OVER FIFTY & FABULOUS

THE BLOG

Fifty Women Over Fifty.

Fifty Women, Fifty and Over are sharing their stories and their images to help themselves and other women realise they are worthy of being celebrated. Of being photographed. Of being brave. Each and every single one of us has a story to tell, things we have overcome, things we have achieved, things we deserve to celebrate. This Project is to do that.

 

Ready to become one of the 50 Women? Click here.

THE BLOG

Fifty Women Over Fifty.

61

" No matter where you come from or what colour you are, you can be somebody, and you can achieve your goals."

Mum, Nena, Auntie, Friend, Cousin, Confidant, Guardian Angel. 

"Naylor is a warm, loving and bright woman with a heart of gold. Her story is both heartbreaking and beautiful, and it was an honour to see even a glimpse of the way she loves those around her so selflessly.

This shy, sweet soul didn't know what she'd been signed up for by her daughter Darcie, but she embraced the experience and walked away with a newfound self confidence and belief in herself - everything I want my clients to feel after being in front of my camera!!
 

Naylor, you have overcome so much in your life and have proven time and time again that nothing is impossible when you set your heart and mind to it.  You are wildly capable and full of light, and I can't wait to read your book!" - Haley Adele

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NAYLOR

I was born and raised in Niue surrounded by family. I loved spending my days with my Nanny, Aunties and Cousins, but especially my sister. She and I were inseparable, we did everything together. 

She taught me how to collect firewood, start a fire, wash clothes, clean, climb trees, collect shellfish, how to cook Island food, and how to change and look after babies. She had massive impact on my life. 

My Mother, Sister and I came to New Zealand for a better life, and I desperately wanted to go to school, but had to work to help my mother and step-father as I had 4 younger siblings. I'm glad I helped my siblings finish their education, and they are all doing well for themselves, but sometimes I wondered if they ever thought about me. They had a Dad, whereas my sister and I didn't.  I promised myself that when I had my own children, I would not do what my mother did.
 

I had to learn to put myself first. I have had to overcome the fear of not being smart enough and not being accepted, but most of all, I have had to overcome being told that I would not finish or achieve anything because I'm "DUMB".

I think I have proven that to myself. 

I am not dumb. I am enough and I am proud of me..

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THE  JOURNEY

Who has been your biggest supporter? Why? My Nana(Nanny) as we called her, my late blind Aunty and my big sister were the first people in my life who gave me guidance, support me and look after me. They were there to pick me up when I fell. As the years go by, my children became my biggest supporters. Always encouraging me to try new things, they even had me join them taking part in the “Tough Mudder” run in Hampton Downs. 

What is the biggest thing to you, that you have achieved in your life and why?

My first achievement is having held so many job titles despite not having a formal education. I've done it all without a piece of paper that says I'm qualified. A close second is giving birth to 4 beautiful children and watching them grow into incredible human beings. And lastly gaining a NZQA Qualification in Health and Age Support (Core Competencies) Level 3. 

Where is your most favourite place in the world? 

My homeland, Niue Island, and also my home town of Whangarei, it's where my children and grandchildren are.

"Never let anyone tell you that you're useless. Don't let them dictate to you what you should be doing, how to act and how to live. Be yourself . Tell yourself everyday that you are strong, brave and you're enough."

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HER WHY

Being a part of this project was a complete surprise. My daughter Darcie told me very little (she knew I'd ask too many questions!). She simply asked me what I was doing on the 2nd of May for her birthday - I had no idea what I was in for!

I'm not particularly comfortable wearing makeup or having anyone fuss over me. I don't see myself as beautiful, I am just me, but after reading some of the other women's stories, I was inspired to talk about my own journey. 

I wanted to gain more self-confidence and believe in myself. I want whoever reads this to be inspired enough that they too will go out and tell the world, that they will believe that they are strong, beautiful, unique and enough. 

What do you want to do with your life from here?

I want to write a book about my life, but to be honest I haven't really thought about it. I am just enjoying living and watching my grand children grow. I am loving my life right now.

You are enough. I am enough.

What would you share about the Experience and how you felt after your photoshoot and then after your Reveal?

I initially felt a bit overwhelmed and was definitely pushed out of my comfort zone. I was a bit nervous but as we carried on I grew more comfortable, and I ended up loving the photo shoot.
 

I felt proud to see myself look good. I hope that my family are proud of how i look too.

