or pop me a mail… I’d be happy to chat about anything you may need more info on.



Photography 101 | Part 3


Using a DSLR can be tricky when you’re not sure exactly how it works. One thing I’ve heard over and over again, from photographers I respect, is that you need to pick up a camera and play. I think everyone is different when it comes to creating. By taking your camera to a specific landscape or shooting point and taking various pictures, you’ll be able to explore what you enjoy taking photos of and how you enjoy taking photos. This is a bit of a process as you need to take photos in different styles and of different subjects to understand what you like/dislike.

I enjoy taking photos of landscapes as it helps me appreciate creation and the beauty around me. I also love taking photos of flat lays at the moment because I find you can be so creative and have fun with different styling ideas. One really does need to explore to get a good idea of what is preferential.

Different styles include:

Aerial; Architectural; Candid; Fashion; Food; Landscape; Night-long exposure; Photojournalism; Conceptual/ fine art; Portraiture; Sport; Street; War; Wildlife.

Have a squiz at this link explaining each one if you’re unsure.

If you live in Cape Town, I’d highly recommend attending the School of Light photography course. The instructor is amazing (her name is Mareli) she’s full of experience and makes you feel so comfortable while on the learning process. 



Photography 101 | Part 2


Calling all photography beginners. I’m sharing some tips that I have learned over the last little while… With the help of a short photography course (School of Light.)

It can be quite overwhelming trying to figure out the many aspects of a DSLR. You can check out my previous post on photography where I explain the lingo a bit. 

So first things first, always look for good, natural light! It really does make all the difference when capturing that perfect shot.

Perspective is a big one. One thing that really helps with perspective is the rule of thirds, which is really simple once you grasp the idea. Basically, when looking at what you’re shooting divide the image up into three pieces horizontally & vertically  (as seen in the picture below.) You want your focal point to be in the 1st or 3rd section to gain a good, aesthetically pleasing perspective. 


Another trick I learned that is super helpful: take your photo in landscape and portrait with a couple different angles. Pace about 10 steps around what you are shooting to capture different shots. See how this image is shot 3 different ways:


Chat soon!



Photography 101, Well For Us Beginners Anyway...


Hello friends. 

Ever dabble in photography at all? It seems like almost anyone can take a relatively good looking photo now that smart phones are around. Even magazine covers are being taken with iPhone’s:

(Read on for more info about the Times cover series shot by Luisa Dörr.)

That said, I do enjoy the quality and artistic expression a DSLR allows its user. The more I learn how to use my camera, the more I’m able to express my creativity and personality through my photos. 

Here are a few tips from a course I’ve been doing called School of Light (pop over to their website for more info on the course and what's offered) where I’ve been learning all the basics you need to know! 

Light is probably one of the most important (if not the most important) aspects of capturing an amazing photograph. Good natural light is always best, unless you’re shooting in a studio with studio lighting of course.

All in all it’s about finding that amazing, soft, beautiful light. Usually found just after sun rise or sun set… Golden Hour! Light really does make all the difference.

Here are some pictures I took just after sun rise in Kalk bay, we went as a group for a practical lesson with School of Light.


When taking landscape photos it’s usually best to shoot on a wide angle lense. These could have been cropped a little better with more of the landscape in the picture.


Some basic terms to learn:

  • Aperture: Controls the amount of light entering the camera through the lens, measured in F-stops.
  • Lightmeter: Measures the amount of light that hits your camera’s sensor.
  • ISO: The sensitivity of your camera’s sensor to light.
  • Shutterspeed: The speed that the light enters the lens.

I can’t wait to show you more of what we’ve done at School of Light, it has been such an amazing course so far!



I looked in the mirror and thought to myself… Is this as good as it’s going to get? I didn't feel like wearing pretty clothes, putting makeup on and doing my hair was worth it. I didn’t feel I was worth it all. 

That was me, comparing myself to my friends… Wondering why they looked so happy and how on earth they looked as fantastic as they did.

Even as I write this I know it is a reality for many, many women to feel like this. I’m writing this because I care, and I want to help. I haven't made it and I’m constantly learning but I’ve discovered that looking beautiful isn't as important as feeling beautiful. Being comfortable in your own skin and being able to look in the mirror and feel confident about what you look like is an amazing feat. 

