Episode 456 with guest Cheryl Westergard
Creativity, art, and a true love for creating beautiful things, have long been intrinsic to Cheryl’s world. Growing up she was encouraged to follow her artistic interests, and she found herself inspired by the work of her parents themselves; although, creative pursuits were considered hobbies and not a career pathway. In addition, she was also raised to believe that it was important to help others and artistic pursuits were not considered to be of a real benefit to others. Therefore, when it came to choosing a career, Cheryl, decided to attend university to train as a teacher. Her reason for going into this profession was to have the opportunity to travel, to teach the things that interested her, help others, and because it was considered a respectable career for women.
Subsequently, she returned to university and earned the degrees required to be a school counsellor and then school psychologist. She enjoyed working with children and, in particular, finding the best methods to help each student reach their true potential. However, when her career was no longer rewarding and it became a real struggle to get out of bed each morning, she realized that she had never really followed her true passion. With the opportunity of retiring early, she left her job to pursue her true passion, which is creating beautiful things. She also realized that she was able to give back to others through creative pursuits. Although, she does not regret her earlier choices, if she could step back in time, she would have “followed her bliss” much earlier.
Autumn and Oak Leather was born out of a desire to create sustainable, purposeful, and design focused bags. Cheryl’s natural craftsmanship and desire to create beautiful things bridges the gap between sustainability and fashion through her commitment to quality, durability, and environmental responsibility. Following her passion and yet still providing benefit to others, has been realized through Autumn and Oak Leather.