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.

 

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THE BLOG

Fifty Women Over Fifty.

58

" Life's busy, don't forget to stop and smell the roses"

Mum, Sister, Best Friend, Supporter, Confidant

"Deborah is one of the most incredible, put-together women I have ever met - her warmth and confidence lights up a room. You'll never feel more under control than when you're with her!

And it was such a joy to see her embrace this experience and, most importantly, embrace who she is. Every woman deserves to feel beautiful and be celebrated - so that's exactly what we did! The studio was full of laughter and Deb's beautiful personality was so amazing to spend the day capturing!

 

Deborah, it was an absolute pleasure to capture this moment in time for you and to be a part of celebrating the woman you are. I cannot wait to see where life takes you next!" - Haley Adele

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DEBORAH

Who has been your biggest supporter in life? 

I have a few incredible women I am lucky enough to call my best friends who love and support me and have had my back through everything life has thrown my way - marriage, divorce, pregnancies, career changes - everything! 

What do you spend your days doing? 

I am a real estate agent - it's a challenging job with highs and lows, but it's incredibly addictive! It's always so exciting and rewarding - the tears of joy make it all worth while, and my work colleagues are incredibly encouraging and constantly push me to be the best person I can be. I absolutely love my job helping people into their dream home. 


Previous to that I owed a shoe boutique in the gorgeous Casabella Lane for 17 years, my background has always been customer service in the retail industry fashion, shoes, makeup.  

"If I could give one piece of advice to other women it would be to embrace life - it's a fabulous journey! And don't forget to be kind to yourself. "

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HER WHY

I am super proud of my son Mitchel and my daughter Caitlin. Being a mother is learning about strengths you didn't know you had. And I cannot forget to mention my adorable husband whom is my best friend, my lover and my rock, life wouldn't be complete without him.

What country were you born in and where have you lived?

I am a True Waikato girl through and through!

What did you want to be as a child when you grew up?

I always loved fashion and the industry.

Do you have a favourite quote?

Life can be crazy busy, so "don't forget to stop and smell the rose's" is a saying I remember my grandmother always used to say. It's so true and even more true, it seems the older we get the busier we are.

What was your favourite photograph and why? 

My favourite photo would have to be the classic black polo. Just because through my whole retail career, the one thing I would tell my clients is you can never go wrong with classic pieces that classic black fitted blazer, great tailored pants, the black or white top, and lets not forget the little black dress, and to finish it off a bold red lipstick!

What is your most favourite place in the world?

Two years ago I experienced a life time trip with my husband and friends to Italy. The beautiful architecture, the food, the wine, the people!! The fashion! Everything about it was just amazing, the best thing was sharing it with ten close friends and creating life time memory's. I love Facebook as it reminds you of those fab times.

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

I want to embrace every day, be kind to myself, and never stop trying to be a better person.

If you could travel back in time and tell your 20 year old self anything, what would you say? 

Love yourself and be happy with the way you look........ easier said than done!! We are always our biggest critic and sometimes we need to tell that voice in our head to bugger off!!  My daughter has lived with an eating disorder since she was 12 years old, the battles we have gone though as a mother and daughter, has taught me a lot which was why I probably decided to be a part of this project. 

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

To be honest I was a bit nervous, my body has changed over the years but Haley and her team made me feel so beautiful and special. It was amazing for my self-esteem!

I loved having my hair and makeup done, and I slowly warmed up to being in front of the camera - we had lots of laughs.

If you get the chance to be a part of this project, don't overthink - just do it!! Life's too short so enjoy the experience.

Any advice you would give to your children or grandchildren?

Life is about choices. The choices you make are the pathway to the life you will have.

" I was a little nervous at the start but after having my hair and makeup done and getting in front of the camera, with Haley's guidance and encouragement, I felt so beautiful and special."

- Deborah

 

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