Updated: May 24, 2021
"It started with just wanting to make candles, which might light up the room and create “vibez”, or whatever. But, my LOUD inner voice told me, "it's your time to let your voice be heard"; and heard in a big way. Next thing I know I wanted to light up the world."
I once heard a quote about discerning ‘good days’ from ‘bad days’. It said something like, “if you experience many emotions in one day, those are the best days”.
I couldn't tell you when or where I heard it, or else I would give credit where credit is due, but you better believe, I came to realize this is pure FACTS! The days I smiled and laughed all day, and I cried and contemplated all night, ended up being the most transformative and meaningful days in my life.
Yet somehow I never was able to see my potential amongst these emotions. Not until I began to believe in myself, did I feel I could manifest a story so powerful that it could eventually help others reach theirs...and potentially change the world.
Through physical and mental health battles--not to mention a disaster that goes by “2020”--I have spent many of my days in my home, picking and prodding at my potential and writing down every thought caged in this big head of mine (no really, have you seen it?). Within these reflections, I was reminded of one of my favorite quotes (again, no idea who first said this), "Don't 'someday' yourself out of a lifetime. Make today someday". I decided a month ago to make every day count, and the Ikhaya Collections brand was born.
But, why the name, "ikhaya"?
Well, in short, I wanted to develop a brand that incorporates elements of my South African culture, and the word, "ikhaya", literally means, "home", in Zulu, the language of the tribe to which I belong.
You'll notice other elements of my cultures throughout the brand and products. For example, in the original line of candles, the four scents are representative of my culture: Cape Breeze, referring to the breeze off the coast of Cape Town, SA; Warm Malva, my favorite South African dessert, similar to a sticky toffee pudding; Precious Protea, a nod to the national flower of SA, the protea; and finally Safari Sunset--quite little has compared to the views of a South African sunset while on safari.
" 'Ikhaya', extends beyond just my physical home and instead embodies the homes of all those co-existing in our shared home--planet earth."
To be alive, is to be a part of this world, so, whether rich or poor, BIPOC or white, ill or able, we all share the undeniable reality that the earth is our home, and like any toxic relationship, you may still be together, but at least one person is suffering.
Ikhaya Home Collections aims to take the pressure off our home, which is currently suffering from our environmental greed and abuse, by committing to ethical and environmental responsibility in our packaging and building sustainable products that have the intention of unifying our planet, in order to save it. Because regardless of what you believe, the earth is more than just 'catching feels' over our 'toxic energy'.
"Not only do we care about all of the issues that affect our shared home, but our individual homes around the world; more specifically, our people. "
Another major part of our mission is to support each other in all that we are, and all that we go through, to get to where we want to be together.
As a black, woman, with a disability (more about me to come in another blog or YouTube video soon), I have inherited a handful of life-changing virtues, which I now live by.
Here's 5 of them:
#1- You are an expert on your own life, so do not conform to what others have told you about yourself.
#2- The only way to receive respect and recognition for what is important to you and yours is to be your own biggest supporter.
#3-By nature, we are surrounded by people; help them, and let them help you.
#4-What you do today might change your tomorrow, but if you do not make it to tomorrow, the potential of what you 'could have done is irrelevant.
#5- The African term, 'Ubuntu', translates to"I am, because we are".
As an advocate for all that is good for us, I want to inspire people to do everything possible to educate each other and build positive relationships around our differences. Similarly, Ikhaya desires to make our home a better place to live in, by first advocating for social justice and inspiring daily change, starting with the issues that affect the places and people we call "home".
Why now, you ask?
(you probably didn't, but imma tell you anyway).
As rapper J. Cole says in his popular song, Love Yourz, there's, "No such thing as a life that's better than yours".
So, what a better time than now to make the most out of the only life I have?
Amongst all that is happening right now, I felt it an ample opportunity to FINALLY push myself to release my ideas in an impactful way--no matter how organized it was, how much of a following I had (not much at all, so go ahead and add ya girl on all the social platforms) and despite the fact I haven't received unemployment since April and am taking a leap of faith with my finances.
Thus we have the Ikhaya Home Collection and other Ikhaya collections that serve the purpose of motivating and inspiring others to reach their full potential--one product at a time.
And a final question I'd like you all to consider as you get to know my purpose for this brand: "What does home mean to you?"
"To me, home is a place where I can be who I am, flaws and all. To the Ikhaya Collections Brand, a home is a place where we can embrace our raw and real identities, and learn to grow together and be kind to the home we all share."
I have always felt that if you do not let your story be told, you are discounting your identity and putting your potential on layaway. Well, like an abandoned Amazon cart, it's always there and steadily reminding you of its presence until you place your order. Now I am in the business of creating a story that’s bigger than myself, and I want you to be a part of it.
Oh, and please contribute if you so wish--or not--because as Aunty Tab says, “that’s your business” (IYKYK). Remember, virtue #5, Ubuntu. I can not get to where I need to be without your help, and since you're here I am asking (virtue #3)!
If you are a person who actually reads what people post, thank you for making it to the end, WE. LOVE. TO. SEE. IT. (my inner teacher is so appreciative)!
And for everyone else who skimmed and skipped to the end, thank you for at least contributing to my analytics, 'respectfully'.
To all, a reminder that,
YOUR PURPOSE IS POWERFUL, SO TAP IN!
P.S.--Because I'm EXTRA--
I have always dreamed of being an author, and as it turns out I already was. And all it took was for me to wake up realize I don't need to work for anyone to achieve my wildest of dreams. I just woke up today and decided, "today is someday".
and that's on what? ............you know the rest
Written and Edited by: Merissa Khumalo, CEO of Ikhaya Collections Brand, est. 2020