On a sunny day in April, ring goes the old shop telephone and Songy Knox (Photographer) says: "I've met someone we have to help, are you in?" What do you say?!
This is a women who does not suffer fools, with an impressive corporate career behind her, Songy is now creating a biz following her passion and that edgy, direct communication style remains her trademark.
She rings, you listen!
"CJ, you have to meet Sue, she's bald too and is just beautiful, when I hugged her I just knew we had to spoil her!" said Songy with a sense of urgency and compassion.
So over a cup of detox tea at Chapels on Whatley, she filled me in and we brainstormed.
"Let's partner with Plunkett Homes (who were keen to give back too) and who built her new house", You see, when building her new home, Sue was scratched by her dog Tigger on one of her breasts. It was out of character for him to do this.
The scratch wouldn't heal and remarkably it was found; CANCER. An aggressive form (yet caught early) ... Sue now feeds Tigger, caviar.
No lumps no bumps in the bust region ... No reason to be suspect. Tigger has earnt his place on the sofa!
Team Plunkett wanted in to spoil Sue after hearing her story and hoped to share the story to help more women.
New outfits, check. Styling tips, check. House ready, check. Sue agreed (brave and check check) ...
While still undergoing treatment our new friend Sue is bubbly, upbeat and purely inspirational when visiting LFB with her Mum, Margaret and 12 year old daughter, Jaime.
3 generations, 3 different styles with Team LFB: 3 reasons: look, feel, be.
Look good is to feel great is to be ... (Happy and Healthy) the difference!
Le'V was on hand to style our guests, Stephanie entertained us with ideas, me ... well ... I just kept dancing around in what was a packed house this particular day in Autumn.
Then came shoot day ...
At the house, where neighbours gathered ... Sue's hubby, Michael shared that they almost didn't move in.
Wig no wig, ahhh ... lets shoot both.
Six months from the completion date, they had the tragic news of cancer confirmed. "Building a new house as many will know is stressful, it is amazing how your priorities immediately change and project driving a house build meant nothing after learning of Sues, cancer" he told me. "I just wanted to focus on Sue," he emotionally shared "and moving in was not exciting, it was a frightening time."
Songy and I met the fam after they had lived in the stunning house (that feels like a home) six months after moving in. It is filled with love and hope.
With the magical touch of the make up brushes, Ali (make up artist) adds some gloss and glow to our 3 strong ladies while 2 beautiful men, hubby Michael and son, Bailey ... wait. Oh and site manager, Paris (the little black pooch) goes about her business. Here goes ...
Fam shot (taken by my assistant, Sophia on the day) ...
Fam shot with some photo bomb assistants ...
TV reality show shot;
Would love a caption for the below shot ... comments please!
To see more of the pics captured on this touching day pop over to Songy's gallery.
Check Sue and the crew out in the Sunday Times today ... Hot off the press
A special thank you to my assistant on the day Sophia (who is Jaime's bestie) who captured some of these behind the scenes shots for me.
If you would like to make a donation to the Breast Cancer Research Centre who Sue speaks so highly of ... follow this link.
Thank you, Songy for including me and Team LFB.
Thank you Sue and fam for your new friendship and trust. We hope all of your hopes come true.
A very Happy Mothers Day to you, Sue and Margaret and to all of our LFB'ers out there. To the Mum's lost, you are never forgotten.
With a smile and big wishes for a cure to cancer ... CJ & Team LFB x
Almost 2 years to the day an email landed in my inbox and that's where it started:
A relationship with a lady I have come to admire and together build a business with.
Some might not call her a lady (smiling) many would definitely call her a cheeky women with a very naughty and super nice streak.
It's amazing over a period of time what you learn about someone and in turn yourself. How you grow and naturally change. Le'V as we affectionally call her, in recent months has grown a baby in her belly.
A baby girl. There is much excitement as we are in the business of girls' wellbeing, albeit grown up ones.
If you remember back to this shoot ...
Le'V only days before this shoot had discovered the stalk had been (now there's a story) and with a surprise she was with child (in the very early stages). So, while this may have looked like cocktails ... It was in fact, mocktail!
When you are in business, the people around you are so important. In fact, scratch that. In life the people you select to have around you are imperative to your own positivity, growth, appreciation of all things, success, ups and gowns, I mean downs.
