True stories: How my hobby saved my life

Creativity can boost confidence

True stories: How my hobby saved my life

Life hasn’t been easy for me since my parents passed away. I was an only child, and they were my everything. Losing my parents, I felt all alone, with no guidance or help – especially when it came to making decisions, receiving advice and, most of all, money matters.

I was taken in by my aunt and uncle who cared for me like one of their own. I really appreciated their support and love. They were so kind to me, but I struggled with having to rely on them for everything, and I felt insecure about it, sometimes even guilty, especially when they had their own family to take care of.

One afternoon I had a friend over and we were braiding each other’s hair in the kitchen. I love braiding my hair and all my friends’ hair – experimenting with different styles and looks is one of my favourite hobbies. My aunt noticed my passion and talent, and she suggested that maybe I could turn my hobby into a way of making myself some money. She understood how I was feeling about things and wanted to help me.

I hadn’t thought about it like that at all – taking something I love doing and turning it into a way of earning money. I was excited to try it out! My aunt helped me come up with ways to advertise my side business and she offered me a space to do the braiding at their house.

Suddenly my weekends were filled with purpose – promoting my new business, tending to my first few clients, ensuring I did the best possible job. Word of mouth spread and I received a few more bookings, and then a few more. Before I knew it, I was the most popular hair braider in town.

Since my business kicked off I’ve felt so much more confident about my life and my future. Having money of my own to spend on things I want and need has been liberating, and has given me the independence I needed.