Sharing with you an interview I recently had:
What was your inspiration in establishing your business? What is the reason behind your advocacy of "Pay it forward".
"Apart from my daughter Elisha Kayley being my inspiration, and my love for vintage inspired handmade dresses, my sister Monette has been my source of strength and inspiration since I was a child. She's like a mother to me. She always challenged me to be better. March 2019, my sister was murdered in her family home in the Philippines, and I was shattered. My life turned dark. My sister was supposed to come here for a visit and now she's gone, and she'll never get to see me here in Australia with my family, meet my daughter Elisha whom she's really fond of.
I was consumed by pain, hatred, sadness, anger. I told myself i will devote my life looking for her killer and make that culprit pay.
My sister is one of the most generous person I know. She's not a politician, she worked for one or many. But she's helped a lot of people and when she passed our family was blown away with the number of people who came to see her. We were astounded by hundreds of people - politicians, celebrities, workers, staff, neighbours, friends and family who all came for her. People we don't know, from different walks of life. They said how my sister helped them in different ways. Gave them gifts, helped them get a job, helped them financially, cared for their family, saved them etc.
I felt guilty. I told myself it's so unfair. My sister was such a good person. The world needs her, she's helped so many. I'm supposed to be there in the coffin and she should be the one alive.
What have I done good to deserve to live? My sister deserves to live. The world needs her more, people need her, and my family needs her. She doesn't deserve to die like that.
Then it hit me, I asked myself that If I die, will anyone show up? Will people care? Have I done anything good? Have I affected and inspired others that they will care if I'm gone?"
"You see, my sister had everything in life. Material things, luxury bags, branded dresses, make ups, many properties, and savings. But when she died, none of that really matter. She left everything behind and that just caused much more pain for my family. I established KC at first as a distraction. I thought of something that I am passionate about to divert my attention to. Since I love fashion and I love dressing up my daughter, I decided to establish Kayley Couture Australia.
KC helped me showcase beautiful dresses made from the country where I came from. My sister used to say, to never forget where you came from and how you got where you are. Be humble. She always keep my feet on the ground.
With Kayley Couture, I am able to showcase my kind of style and designs and at the same time help my friends back in the Philippines.
With KC, I was able to touch other people's lives and inspire them to always choose kindness and pay it forward.
My sister's passing taught me a lot of things. She left me legacy of kindness and generosity.
I want my sister back, but that's not gonna happen anymore.
I am honouring her by living her legacy. By helping others, I am helping myself heal too. By making other people happy, i feel happy too."
Kayley Couture is not just a profit making business for me, I call it business with a heart.
"I'll be your legacy. I'll be your voice.
You live on in me. So i made a choice to honour your life by living again. I love you. I miss you and I'll see you again."