If you get the chance to do this, go for it! It's an awesome experience. I was so nervous, because I didn't know what I was getting myself into, but it was an awesome experience. Haley got me out of my comfort zone. Will I do it again? Yes!!

" I was pushed out of my comfort zone but you made me feel so comfortable that I forgot about being nervous and shy."

- Naylor

 
 
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SHONA

54

"Live, Laugh, Love"

Loyal, funny, intelligent, affectionate and adventurous.

Mother, Nona, Sister, Princess; Bestie; Aunty; confidante.

"I ask all the woman a series of questions when we first meet, during and after their photoshoot. I learn so much about these woman throughout this process and then I hear parts of their story after the day in their interview that bring smiles to my faces and tears to my eyes. And this beautiful woman, was no exception.

Such a breath of fresh air, Shona was this strong, brave woman walking into my studio, absolutely nervous, but so ready for this day. I think my favourite thing about meeting this amazing woman was actually when she came back to view her images with her partner. The support, love and respect this man showed her during her reveal was so inspiring and heart warming and such a reflection of the beautiful woman she is, inside. This bond and commitment to bringing out the absolute best in one another was so incredible. And the tears, of course the tears.

Getting to know more about Shona my admiration for everything that she has accomplished despite the hardships she has faced throughout her life, and the outlook that she has is so inspiring. I don't know how many times I can write the word inspiring in this, but I want to, a whole lot, when it comes to this woman." - Haley Adele

SHONA'S STORY

New Zealand, born & mostly bred in Patea in South Taranaki. I have lived most of my life there apart from 8 years in Palmerston North during my primary/intermediate school years, and latterly 3 years in London doing an OE early in my married life.

Returning to Patea when my Dad passed away when I was 13 (Mum died when I was 1). I have been lucky to have foster parents & my ‘other mother’ is still alive at 93, she is doing very well and lives at home with my older brother (to keep an eye on her). One of the biggest things to me that I have overcome in my life was losing both parents before my teens, that was pretty hard growing up.

As a child I wanted to be a Lawyer, until I realised just how much study was involved!! I did think I might follow something of a family tradition and join the Navy, like my late father and my brother but decided that wasn’t the life for me and went into Banking pretty much straight from school. 

Currently I am an Independent Contractor working as a Motel Relief Manager for the last 8.5 years which takes me around mostly the North Island and the top of the South Island.  Prior to this I was a Branch Manager at ANZ for 7 years, having started my career with them in 1993 working my way up from a lunchtime teller.

My biggest supporter was my ex husband, Adrian, we were married for 30 years - I have been through a lot of changes in that time, we had 3 children (1992, 1994 & 1996] I volunteered for Plunket for 25 years holding various positions, as well as volunteering on the local Medical Trust for 20 years. All the while he held the fort at home so I could do these roles, not to mention my banking career working part time, then full time & later being diagnosed with chronic depression.  Even though we are divorced now, we still have contact and are on amicable terms... I am proud that we can because so many couples end up bitter towards each other.

Do you have a nickname or name that your loved ones have given you?

Shonz is what my friends call me, and my Granddaughter who is 2 years old calls me Nona, which is a play on Shona, Nana and Nonna.

Do you have a favourite quote?

Live, Laugh, Love - which is tattooed on my ankle. I love it and I do my best to embrace it each day.

Where is your most favourite place in the world?

Home, where ever that is. The quote on the back of my caravan is "home is where I park it".

Tell me why you wanted to be a part of this project?

I saw the photo call on Facebook & decided I could do this, after being single for a few years I have recently met a new man who is like a ray of sunshine in my life, we laugh, we do stuff together, we talk and he shows me that he cares. I feel loved and that is such a great feeling 🥰

What is the biggest thing to you, that you have achieved in your life and why?

Our 3 children, they have grown into wonderful adults who work hard and have loving caring attitudes to those around them.

Favourite Charity?

NZ Cancer Society - yearly donation since my Dad passed away from Bowel Cancer at age 55 (1979).

If you could time travel, what would you tell your 20 year old self?

Eat the cake, wear the shoes, be kind & live your best life.

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What do you want to do with your life from here?

Embrace my new relationship while maintaining my current ones. I don’t have a lot of friends but the ones I do have are great. I make a point of keeping in touch with them wherever I am working, and spending time with them whenever I am nearby.

What would you share about the Experience and how did you feel after your photoshoot and then after your Reveal?

I was nervously excited once the shoot was booked in, and like most things in my life I try not to dwell on what might/might not happen and just go with the flow. It was so much fun and I just wanted to do the best I could for Haley and make it easy for her.

