Four years ago I stitched my first prototype pair of Oppi baby shoes. It was just me at my little desk in a rented bedroom. I enjoy being on my own; I enjoy my thoughts as I create.
I should’ve been comfortable sewing alone, lost in my ideas and dreams. But strangely I wasn’t. While I was stitching fabrics, a bigger tapestry was being woven in my imagination:
I'm not sure. But I want to believe that it is.
The bigger question I had though was, “Do I have the courage to find out?”
How was I going to move from admiring my own handiwork, to showing it to others, people liking it enough to buy it, and then impacting children in Mozambique?
That’s where the ‘we’ in Oppi comes in.
We need each other to move our dreams from possibility to reality. And I am thankful that we do.
For the most part I still sit quietly, carefully hand-making every piece of Oppi babywear, in my little studio at home. I sew because I love to. I sew because I have a bigger picture in my mind. I sew because I want to make even the smallest difference to the life of another.
But without amazing friends and family, I’d probably still be sitting on my own, indulging in the admiration of my own handiwork and allowing the daring dream within me to fade.
Some of my Oppi companions
Words can be powerful. They give you courage to keep going; they remind you of the big picture when you forget. This is what my husband’s words do. His attention to detail provokes me to stay true to my values, ever pushing me to produce the best I can. He is a natural problem solver, so we have fun finding creative solutions to challenges, together.
Mike and Sue Hamon
If I had an idea growing up, dad would ask, “how shall we make it?” He would then photograph what we’d made together. Ever the teacher, he doesn’t just assist with Oppi photography, he challenges me to learn, compose and capture what I see.
Mum taught me to sew when I was a child. Threads would shower the carpets - they still do! Technically an excellent seamstress, she assists me with pattern development. Committed to the Oppi vision our times together are inspiring. When I need help to fulfil orders, she is a phone call away.
My fellow dreamer of big dreams. From the beginning, Lizzie’s commitment, encouragement and practical support has breathed life into Oppi. She is my go-to person for all things finance related - her accuracy is a credit to her integrity.
Compassionate and an adventurer by nature, we took the last giving trip to Mozambique together.
Jonny and Becky Wakely
With their feet on the ground and their hope in something bigger, Jonny and Becky are moving their dreams from possibility to reality in Mozambique.
Founders and directors of Tutela Africa, they are committed to establishing family-centred care for some of the most vulnerable children in the area where they live in Mozambique. Companions in daring greatly, we push each other further up and further on.
Geoff & Pam Bull
Whether it’s business and finance advice or inspirational postcards that drop through the mail, uncle Geoff and auntie Pam encourage Oppi on.
Turning a craft into a business takes courage. It also takes understanding of how legal things work. Geoff's experience in business is invaluable. Pam’s support energises me to keep believing.