If you could do anything you set your mind to, what would you do? Now, what’s stopping you from pursuing it? We all have a choice in life – in fact we have two choices. We can believe that we’re simply too young or too old to step out and create change, or instead we can choose to not let our experience define our worth. It’s as simple as that.
I recently had the pleasure of having coffee (and by coffee I mean a chai latte) with the absolutely divine Santina Nicole Ponte. You may not know her right now, but mark my words, you most certainly will soon.
This 23-year-old Melburnian is an up and coming fashion designer and as I write this post, she is designing not her first, but her fourth collection! Santina is the woman behind Santina-Nicole the label. What makes this incredible young lady’s story even more unbelievable is that she only started her business last March! One would naturally ask how this is even possible? After all, she’s only 23!
Here’s a fun fact for you. When starting a business, age is no factor. What is essential is the way you approach life and your all-important calling. The rest will follow.
Pursuing a goal is never easy. You may encounter unexpected stumbles in the road or tremendous detours – but hey it’s all ok, for guess what, each and every one of these hiccups will in the end lead you to your most desired destination. Just you wait.
Take Santina as an example. She always knew that one day owning her own label would become a reality, however the ride was something she couldn’t plan for. Like many young people Santina went onto further study after completing year 12. Naturally, studying Fashion Design and Technology was the way to go. However, things didn’t necessarily go to plan.
“To put it simply I felt the course wasn’t for me. You can’t inject creativity into a person, it can only come from within. I have always believed that there’s nothing like gaining industry experience, so I took a leap of faith and decided to say goodbye to study so I could completely throw myself into the world of fashion and business. I approached a designer and asked if I could shadow them. Before I knew it, one thing lead to another.”
“Despite me not finishing, I didn’t feel it mattered as I gained so much knowledge simply by working in industry. I didn’t need to study to reassure me that fashion was for me.”
The fashion industry is one tough arena to break into. However, Santina has proven that overcoming doubt is most certainly achievable no matter who you are.
‘The greater the obstacle, the more glory in overcoming it’. – Moliere
“This saying really resonates with me. No matter the obstacle, I have always stayed true to my beliefs, my mission and my goals. I want to create pieces that will grace a women’s wardrobe for years. There are a lot of designers out there who divert from where they started, but I’ve decided to stay true to the brand and true to its vision.”
Venturing down the entrepreneurship road can often be a daunting experience, so having a strong supportive network is most definitely welcome. Santina couldn’t agree more.
“I have been really well supported by my family. They’ve always pushed and encouraged me to go forth and achieve my dreams. My dad Lou has especially been a wonderful mentor. My family have been running businesses for four generations now, so he has taught me a great deal about building positive relationships in business.”
Fashion is a much-loved industry and one that is difficult to break into. For those wanting to make a name for themselves, Santina ensures that it’s not all doom and gloom.
“As long as you stick to what your heart desires you can never go wrong. There’s nothing worse than regretting things you never tried. If you don’t pursue something you feel is right, you could miss out on producing something really great.”
“There’s nothing that will haunt you more than ‘I should have…’. My greatest fear is waking up in 20 years and saying I should have done it. It will kill me if I didn’t follow my dreams. We owe it to ourselves. What’s the worst thing that can happen?”
With the help of technology, many more people are creating their own works of magic, as they kick-start their own business ventures. From fashion to engineering and everything in between, Santina reveals her secret to finding success by doing what you love.
“It doesn’t matter how old you are or what field you’re in, you have nothing to lose. You have to take risks. You have to put yourself out there in order to get what you want. Yes, it’s daunting and crazy but don’t let it stop you from achieving your goals. Never let fear get the better of you.”
Gianna Lucas Xx