We live busy lives. Too often we find ourselves muttering, with a helpless sigh, that there are not enough hours in the day. So when we found out that our fellow peach stylist, Natalie King, embarked on an African adventure that combined her two passions – giving back and travel – we had to get the inside scoop. The result is a heartfelt and inspiring story that details how Natalie King donated bras & inspired confidence in Tanzania through her work with the Rift Valley Children’s Home.
How and why did you first get involved with Rift Valley Children’s Home?
I attended a blogger safari in Tanzania hosted by Mefi Alapat from Journey To Africa this past May. While I love to travel and explore, I also feel a need to give back in some way. I immediately thought of peach, and asked Mefi if she could suggest a children’s home that may need donations. She suggested The Rift Valley Children’s Home and it turned out to be a perfect fit.
What were your hopes and goals for the trip?
One thing I love about traveling is experiencing how people in other cultures live. I think it’s very humbling, and it definitely teaches you to appreciate things we may often take for granted. Life in Africa takes on a much slower pace so I wanted to take time on this trip to “reset,” and come back with a new perspective on life.
Can you describe a moment during your trip where you felt wholeheartedly fulfilled?
The first moment was when Ali, our host at Rift Valley, told me how grateful she was for the donation because bras and socks are something that they always need but rarely receive. Then, when we were about to wrap up our visit, a bus full of teenage girls arrived from school. Ali introduced us and told them I had dropped off a donation. One of the girls whispered in her ear asked her what I had brought, and when Ali told her that I brought bras, her face literally lit up.
While most of us may consider a bra a necessity, it is often a commodity in other places.
What inspired your idea to donate bras?
While most of us may consider a bra a necessity, it is often a commodity in other places. I assumed that bras were an item that were likely needed but probably not donated often, and that was certainly the case. There is also a feeling of femininity that comes with wearing a bra that is pretty and fits, and I wanted these girls to experience that.
Are their parallels between your role at peach and your involvement with the Rift Valley Children’s home?
Absolutely. In both roles, I am working to inspire women to feel beautiful and confident. As a peach stylist, I help clients of all ages gain confidence and feel good about their bodies no matter how old they are and what life stage they’re in. And at the Rift Valley Children’s home, I donated bras that are helping these girls with their confidence and self esteem as they are becoming women.
You use entrepreneurship as your means of income every single day as a stylist— how did you see this paralleled in the community you worked with?
The Rift Valley Children’s Home was started by two amazing entrepreneurs, India Howell and Peter Leon Mmassey, who saw a need and took action. They opened the home in 2004 with 17 children and have since grown to 95. Not only do they help these children, but they have made a significant impact within their community. Entrepreneurship is very rewarding, but it takes a lot of hard work, patience, and perseverance.
One of the girls asked what I had brought, and when Ali told her that I brought bras, her face literally lit up.
As a wife, step-mom, wardrobe stylist, blogger, bra boss, and philanthropist, you have many jobs- how do you find balance?
I’m not going to deny that it can be difficult to balance everything sometimes, but I feel like most women share that struggle. I try to set goals, prioritize, and stay focused. I’m also a strong believer in work-life balance. I consider myself very lucky because my work is incredibly fulfilling and it motivates me to work harder because I truly love what I do.
How does peach fit in the context of your life?
peach has impacted my life in many ways. I have become a better wardrobe stylist because I can provide my clients with a service that helps them build their wardrobe from the foundation. I have become a stronger entrepreneur because of the inspiration I have received from the amazing women within the peach community. I have been able to explore more philanthropic opportunities because of the platform peach has given me to do so.
How can others get involved?
There are a number of ways to get involved with The Rift Valley Children’s Home. You can donate items or money, you can sponsor a child, or host fundraising events. For more information go to http://www.tanzanianchildrensfund.org/get-involved/.