A Strandfontein woman says she has turned to creating home decorations as a way to cope with the loss of her parents, have a positive mindset and boost her self-esteem.
Charmaine Sims, 57, said she was inspired by her late father’s work making women’s handbags and her late mother’s sewing machine.
Her late mother, Clarabelle Dogen, owned two sewing machines that she used to make Sims’ outfits for her and her husband Nigel’s wedding day in the 90s.
Dojen lived with her daughter for the last three years of her life until she died of breast cancer in 2006.
Her father, William Dodgen, who also died of cancer in 1996, was a designer of women’s handbags and had his first job as a cleaner, and her grandfather, Benjamin Dodgen, was a confectioner and baker. “He made such a beautiful cake. He made the last confirmation cake for me right before he passed away,” she said.
“When my mother passed away, we had to declutter, but I was so attached to my sewing machine that I didn’t want to let it go. I felt closer to it,” she said.
She explored using her mother’s sewing machine to make home decor items such as curtains and cushions. She freely made it as a gift to her family and friends. After that, she started her own project called Simply Chic.
“I’m very passionate about this and it’s more than just making decorative items. Every time I cut a piece of fabric I give it my all. I want to be proud of what I do. “I put everything into it. I never thought I’d be here,” she said.
“I’ve loved fashion since I was young, but I wasn’t as confident as I thought I was. It wasn’t until recently that I started believing in myself,” she said.
She overcame the death of her parents, regained her confidence through home decoration, and will be hosting her first Women’s Day event on Saturday, August 5th.
Her husband said Sims had a heart for serving others more than herself.
“I know her heart. I support her vision of helping other women. Too often women are marginalized and undervalued in our culture and society. There are many. She has a purpose and this is the essence of womanhood. It is about celebrating and highlighting women with pride,” said Sims, an Emirati writer and teacher. “Author presents fictional story of self-discovery”, Plainsman, September 9, 2020, (“Strandfontein author presents second book ‘The Plainsman’)”, September 15, 2021 Day).
Her vision for the future is to provide free home renovations to underprivileged women and donate decorations to them and their families. “Every woman has the right to a beautiful home,” she said.
She even modeled her living room after the soap. generationshe said, appearing on SABC 1 and adopting a beige aesthetic and homely feel.
Her son Matthew, 28, said his mother was a source of inspiration not only for women but for himself as well.
“Her perseverance is admirable and proves that you can accomplish a lot if you put your passion into it. She always wakes up early in the morning and stays late at night at work. “She has overcome her fears. The Women’s Day event is the culmination of her journey. I am so proud of her,” he said.
Her longtime friend Lillian Willis said: She loves people and shows her compassion in all her actions. “She’s very excited about her future,” she said.
“Even if it’s not easy, if you persevere you can achieve anything. Thanks to the right support system, my family believes in me and I take that as my main focus every day.” I’m grateful for that. I can’t believe I’m where I am right now. I’m exactly where God wants me to be,” she said.
Her Women’s Day High Tea event will be held at Westridge’s Parkhurst Elementary Hall and will feature guests including: Suido Star Star, Jawahiel Petersen, arenzfrei star Jolene Martin and singer Lauren Solomons.
For more information, please email Ms Sims at [email protected].