Yes, Tink is short for Tinkerbell. No, I did not have hippy parents and Tink is not the name on my birth certificate (Georgina is the on that) but I’ve been Tink to family and friends for as long as I can remember.
I wrote this page in 2010. Today, reading it five years later it feels very much in need of a fairly major overhaul. So, that’s on the to do list. But in the meantime, I’ll leave the original one in place.
In November 2010 when I first wrote this bio, I tentatively described myself as a social entrepreneur, but six y later I’m much more inclined to say connector & storyteller. Speaking of stories, here is an abbreviated version of mine.
After studying law and art history at university, I dipped my toes into the waters of legal practice, but finding the water temperature not entirely to my liking, moved onto Te Papa (New Zealand’s national museum) to work in corporate sponsorship and communications. Working there while it was in development, my memory of standing on the shores of Wellington Harbour at dawn, watching waka glide towards us on Opening Day, is still vivid and evocative.
As are those memories of working in international animal welfare for five years. In retrospect, I’m not entirely sure how I coped. I love animals, they have always been a huge part of our family. As a child, I was regularly made to sit in the back seat while Tess the border collie, sat beside the driver. I guess I did find ways of coping with observing animals being treated inhumanely. A camera, as a barrier, helped.
I returned to New Zealand, shortly after my grandfather and father died within weeks of each other. Dad, a workaholic surgeon, had been terminally ill for several years. Mum was very unwell. Her own mother, lost to Alzheimer’s. An only child, I left a job which I believed defined me and a place which had become my home.
I returned to Wellington, no longer knowing who I was, what I wanted to do and where I wanted to be. I eventually reacted physically to this prolonged period of stress and developed an auto-immune condition. One evening I went to a cocktail party hosted by an old friend I hadn’t seen since university and he managed to render me speechless by not asking the predictable ‘So, what do you do Tink?’ but ‘Who are you?’ I seem to recall stammering ‘I have NO idea…’
All of which I recount because losing so much, including myself, is an experience I am profoundly grateful for. I am, I hope, a wiser, kinder, smarter human being today because of that loss and the years of healing which followed.
Speaking of the years that followed, I worked as an associate producer on a documentary film, looking at international law in the occupied Palestinian territories. Policy analysis for the Pharmacy Guild taught me a considerable amount about the New Zealand health sector. All sorts of other bits and pieces taught me all sorts of different things.
And then I had one of those moments, sitting down with a large piece of paper and artists pens, in which I asked myself what I wanted to do with the rest of my life.
To cut a long story short, I’d nearly turned my back on legal study many times in order to study fashion design. I’ve always loved design, the dream had never gone away, and spending years traveling in developing countries, between climates, in and out of the field, had lead to a concept for a capsule wardrobe.
The concept was of sufficient interest to Wellington’s business incubator, Creative HQ, to warrant my acceptance into one of their business development programmes. At which point I should add that not only did I have no business background at that stage, but I could not (and still cannot) sew to save myself. However, three years later, the market research for ElementAll is complete, the patterns are finished, the brand story is written, the samples on their way.
In case you’re wondering, the reason it has taken 3 years to get here, is because I’ve had my fingers in other pies. There have been other dots. And following an intuition that they were somehow all connected, I’ve occasionally hit the pause button on a project and headed off in a different direction.
A commitment to developing a sustainable apparel range, led to research on sustainability and sustainable living, which ultimately has led to Onemeall. NourisHer has evolved out of the strategic planning of the ElementAll business model. A passion for nature, a love of design, a commitment to sustainability and quite frankly, an overwhelming desire to get away, led me to Costa Rica and immersion training workshop in biomimicry.
I won’t go on except to say that if I’m ever in the position of giving an acceptance speech, I will have to thank TED and two talks in particular. The first was by Sir Ken Robinson, talking about being in your element. In the second, conductor Benjamin Zander talks of awakening possibilities in other people.
Out of the shadow, I’ve awakened to my own possibilities. Helping other people awaken to their possibilities, connect their dots and share their story, is me in my element.