“I can’t think of any better representation of beauty than a woman who is unafraid to be herself” – Emma Stone
Our fourth Amazing Woman is:
Wendy-Leigh Cousins – founder and creative of Indigo & Ivory Designs
Bio: I’m a born and bred Natal Midlands girl. My immersive arts and music rich school years deeply influenced my later years and I have the very best memories at The Wykeham Collegiate. My matric art theme of SHOES (duh) where I explored copper welded sculptures of shoes and various other mediums inspired my B-Tech in Fashion Design. But I simply hated sewing. I went on to learn the fashion editorial ropes with an internship at Marie Claire Magazine in CT and then returned home to get a J O B, as my dad reminds me. I luckily got my dream job working with quite the most dynamic team at Kingsley Heath, where I designed for 5 years. I married my high-school sweetheart at this point and of course designed my own stationery and went on to design all my friends and families wedding stationery! Onwards into a buying career at Miladys which I loved and honestly never saw myself leaving – I was addicted to the pace of the corporate world. Once my first little girl Holly was born, my priorities quickly shifted. We were navigating infant epilepsy and needed our families support. At this stage I was doing lots of international travelling and I yearned to be with my baby. We sold our home and moved into a cottage (aka the pool house) on my in-laws property and this was the start of a tiny seed called Indigo & Ivory Designs.
Fave colour: Chic, sharp blue-black and creamy white …(indigo and ivory, you see?)
Fave food: Sushi and all the cake – especially granadilla cake!!
Fave song and movie: At the moment I am totally obsessed with the new Taylor Swift folklore album and the history woven through it. Its so intriguing and clever, a real escape! I’m dying to read the book that she references throughout the album.
Fave travel destination: Ortisei Italy, a ski village where you don’t hear English and eat the hot chocolate with a spoon (beyond delicious). It’s a charming, cozy, glorious snowy, slice of Heaven. We have so many glorious memories in this little village. Its also the place Geoff proposed to me. In fact, I fantasize about living there! Haha Bali is also a FAV.
Two things you have loved about lockdown: I had my IVF miracle second baby Rachel on the 03/05 -an absolute high! Holly and I generally bake a lot but we were even more adventurous during lock down and learnt to make sour dough bread, cinnamon buns and so many cakes.
Two things you have disliked about lockdown: Not having Holly and our families able to visit at the hospital was hard – I had read Holly this book about how she was going to come to the hospital to meet the baby etc over and over in the lead up to having Rachel… I had to quickly revise that story line for her when lock down hit! Feeling robbed of a normal maternity leave and not being able to have lazy lunches with friends and antenatal meet ups. But doing laundry will always be at the very top of this list… I loathe laundry.
Name 3 women who have empowered or influenced you: My mum – the gardening, sewing, baking, mothering, working, shoe-loving original domestic goddess! My gran – she’s as tough as nails, independent, strong, sharp and has the type of selective hearing I admire. And my mother in law – who quite literally inspired my love of all things paper – with a scrapbooking studio to die for! She also helped with my first few weddings and always made me feel invincible.
How and why did you start your business: This business developed out of the very simple desire to not lose myself in a sea of surrendering to the needs to my family. I created this little place for me to be me, to evolve, to earn money, to demonstrate the role of working mamma to my girls. How? I designed a logo, set up an Instagram account and started creating/designing/doing.
I have always been so inspired by Wendy and her beautiful creative talent and stationery – a women after my own stationery-obsessed-heart. I’m not a shoe girl but Wends shoes leave me very envious and her beautiful home style is gorgeous too. But more importantly, Wends is an “online friend” that I know if we lived closer, we would be real life friends and I am so grateful for her online chats, her constant support and encouragement and being inspired by her, daily. She rocks being a working mama with gorgeous style and she has become an online, Instagram sensation with her delicious 6 minute chocolate cake.
And today is Wendy’s birthday – be sure to say hi and wish her too!
You can find the stylish and talented Wendy-Leigh online: