For the love of…
A Jacket named, Eighteen
Why EIGHTEEN, I hear you say…
This is a bit of a curvy one. Here’s how the ownsit! Jacket came to be named EIGHTEEN. We think we have our life all planned out, but really – life has itself planned out for us.
On May 12, 2013 my 23 year old brother, Tom passed away. His special number was EIGHTEEN. He’d even worn the number EIGHTEEN on his footy jumper since he was a boy.
You see, EIGHTEEN days after he passed away – I started back at work. The best thing I ever did to help pull myself from the numb, sombre state I was understandably in.
It was 30 May 2013, mid afternoon. Due to the sensitivity of the work I was doing, my office was secluded away upstairs. There was little foot traffic and definitely no chatty voices passing through the hallway. Just me and two managers in their offices either side of mine, three of us upstairs of this weary old building.
I sat at my desk in a blurred, foggy state recalling the events of the past EIGHTEEN days – tears streaming from my face, flooding my key pad. Somehow attempting to get through a long chain of emails.
As luck would have it or life had already planned, on my computer screen pops up one of those annoying adverts – Enter this game show to win. Normally I’d never entertain this idea but I’m looking for anything to distract my heartache for at least the next five minutes. What’s to bloody lose I thought and filled out the obligatory personal details and guessed my way through a questionnaire. Then I rolled on – with my tears.
Life went by slowly, sadly, weirdly for the next months. I’d forgotten all about my entry into the tv show as I’d been focusing my energy on surviving life just day by day. Expressing my thoughts and dealing with emotions through months of grief and therapy.
Let’s fast forward three years. No idea where that three years just went!! Anyhow, here we are the EIGHTEENTH of April 2016. I get this text message – We have received your entry for the TV show and would like to invite you in for the first round of auditioning, please contact if you wish to proceed.
What a joke, I thought to myself, as if this is for realz.
I felt this overwhelming urge that wouldn’t subside and finally gave into calling the local number. Can you come in next month for first round auditions? Ok, I said. Great – we will email you all the details. Within minutes I was off the phone with a date set to be in the studio.
A month passes and here I am at Swimburne University in Hawthorn being tested on general knowledge. I’m crap at sports and movies and I felt there were lots of those questions. Or maybe they just stood out because I knew it wasn’t my strong point. Of the 200 plus people in the room more than half bombed out of the pass cut. Including me by one. Seriously, how’s that for luck or maybe life had already planned. The masses piled out of the audition in disappointment.
But as luck would have it or life had already planned, a producer plucked me from the crowd and told me I was going to be put through to the next round. You bet your patchy pink curvy jacket there were fist pumps being thrown around.
The next stage of the audition was more tedious than the first, the level of information required was phenomenal but the live television audition, I found ok.
Once that was done, I was free to go. Told to wait and see if the show contacted me to be a contestant. If I don’t hear anything, then I’m not required but expect to wait some years. The waiting game was now on.
To my luck or maybe life had already planned, one month later – I received a call confirming my place on the show. One of the many requests as a contestant was to wear something bright.
Bright? I hear you say. That’ll be easy, she doesn’t own anything else.
The month was closing in and my wardrobe was looking duller than it needed to be, so it was time for something new to wear on the show. Some time prior, I’d purchased a canvas kids tee pee cover in a Laura Blythman print for my daughter’s tee pee. Then my plan was to hang it from a wall once she was done with it. Then I changed the style of my home and this idea was no longer going to work.
SOO – rather than recycle an old outfit, I thought to make a jacket from the tee pee fabric. Why not make a jacket. A jacket with edge, a curved edge.
And that’s exactly what I did. Just in time to wear on the TV show.
The morning of the TV show it was hectic. My ten month old daughter, Raffi was about to be left by both her parents for the entire day, for the first time. Did I mention she’s also teething? Anton, my husband was coming to the show as we were encouraged to bring along one supporter. Easy decision to bring along my number one fan.
We almost didn’t get to the show though, it was impossible to leave the house and traffic was – well Melbourne standard peak hour traffic – Fucking TERRIBLE. So close to pulling the pin but a voice inside my head was pushing me to go. We eventually made it to the Docklands studios. JUST in time.
It was a full day of filming. We were locked indoors from 8am -630pm and expected to sit through eight screenings of the show. I was listed in screening six.
The TV show went better than I could have ever imagined in my wildest dreams. Luck or maybe life had already planned – delivered me the best possible outcome.
Out of courtesy, I’d meant to get in touch with Laura prior to the show going to air – just to give her the heads up I’d made a jacket from her print and wasn’t ripping it off. But that task kept getting lost on my to do list.
The following day Laura posted me on her social media channels, in an attempt to track down the girl who wore her print on TV. Ahh GEE – she’s going to be pissed was my initial response but in fact her response was the total opposite. Because Laura is the ace lady that she is, she loved every inch of what I’d done and that was the start of something curvy cool for ownsit!
Shop the eighteen jacket – Here
Was it luck or maybe life had already planned this to be? If you are asking me, it was all in the hands of, Tom. Eighteen – A jacket with edge, a curved edge – wouldn’t have happened without you, controlling the strings from Heaven, brother.. x