Annie Housewife Home Decor came from an idea my husband, Adrian, thought of while we were having a discussion about my lifestyle as a housewife. I had been feeling particularly frustrated with the guilt I felt when answering the dreaded question: "So what do you do for a living?" or it's equally evil, more familiar cousin, "So what are you doing with yourself these days, still at home?"
I was born in South Africa, and lived there my whole life, until I met and unexpectedly fell in love with an American man. I married him and moved my world to New York, possibly the greatest city to live in, and now I live with my husband and his father. Problem is, I moved during the recession, and struggled to find a permanent job. Despite the disappointment I felt at having studied for so many years and still not being able to find a job, I finally decided to give up looking for it and create one for myself here at home. My own version of 'the American dream'. I knew I shouldn't feel guilty about not being able to find work after so many months, or the fact that I actually enjoy being a housewife. Still I did need a source of income, something to work and focus on. Adrian then suggested that I use my frustrations and channel them into a blog, about being a housewife, which we could then tie a business to - making arts and crafts for the home - something I already enjoyed and found a release in. I have always been creatively inclined, despite pursuing my studies in Political Science (although let's face it, you have to be pretty creative in that field too), and found that focusing on my art has helped me release some of my anxiety. Not all of it though, don't think my husband counted on it adding to my worry...
I had and still have my fears about starting a new business, but I know that like with all things my husband and I do- we'll do it together. I hope that in me expressing my creative muscle, I will dispel some stereotypes of what a typical housewife should be. The name of our business, named after my mother Annie, can also sound like 'Any', if pronounced differently. And that's the idea, that it could be 'any' housewife, going through the things I am going through, doing what I'm doing. This effort is for them.
We dedicate this business and it's products and ideas to Annie Jepthas (Ilse's mother), Violet Hamblin (Adrian's mother) and Martha 'Ouma' Apollis (Ilse's grandmother). Although Ilse's mother was not a housewife all her life, she still embodies the ideal for all women - a strong independent woman who managed to run a household and support her family through working. She taught Ilse all she knows about housework, and her love for using her hands practically to make a living. She encouraged Ilse to always explore her creative abilities. Her mother-in-law, was also said to be a strong independent woman, running her household while working long nursing shifts, she is an inspiration to us all and is responsible for the man Adrian is today. Last but not least, Ouma is the quintessential Housewife. Having raised 7 kids, while running her own household and walking for miles on foot to go clean other people's houses, she is an inspiration. She paved the way for us all to have better lives, all the while not losing her faith or her belief in the woman she is. We dedicate this effort to these women, with love and thanks.