In conversation with Taylor Swanepoel
Would you ever get "I am Loved" tattooed on your body? That might sound a bit extreme, especially if you don't believe that truth, but what if it was an outward expression of your inner identity? Would you then...just maybe...consider it?
We're so used to declaring other things (often negative) over ourselves and the world around us, as most times what we say is a direct insight to how we feel or think. That then gets translated into all the different spheres of our life like self-image, relationships, work and could even limit what is possible.
What if you lived from a place of knowing that you are loved? Would how you show up in the world be different? This is something that we explore in the conversation with Taylor Swanepoel.
She has been an instrumental part of the Catherine Deane team over the past two and a half years, bringing joy and inspiring many of us to be ourselves. As skilled as she’s been in her role at the company, it’s what shines from within that has really set her apart.
Taylor is a reminder that what you do (even though she is brilliant at it) isn’t as important as who you are.
We are grateful to have been a part of her story.
Tell us about your journey of getting the “I am Loved” tattoo…
I’ve experienced such a nurturing environment at Catherine Deane which has made me really appreciate the small things and how we each have a role in creating positive change. Through all the practices that are instilled in the company, I started to feel a love and appreciation in a way that I hadn’t experienced growing up. This is now the lens that I view life through, the beautiful perspective of knowing that “I am Loved”.
Why did you choose the tattoo studio that you did?
I chose Monarch Tattoo Co. because it is a female owned business, which has created an environment for their staff to be empowered. All the ladies there are absolute rock stars at what they do and shine through their craft. As Catherine Deane also champions women and is a woman owned business, the values were aligned. We also love to highlight other businesses who are creating their own lane and a safe environment where the care of clients are at the forefront.
What do you hope happens when other people see the “I am Loved” tattoo?
The hope is that there is a realisation of the self awareness that people can carry, one that they are also able to reach. As I am able to feel comfortable and confident in sharing the “I am Loved” message, that’s exactly what I want other people to feel and experience when they see the tattoo. If the tattoo opens up a conversation, I’ll be so happy to engage and speak about the message.
When do you feel most loved?
I feel most loved when I’m playful and childish, like just being barefoot, playing with my dogs on the floor and being a down-to-earth kid.
How would the world look different if everyone lived out their lives knowing that they are loved?
So much would be different. The way that we treat people would change and you’d probably see a positive impact on the socio-economic state of our country, which sounds dramatic to say. However, if we approach people with kindness and love, instead of greed and other ideologies at the forefront our relationship with people would promote harmony and an environment where communities have an opportunity to break through generational cycles.
What do you hope the I am Loved collection does for people?
I hope it does a whole bunch of different things, I hope it is able to reach people and show them how much skill and talent South Africa has from a creative and design perspective. I hope that it really broadens Catherine’s intention of what her purpose is: to make a change of what people think of themselves and how important it is to lead with love.
Ultimately, I hope people just feel loved.
What is your favourite piece from the collection?
I’ve been thinking about this a lot…it’s very difficult, so I've narrowed it down to my favourite piece within some of the styles.
For the robe, it’s the short robe as I am very short, and the embroidery is also black which is my favourite colour.
Out of the tops it’s the ribbed long t-shirt, I love the fancy thumbhole, I have it on most of my tops and it makes you feel so comfortable and warm in winter.
My favourite bottom is the V-Leggings, it makes your waist look so appealing, and as I have quite a boxy shape, it really helps my waist to feel and look a little more snatched.
If you could gift a piece from the collection, what would it be, to who and why?
One of my best friend’s is getting married next year to a beautiful human. Unfortunately her mother passed away two years ago, and they were really close. To honour the relationship that they had I am going to be gifting her the gown and embroidering some butterflies on as that was their thing. Whether she chooses to wear it on the wedding day or any day after, I just hope that she knows she is always loved and that her mom is with her. I’ll also embroider her future husband’s last name. The little customisations will mean her three pillars will be with her: she loves herself, she’s aware that her mom is with her and her husband.
Our belief is that I am Loved is truth. What does I am Loved mean to you?
To be brave, kind and joyful. I think “I am Loved” plays a different role depending on the chapter or stage of life that you are in, but those were the three words that came to mind.