I know that it’s a bit cheesy to say that beauty starts from within but I live that and I value it deeply, every day. I see the importance of looking after yourself by meditating, having healthy relationships and a healthy day to day life. 


Easier said than done right? I started my Personal Styling business because I want women to know that they are beautiful. I want you to feel beautiful when you step out of the door in the morning because I truly believe that you are. We are all unique and what makes us different is really quite incredible.

It’s no fairy godmother moment that makes one feel great about themselves again, it’s a process but I believe that knowing how to present yourself makes a massive difference in this journey of feeling beautiful.

Knowing what to wear and how to wear it makes a huge difference to how you feel about yourself.

Join me this August for a Personal Styling workshop, it’s a step in the right direction and a whole lot of fun. Think mani’s, gifts, delicious breakfasts and a little champagne of course! Book your seat now, limited space available.

I’ll be sharing some tips on what to wear for your body type soon so stay tuned.




Ideas Into Action

I was recently reading this book called Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert. I love her writing because she's imaginative and quite hilarious. She speaks about how ideas can run away with us and how we can end up losing them. In her eccentric way, she describes how we should execute our ideas when we have them otherwise they could be gone forever. 

Have you ever thought about something and come up with a fantastic idea, pondered on it a bit and then forgotten about it the next day? I have! It's rather annoying.

This brings me to talk about some reading I did for the course I'm currently working through with GetSmarter. Gareth Cotten (the head tutor) speaks about having a book handy at all times to write your ideas in because he says, you will forget them. He went on to say that when you practice coming up with ideas it becomes a natural way of thinking and you can, in fact, come up with hundreds of ideas every day. 

I've enjoyed the course so much because it has shed light on important aspects on my entrepreneur journey. I would find myself googling and Youtubing through crazy amounts of content to figure out how to do something (even though they are good platforms). The 'virtual campus' is great for people on the go and it's easy to fit in wherever you are... I've even done an assignment at the airport! It's easy to use and really versatile. If you're looking to expand your knowledge in whatever profession you're in, GetSmarter is a wonderful option to look at!

So friends, write your ideas down! You'll have a wealth of ideas to build on and you'll feel encouraged when you're having an off day...



Business Advice | 'GetSmarter' an Online Learning Platform


Hey friends, I'm back from hiding in between boxes in my new home... Frantically trying to get them unpacked so I can get back to normality. Re-locating is not for sissies, especially if you like order and feel the need to organize everything you can see, like me. *Pause for dramatic effect. Haha, I seriously sympathize with people who move across the world, I only moved across the country and I'm feeling shattered!

Anyways, I'm back in the office and feeling more ready than ever to get back into gear for my upcoming Spring/Summer line. I can't wait to show you what I've been working on!

On another note, I’ve recently been studying a short course online through a company called GetSmarter. They work closely with some of the best universities in the world. My course is called 'Start and Manage a Small Business' through the University of Cape Town.

I see the value in constantly acquiring knowledge, understanding that i’ll never know it all and that being teachable is key.

I like that the learning program is streamline and that they offer help when needed. The site is easy to use and the assignments are well planned and presented.

Some basic yet helpful tips I thought to share with you:

  • Writing up a good, detailed business plan is a must. Not only will it help you with potential investors but it will keep you on track and be your anchor when things don't go as planned.
  • Financial planning sounds like a drag and so much effort yet it's vital to keep your business afloat, for many reasons!
  • Understanding your market place in relation to what service/product you offer is really important. You need to know how you fit in and what makes you stand out in your industry. 

The short course explains things like this in detail and gives great examples of what is needed to run a successful business!

Chat soon!




Pictures by Claire Gruver


Wireless Love

I recently tried out wireless earphones and they're so great for exercising or working at your laptop at a coffee shop. No more moments of being pulled back to your laptop when standing up. (There should be some hilarious YouTube videos of that out there...) 

Sudio Sweden sent me some cute earphones that connect via bluetooth which is pretty handy. They come in a few colours but I had to have the pink ones.

If you like them you can use my discount code JESSICAANNE15 on any purchase from their online store.

I'm wearing our Velvet Jacket. It's so comfy and the perfect shade of pink, if I do say so myself. :)

You can find it online here.

XO, Jess


Photos by Claire Gruver