While this week ahead marks a new chapter in our lives and business, as Le'V takes a short break to prepare for the birth, little LFB welcomes some big personalities and talent to our team.
Introducing; Stephanie. Steph is originally from NZ and has successfully completed fashion internships with some of our most admired high street brands from across the globe both in NZ, USA and Australia before making Perth her home.
Steph has a lot to offer and Le'V and I are super pumped to have her contributing to the further expansion of brand LFB in a full time capacity AND she loves chatting as much as we do however her accent is so much more travelled than ours.
As someone who loves to create a community in all that I do ... Here's our latest family portrait! Can't wait for the one when we have our youngest baby team member in it (hurry up, bambino).
Who's our 4th member? That would be Mel Mars. Her name needs to be in lights. So movie star. Melissa is a Mum to 3 lads, wifeeee to cutie, Tim (he will like that) and after having worked in a fab friend of mines biz, this longtime friend is now hanging with Team LFB.
Mel, loves fashion and can often be spotted with at least 2 wardrobe changes a day when in house. Experimenting she tells us.
So not counting our behind the scenes crew who prefer to remain behind the scenes ... together we love what we do and hope you will join us in a cheer or two for our dear Le'V, a new baby it will be.
This is probably a good time to make a ... Recruitment notice: an opportunity exists for LFB'ers to join the holding the baby task on a visiting basis. Positive vibes essential. If you can sing a lullaby that will be advantageous as will the ability to change nappies with grace and no mess (I can't cope with mess) then applications should start applying in person in approximately 6 - 8 weeks!
Le'V will be returning to work and like all of our LFB'er Mums she knows it takes a community to raise a baby and while I am scared stiff at holding such a small treat, I am super proud of my partner in our passion for fashion biz and can't wait to sing to Le'Baby in French.
Vanessa merci d'être comme une famille pour moi et pour faire tous les jours une surprise et de joie pour nos 2 ans ensemble et le nombre à venir xxx.
Pop by this week to check out the bump ...
And as Easter is fast approaching our trading hours are;
Good Friday - Closed
Easter Saturday - Open
Easter Sunday - Closed
Easter Monday - Closed
Anzac Day - Open (oh FYI, Mrs S is opening on this public holiday toooo)
See you soon to play up!
With a smile ... Caroline & Team LFB xxxx
PS: Good luck to Le'V's partner ... Rob x
PPS: Hurry back from maternity leave!
Feeling vulnerable is something most of us seek to avoid. On joining forces with Songy Knox who so kindly donated her time to capture my Worlds Greatest Shave experience, she set me the challenge of doing an Autumn Winter fashion shoot with me as the bald model.
It all sounded fab up front however this very 'un model' was having regrets. Note: We had agreed, no photoshopping. Heightened anxiety set in ...
I wasnt nervous about going pink, nor the shave (well maybe a bit) or the reaction of others ... No I was regretting committing to a photo shoot.
Well, there was no backing out now!
With Le'V on hand to style this ol girl up, I had fake eye lashes applied for the first time ever and a quick blow dry (just kidding) ... together Le'V and I headed to the Design Merchant studio, where Songy, Juliet and Molly were on hand to meet us for an afternoon that was fun, fabulous and for a good purpose.
Molly was keen to join in, she asserted herself into a number of activities on the day.
Juliet from Design Merchants happens to be a longtime LFB'er who loved having a sneak peek at new season garments selected for the day.
Our purpose today, was to show that bald is beautiful and unite with women who are currently doing it bald. You be the judge...
Songy had her work cut out for her directing un model me however we loved her straight to the point approach which stretched me well beyond my comfort zone.
Molly just loved the company and so did I ...
I loved learning about angles and lighting while being told to stand this way or that ...
Climbing ladders in heels (yep) I pick my lemons like this often...
Couldn't resist getting a shot in my favourite undies, you know the ones? We swear by them, seamless and remember to go up 2 sizes. This merino wool vest is delightful ... A lust have, must have!
The above; is one dress every women needs in her wardrobe! The sunnies make you feel like a rock star and are available at our friend, Alice's ... Hunter Store.
With extra lipstick added, the above is my fave shot ... You can pre order the dress online. I've got it back to front - you can wear this at least 3 ways. I am smiling albeit you can't see it!!!