 

I thoroughly enjoyed the whole shoot from hair/makeup, choosing outfits and the actual shoot itself ... it was quite funny listening to what Haley wanted me to do, processing it then trying to actually to do it, by the end I was almost doing it automatically ... I have a newfound respect for Models lol.

 

After the Reveal: Emotional to say the least, seeing a wall of ME looking so glam was pretty special. Even now I look at the photos and think ‘wow, that’s me!’.

Which was your favourite photograph and why?

I love them all but MY favourite is the image at the top of this page - that one is for me, I love the ‘fantasy’ of the outfit it is like nothing I would ever own but is sooooo luxurious.

Thank you Haley for the opportunity to take part in this fabulous project. I hope you find more women brave enough to put themselves forward to be a part of it too.

- Shona x

 
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KATRINA

61

"If you're going through hell, keep going"

Happy, loving, honest, dependable, contented.

Mum, Nan, daughter, sister, aunt, niece, cousin, friend.

"I remember this beautiful woman walking into my studio with such a graceful and kind aura, I think I was immediately put at ease around Katrina (and usually that is my job to do or others!).

Everything about Katrina was warm and welcoming, such a kind person to be around. Hearing all about her wonderful family and children was such a pleasure.

My absolute favourite thing was when Katrina told me she wanted to create something playful and happy! I'm so proud of this lady for wanting this for herself, something you'd only do once in a lifetime. Being brave enough to want to do this for herself. That takes its own kind of strength.

Married to her husband Trevor, with her three amazing Children and five super cute grandchildren, Katrina is so loved by those around her and I can absolutely see why." - Haley Adele

THE Q & A

Do you have a nickname or name that your loved ones have given you?

I have always been called Tweet, Tweety or Tweetybird by family and friends.  My uncle gave me my nickname when I was 5yrs old as I used to sing on the swing like a bird.

Do you have a favourite quote?

If you're going through hell, keep going (Winston Churchill). I like this quite because we all have difficulties in our life, and to just keep going.

Where is your most favourite place in the world?

Any beach, ocean. Always feel at peace with the sound of the waves.

Tell me why you wanted to be a part of this project?

My daughter encouraged me to apply. I loved every minute of the fun and creativity that Haley brought to the photoshoot. I loved being pampered and the whole time being "about me".

Who has been your biggest supporter and why?

My family, especially my daughters Amanda and Ilona. They are always my go to people for advice and motivation.

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KATRINAS STORY

I am married to Trevor and we have three wonderful children Amanda, Ilona and Richard and I am proud of all three. We have five gorgeous grandchildren who all melt my heart.  We have been blessed with a good marriage and happy life. 

 

One day in 2004 (November) our lives were thrown in turmoil when our son Richard was diagnosed with osteomyelitis, a bacterial infection in the bone. Richard was on life support for six and a half weeks and underwent several life saving procedures while in a coma.

 

He was 13yrs old and his youth and with the amazing doctors and nurses care, technology and our friends and families prayers and support, he survived. After ICU Richard spent six months recovering in the Orthopedic ward. I lived in the hospital with Richard.  His leg bones were crooked and he spent two years after leaving hospital in and out of hospital having multiple operations to straighten and strengthen his legs. He spent about six months in a wheelchair and I became Richard's nurse as well as mama. He was fed with a feeding tube for months and on intense antibiotics.

 

Life was a struggle at times for us all during this time, but we became stronger as a family unit and supported each other and all cared for Richard in our own different ways and personal strengths.

 

He is a living legend to our family xx

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What would you share about the Experience and how did you feel after your photoshoot and then after your Reveal?

After the Photoshoot: It was like a dream come true! The morning after my photoshoot I'm like floating and thinking "did that really happen?" It was one of the most incredible things I've ever done "just for me". Loved it.

 

After the Reveal: WOW!! I looked so beautiful, felt like a model! Very proud to show my family how gorgeous I looked and felt. My feeling of being playful in some shots, vulnerable in other shots and sexy too was really cool.

I was showing my hairdresser the other day some of the photos and how the whole experience was incredible for me. She said she would love to be photographed in this way too. I said it was such an empowering feeling to be photographed and be part of the Over 50 and Fabulous Project.

If you could share one piece of advice to other women, what would it be?

Be yourself. Embrace your beauty (inside and out).

WHAT DID SHE THINK?

Thank you Haley. I never in a million years thought I would look so glamorous and gorgeous.

- Katrina