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Honouring a Mother's Legacy Through Vibrant Silk Accessories

by Delenca Cronje

In 2020, I had to postpone my wedding due to the global pandemic and subsequent lockdowns, which left me devastated. However, my sorrow deepened when my mother, after battling mental health illness, unexpectedly passed away at the age of 53. This tragic loss shattered our world. My father lost his wife of 30 years, and my sisters and I lost our mother, our guiding light, our rock, and our source of support and security. It took me six weeks to travel from Zimbabwe to South Africa due to the restrictions, but eventually, we came together as a family to mourn.

Amidst this profound sadness, I sought solace in the memories of the times spent with my mother in her art studio. Surrounded by her artworks, I discovered that each canvas held a unique story, blending vibrant colours with delicate illustrations. These pieces captured my mother's bold and creative expression, reminding me of her remarkable spirit. In her art, I found strength and resilience.

With time and the strength I gained, I made a decision to honour my mother's legacy by incorporating her unique art designs into luxurious silk accessories. In 2022, I proudly launched a collection of bold and vibrant silk scarves and twillys, designed to serve as fashionable companions. My vision is to ensure that my mother's powerful, colourful, and expressive artistic legacy continues to thrive through this collection.

Adorned with the branding of the Pincushion protea, my collection symbolises courage, diversity, resilience, and change. The protea's ability to survive under harsh conditions reflects its strength. Similarly, the protea's root system enables growth in nutrient-deficient soil, and its thick bark protects it from harm.

The delicate Pincushion protea featured in the brand logo was one of my mother's personal illustrations. She drew it for me a year before her passing when I contemplated starting my own crockery business. The choice of protea branding signifies the boldness and vibrancy embodied in my mother's art, combined with the courage and determination I had in introducing this heartfelt collection to the world. My dream is for these accessories to offer a timeless and empowering accompaniment, enhancing the confidence and courage of all who wear them.

This collection carries a deeply sentimental story. In overcoming the tragedy of my mother's passing, I discovered strength and resilience in the beauty, vibrancy, and powerful expressions of colour within her artwork. By sharing this collection, my ultimate goal is for my mother's legacy to endure. I want others to possess a piece of her art, and through this gift, I hope they will experience empowerment, confidence, and courage whenever they adorn themselves with this collection.

Each accessory in the collection is meticulously crafted using the finest silk fabric, ensuring a luxurious feel and appearance. The designs are a fusion of my mother's original artwork and modern fashion aesthetics, resulting in visually stunning pieces that captivate the eye and evoke a sense of joy and vitality.

Beyond the aesthetic appeal, these accessories also carry a deeper meaning. They serve as a tangible connection to my mother's artistic spirit, allowing individuals to carry a piece of her creativity and passion with them wherever they go. Whether it's wearing a vibrant silk scarf or tying a twilly around their wrist, individuals can embody the resilience and boldness that my mother's art represents.

The response to the collection has been overwhelming, with people from all walks of life embracing the vibrant designs and the empowering story behind them. Many customers have shared how wearing these accessories brings them a sense of comfort, strength, and inspiration, reminding them to embrace life's challenges with courage and determination.

As the collection continues to flourish, I am committed to expanding its reach and impact. I collaborate with local artisans and skilled craftspeople, ensuring that every accessory is ethically produced and supports sustainable practices. Additionally, in the future I would like to donate a portion of the proceeds from each sale to mental health organisations.

Looking ahead, I envision the collection growing and evolving, incorporating new designs and exploring different avenues within the world of fashion and art. I aim to establish partnerships with like-minded individuals and organisations, fostering a community that celebrates creativity, resilience, and empowerment.

In conclusion, the journey from grief to empowerment has been transformative. Through the creation of this collection, I have found healing, purpose, and a way to carry forward my mother's legacy. These vibrant silk accessories serve as a reminder that even in the face of adversity, art has the power to inspire, uplift, and bring people together. As I continue to honor my mother's memory, I hope to touch the lives of many, offering them a tangible symbol of strength and resilience that they can proudly wear and cherish.