We are still raising money, so please share our message with the links as it can all be done simply online or in store at Look Feel Be.
We have until the end of June to help the good folk at the Leukaemia Foundation, help others.
A super shout out of love to contributors;
- Songy Knox for her generosity and art
- Le'V for her styling, make up & coaching skills at Look Feel Be
- Juliet Borshoff for allowing us to use her Design Merchants studio and her assistant Miss Molly for keeping us all real & bringing us extra joy
- Leukaemia Foundation for helping millions of people in the past, in the now & tomorrow
To all the friends, family, LFB'er fam, suppliers, business associates, the postie ... who gave or when they couldn't in dollars, they shared the message in the hope that someone would. It all makes a difference.
In signing off ... here are 10 things I like about being bald:
- No bed hair, ever
- Feeling of being truly clean
- Time saving
- Feeling the elements
- Sensory bonus when head massaged
- Others reaction
- Raising money
- Minimised fear 'just in case' ... lets be honest with 1 in 3 of us having the potential ...
- Greater love of what I do have (my lashes and brows are so appreciated)
- One more thing off my list
With a smile ...
CJ & Team LFB xxx
Waking up on shave day was a hoot, it seems a long time ago ... yesterday! I kept getting little emails with a message like this one ... (so I kept upping the target)
Having just got used to my new pink rockstar look, I now had to embrace my Sinead O'Connor inner self as it was soon to make an outer appearance, was I nervous Vanessa asked?
The truth is ... I wasnt nervous, I was just very aware. I was really present to the thought of having a choice and making a difference, rather than anything else. That was until about 60 minutes before the shave. Anxiety kicked in and the spray cans came out as the guests arrived to see me follow through on a commitment ...
Loved turning kids into art (or maybe a smurf!):
To settle my nerves, long time friend Linda (who does happen to be in the hairdressing profession) turned the cans to my head ... "Let's freshen you up and shut you up for a mo!" ...
A few antics in store (us girls aways love a dress up session) made for light entertainment as the crowd continued to grow and the coins clink away closer to 6pm:
Beep goes the App on my Iphone from the Worlds Greatest Shave to tell me, we have smashed the target again!
Then with 10 minutes to go, I seriously just wanted it done. So here goes ...
Linda starts the shave and Jarryd from Tyst for Hair comes by to finish it:
It was wonderful to see through the sunset glare, beautiful faces looking back at me. The expressions were priceless and the peacefulness a unique experience. Such a loud bunch usually:
Hubby liked touching it ...
So what was it like to shower (many have asked)? Beautiful. It was really an experience. Checking my emails in the morning, this one found its way into the inbox. Funny junk email (see 1st one) ... its timing impeccable ...
Putting on my make up was quite interesting. I thought of the women who when going through chemo lose not only their hair, they lose their eyebrows and lashes. I was relying on them today and a tear ran down my face thinking of what it would be like without them ...
It is still not too late to donate. THANK YOU sincerely to those who have or have shared the message in the hope their friends would give. We have until the end of May to contribute to this charity and cause. Did you know blood cancer kills more people than breast and skin cancers COMBINED? I did'nt until now ...
Again a special thank you to Songy Knox who so beautifully captured this moment ... check out all of the pictures at her website Songy Knox Photography
With a smile and a BALD head ... if you want to come by for a feel it will cost you a gold coin donation (smiling)
CJ & Team LFB xxx
It's Tuesday just before Wednesday and then, there is Thursday. I am a bit nervous. Can you tell?
This Thursday 6pm. Worlds greatest shave takes over the ol CJ and as the pink goes, bald becomes the new black and we still have a few $$$ to raise ...
The last 7 days with pink hair have been amazing. Thank you again to Jarryd at Tryst for Hair
My dogs were not sure of the new look. My husband loves it. My Dad didn't say much. Friends just wanted to touch it. Strangers smiled.
It's better than having a dog on a leash or a baby in the pram as an icebreaker to meet new peeps.
At the beach yesterday two male hotties stopped and made note of the hair. My dear friends and I made a few notes ourselves (smiling!) ...
Have you been down to see the Sculptures by the Sea exhibition? You must. It's terrific. For our out of town, LFB'ers...here are some pics;
Loved the dog art installation … and felt this man needed to eat more ...
