You know Jo-Ann Strauss as a public speaker, media personality, mommy blogger, philanthropist, UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, model, and former Miss South Africa. As one of South Africa’s best-loved celebrities, Jo-Ann Strauss is a face we would all recognise if we bumped into her in Woolies. She is one of us, a celebrity we can all relate to in some way. We know her, we love her, and we have followed the rollercoaster ride of her life over the last few decades, as she has become a successful businesswomen, a wife, and a mother – though, admittedly, hers is a much more stylish life than ours!
And you probably also know that she has recently welcomed their fourth baby into this world, and, clearly not being shy of hard work, her and her husband Michael decided to undertake the massive project of building their new family home. And can we just say, a more gorgeous home we haven’t seen in a long time! But a house and a home is important to Jo-Ann, so it is fitting that she has put so much thought and energy into their creation.
Coming from a small town, Jo-Ann’s parents played an important role in her life. Her parents encouraged her to dream and gave her confidence and a strong sense of self, to which she attributes much of her drive to succeed. They created an atmosphere of love, acceptance, and freedom that made her childhood home what it was, and it was this safe space which allowed Jo-Ann to dream, to grow and, ultimately, to succeed.
Now, Jo-Ann would like to pass this inheritance on to her children by recreating this environment in their new family home. “We built this home for our children, essentially. Of course, we’re enjoying this space too but we wanted to create this space that they felt ownership of the home.” It’s a space where the children can dream, grow, and achieve everything they set out to do.
Understandably, both quality and aesthetics are important in a family home. This is especially true for such a well-used space like the kitchen – and with four kids you can be sure this is one busy kitchen! “Every surface is for [the children] to enjoy,” she told us. This is why they had to choose Caesarstone, because “we know it’s the best”. Jo-Ann chose the Caesarstone Calacatta Nuvo to complement the finishes in the kitchen and that, along with the picture-postcard view of the mountain, makes this kitchen fit for any international lifestyle magazine!
It’s clear that Jo-Ann has approached this renovation project with as much dedication and hard work as she has everything else in her life. She firmly believes that “dreams without actions will only remain dreams”. Of course, even though she makes it look so effortless, the journey hasn’t been all sunshine and butterflies for Jo-Ann – it never is.
“I think as women we put a lot of pressure on ourselves. We try to be everything to everyone and often that’s at our own expense. So in those challenging times I like to remind myself that that might in fact be your opportunity to shine, and to find out what your true strength actually is.
Only in the darkest skies do you see the brightest stars,” she reminds us – a lesson we could all use in 2020. Her advice for women wanting to follow their dreams and make a success of themselves? “Dream bigger. Take responsibility for your success. You create your own space in which you want to thrive and then hopefully use that space to help others to thrive.”
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