Name: Stella Raphael-Reeves
Business: Tribal Spirit
The business is based upon my passion of dance, the outdoors and music, in particular live djembe drumming. There is something about dancing bare foot in the forest on a summers evening to the beat of a drum. I set myself up as a sole trader, set goals for the year to perform at three festivals and two of the major Yoga shows in the UK. With both these goals achieved, I then set up a Tribal Spirit Jewellery range with beautiful bespoke handmade pieces, a wonderful brand and a website.
How did you first develop a passion for what you do?
I have always danced and loved music, it has always been my way of expressing myself and releasing energy.
My parents loved to dance and always encouraged my sister and myself to dance. I love fashion, jewellery and nature and Tribal Spirit has allowed me to be creative and express myself in an arena where people accept me for who I am: albeit a little ‘Wild’.
What were you doing before?
I have spent the last 18 years working in education. After having 6 months vacation from the corporate world, I realised that I am way too institutionalised to live my notion of dancing bare foot and fancy free around the world. What I do realise, after a great deal of internal turmoil and pain, is that actually you can have it all: a great job, a good income stream, travel and follow your passion.
What gave you the courage to step out and do your own thing?
The thought that I could bring pleasure to so many people, the happiness I receive from making others happy.
What have been some of the struggles along the way?
To be honest, I haven’t struggled – just sometimes fear of the unknown and realising I like my comfort blanket of a regular income.
What do you love about what you do?
I love watching people express themselves in a myriad of ways, love meeting like-minded souls and people who share the passion of music and dance. The notion of being free even for that short period of time. I love making people happy even if it is from sticking a golden Tribal Spirit tattoo on their arm or marking their bodies with Tribal Markers.
What’s made you feel proud of what you’ve achieved?
Proving to myself that I can start up a successful business from a dream and make it work.
What would you say to another woman contemplating doing her own thing?
Believe in yourself, don’t ever give up and don’t ever be afraid of what other people may think about you.