Would love to know what the women was thinking as she modelled for this ...
So as I contemplate what it is going to feel like being bald (as per exhibit above) ... I remain grateful this is a choice and that we are raising money to help others. Many others.
If you want to spray colour (temporary bright colours) your hair on Thursday evening from 5pm for a gold coin donation, we will be doing this out the front of the store. If you want to see me in my shiny shiny glory … then come on by at 6pm …
To donate … go to Worlds Greatest Shave website (follow this link)
If you can't join us on the night … Songy Knox will be on hand capturing the moments for the later … shine, show and tell
With a smile …
CJ, Le'V & Mel - Team LFB xxx
PS: If you missed the going pink stage 1 story, scroll down for our last blog
Saying you will do something and actually doing it, are two very different things
Waking up knowing you are going to radically change your hair as Step 1 in the journey towards baldness for a cause is quite an interesting sensation. In saying this ... just tonight, I was watching an ad for 60 minutes where an amazing women who has MS (and who is going off to Russia for treatment as we are too backward in our thinking here) shaved her hair all off so her children felt connected to the change that was about to happen and were not scared by her new look before she underwent massive amounts of chemo. Her response; "I feel stripped back to nothing" … Wow.
So respecting the above and the MANY stories I have heard in recent months about people loosing their hair as a bi product of disease I share with you my journey to step 1. If you missed our last blog check it out to understand a little more of the background. Thank you must go to friends and family 'and' strangers too who gave to our mission to raise awareness and money, who picked the colour pink as our starting point.
The morning of the shave (which was yesterday as I type this) I didn't bother washing my hair … yet I did brush it with love and nerves at the prospect of giving it over to Jarryd. Jarryd is a man I have never met who like me simply wants to help others and do his bit for making a difference. Enter Tryst for Hair in Mt Hawthorn. In I go. 3.00pm … looking like this:
I see a cushion with this message on it … and a hot guy behind the counter (that must be the kind one, Jarryd!?). And there was Songy Knox waiting for me.
Songy is a talented photographer who I met a year or so ago. She loves our little LFB and as a local is keen to support local. When she heard I had committed to shaving it 'all' off … she sweetly emailed me and offered to shoot the experience. What a blessing. The more awareness we can muster for our friends at the Leukaemia Foundation the better and pictures do, after all paint 1000 words. Keen to get started … here are my favoured pictures:
Reference shot. Check.
Hair shaved in less than 1 minute … Check, check. Mo anyone?
Loved this temporary look, only to be reminded … "Don't get comfy with it!" ...
Really, really itchy … as we bleach the living organisms out of it … before adding pink. If you know me, you will know I hate sitting still for long. AND itching. Two pet hates! This is why friend, Lauren and Worlds Greatest Shave guru was on hand to make sure I did not run away ...
Nicole's hands were like magic on my scalp. Nothing beats a good apprentice!
A lot more cutting and lots more jam duty. What's jam duty? I hear you ask … It is when pink dye wants to run down your face and into the blonde bits and Jarryd is at the ready with towel to mop up said looking raspberry jam (my nickname for it) before it ruins the art. This was quite a job to do. It is now 5pm or close to and my Husband rings. NOTE: Paul has no idea I am going for a radical cut or pink… "Honey, I am at the hairdressers … see you at home!" …
Well, if you want to see the many more amazing photographs from the afternoon … please visit Songy's gallery online there was a lot of love in the room and some sad times too. We shared stories of why doing this was important to us. Remembering Jarryd and I were strangers up until yesterday. Jarryd told me of a stunning women, a client of his for years, who loved/loves her appearance (as we all should!!!) and who was fighting blood cancer. He shared how it made him feel washing her hair after the first bout of chemo and the tears they both shared when shaving it off … because she had no choice. That is why we are doing this for those who had fought, those fighting, those winning, those yet to know they will be impacted ...
So as strangers we come together to create a pink do and some dough too …
Please help us continue on our mission to raise money and awareness for the Worlds Greatest Shave and donate a $1 or 2
With a smile … and pink hair until the 13th of March 2014 (6pm) when it all comes off at a public shave out the front of Look Feel Be (come and join me)
Caroline & Team LFB xxx
PS: A very 'big' thank you to the kids at Maylands Basket Ball Club for the $$$ from the swears jar! ;) x