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Vanessa Stottor is living proof that when we have the courage to discover our inner beauty we can live a life that is successful. We all know that a brilliantly coloured butterfly spends part of its life as a dull-looking, brown cocoon, so each individual can emerge from constricting circumstances and find happiness and purpose.
Vanessa has now achieved a life with husband Brian and two children, Liberty and Jodi that is regarded as idyllic. But it was not always this way, and she has worked hard in recent years to create their perfect life.
Vanessa was born the eldest of two girls to two remarkable parents, Michael and Marian. ‘My Mum and Dad are perfect example of living a good life. My sister Abbie and I learnt every day the value of treating others the same as we wish to be treated, and that, with gratitude, anything we want to achieve in life is possible.’
So, why, for as long as Vanessa can remember, did she feel different and alone? Why did she feel like she didn’t ‘fit in’?
Growing up Vanessa remembers that although she laughed a lot, she had a frown that, when concentrating, made her look very unhappy. She struggled with her weight continually, in spite of enjoying sport especially tennis, swimming and dancing, All her school reports said ‘Vanessa must learn to concentrate more and stop daydreaming out of the window’, her Dad’s reply was, ‘as long as she has the ability to day dream she
will be absolutely fine’.
‘My Mum and Dad always taught me that as long as I did what I loved and loved what I did, with love in my heart and a smile on my face then I would be absolutely fine. Whoever I was, they loved me unconditionally.’
Vanessa was puzzled that despite her very happy childhood with love, laughter and good Christian values, she still didn’t seem able to fit in and received criticism from her school friends.
After school Vanessa studied beauty therapy and hair dressing, and the skills she learnt took her around the Caribbean on cruise liners for nine months. When she arrived home she trained at the BBC as a television and film make-up artist. This proved to be where she shone. “I found I could make a real difference to how people looked, and, just as important, help them feel good inside. I had the wonderful feeling of finding my true work in the world. Even better, that feeling of not fitting in began to fade.”
Vanessa was then introduced to the principles of a woman who would take her life to a whole new level. Mary Kay Ash, founder of Mary Kay cosmetics,believed in the importance of “faith first, family second and career third”.
Vanessa was attracted to a business with these values, and the philosophy to “do unto others as you would
have them do unto you.”
So Vanessa started her business with Mary Kay Cosmetics at the age of 23. She was excited that she could make a difference to everyday women (not just those who appeared on film and television), and help them look and feel fantastic in their own skin.
She felt that at last she had a chance to live her life the way she had always dreamed.
Along the way Vanessa had met and married her best friend, Brian. However, after a few years of marriage and two beautiful children Vanessa found her life had moved worlds away from all she had dreamed. Brian had lost his identity through illness and nothing she could do would help.
‘My life had gone from “happy ever after” to an existence where I was barely surviving. It was a complete nightmare. I really hit rock bottom one day while the kids and I sat waiting at the dinner table waiting one last time for Brian and he never showed. The look of utter disappointment on the their little faces was something I knew I never wanted to see again. I felt so hopeless, even with all the love and support from my family, church and friends’.
Vanessa then remembered all she had been taught about gratitude, and found the courage to remember her dreams and to believe again that anything is possible.
Little by little, changes started to occur, and Vanessa re-built family life using the principles of Mary Kay Ash, and the example and support she has from her parents. Now her family and business life really is idyllic, and she is deeply grateful for it all.
Daydreaming has really paid off, and Vanessa will soon be a published author. She loves her successful business, and speaks on a regular basis about her transformation. She is deeply happy and fulfilled in every area of her life, and excited to be expressing her purpose to help and inspire women to achieve their dreams.