About Me – Chamani
“You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever.” – Steve Jobs
HELLO & WELCOME!
My name is Chamani; the founder and designer behind this little purpose-driven label that you have come across today.
I am a true believer in the sentiment, ‘follow your curiosity’ and ‘trust the journey’. I can’t tell you how fitting they are, as the journey to founding my heart and impact-led business as well as the path ever since has been one with many interesting twists and turns! With my love for helping others, along with unique artisanal slow-fashion and travel, life took me on a huge journey full of adventure, soul searching and life lessons before my label finally came to life. I am going to show you little snippets of the path life took me on, so that by the end we can connect the dots and see how this impact-driven fashion movement came to fruition.
32 years ago, my parents migrated to Australia from a war-torn Sri-Lanka. They gave up all their aspirations and dreams, left behind their loved ones and the only home they ever knew, to brave the unknown and give us (their future children) the best chance of a better life here in Australia. However, it wasn’t all that it was cracked up to be when they got here. Like many in their situation, my parents faced unimaginable adversities trying to establish a life here and I grew up watching them struggle to make ends meet everyday. It was exceptionally difficult for them to find stable jobs - opportunities seemed to be few and far between for them as migrants.
THE CREATIVE IS BORN
I grew up sketching dream designs for days and getting lost in magazines, looking at all of the beautiful outfits from fashion week, hoping that one day I would be so lucky to be able to go to an event and see them come down the runway in real life. During my younger years, my parents really fostered my artistic interests by putting me into art, music and sewing lessons whenever they could afford to.
CREATIVE TURNED HEALTH PROFESSIONAL
But as I grew older and life got more serious, I was told that I need to concentrate my efforts into a “stable” career path. After giving up everything to move to Australia and struggling for decades as new migrants here, my parents wanted us kids (my big brother, myself and my little sister) to have the stability and security that they never had. They encouraged us to pursue safe career options - hence why I also moonlight as a hospital pharmacist to this day! Being a health professional was an obvious pick for me as I always loved helping people from a young age and this job allowed me to do that everyday.
After graduating from university, I worked as a pharmacist for almost four years and while I had a wonderful job in a hospital and I WAS helping people, I soon realised, much to my despair, that perhaps pharmacy was not my true purpose – I had a “feeling” and deep desire for something “more” – I just had no idea what this was.
PHARMACIST TURNED TOUR GUIDE
So, in true EAT, PRAY, LOVE style, I decided to travel. I took a crazy leap of faith and became a tour guide in South East Asia. For the first time in my life, I understood the meaning of “if you love what you do, you will never work a day in your life.” Over these incredible three years, I met some amazing people and saw some beautiful places but it was also unimaginably eye-opening. I saw the effects of fast, cheap, unsustainable fashion first-hand. I saw the pollution it caused to our waterways and the amount of landfill it created. I met people who had been wronged by an industry that rather than creating such detrimental effects to people and our planet, should be creating impactful, positive change with its power. I also saw the incredible disparity and lack of opportunities for women and girls in these countries. I knew I wanted to be a part of the change and I knew I had to do something.
TOUR GUIDE TURNED SOCIAL-ENTEPRENEUR
I saw how incredibly blessed I was to born into a western country such as Australia and I was determined to find a way to give back and uplift marginalised women both locally here in Australia and around the world in an empowering, sustainable way. I came back to Australia in 2019, went back into my career in pharmacy and inspired by my loves for helping people, timeless fashion and travel I began my journey to founding my impact-led business. .
Now, looking back at what seems like random “dots” in my life, it’s truly obvious that all of these pivotal moments have lead me here to founding this conscious, purpose-driven label
It’s a dream come true to be able to create meaningful change to deserving lives through a common love of timeless, thoughtful fashion. I’m so excited to see what the future holds, and to one day look back at the dots again and see the wonderful impact we have created together.
Thankyou for being a part of the journey. I am so incredibly grateful to you being here with us.