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Lenore Goss Matjie

Lenore Goss Matjie

LENORE GOSS-MATJIE, the founder and CEO of "Styled by Le'Nore", is a qualified image consultant, fashion stylist, an etiquette and protocol consultant as well as a motivational speaker.

The beginnings of her journey were as a professional and qualified dancer, dance coach and adjudicator from the age of 18, and a dance academy owner. Lenore was involved in grooming, styling, and makeup for all her dancers. She was responsible for putting together stage dance productions where the styling and image of the theme had to be communicated to the audience. In addition, Lenore travelled to United States with dance groups.

Lenore's and her husband Neville's dance academy was one of the most successful in KwaZulu-Natal. Through this academy, the husband and wife team travelled extensively throughout KwaZulu- Natal and neighbouring countries doing outreach programmes in rural communities, working very closely with the youth.

In 2005, explained Lenore, "I unfortunately had an accident while 29 weeks pregnant with my second child. This was a life changing event, which forced me to leave teaching as well as dancing."

A new normal

Lenore had developed a debilitating muscular skeletal chronic medical condition, called Fibro-myalgia (which to date has no cure but can be managed). "As a result, the next few years saw me undergoing many surgeries, as well as treatments, being in and out of a wheelchair and using crutches... trying to learn how to cope and adapt to my "new normal" way of living."

"But I am a fighter, a warrior and although I lost many years through being trapped in a vicious cycle of surgeries, treatments, constant pain and depression, my unwavering belief and trust in God and the unconditional love, support and motivation from my family, saw me emerge victorious against the odds... Breaking Barriers."

In further reflecting on what inspires her, Lenore explains that as a woman living with Fibromyalgia, she approaches and looks at life in a more grateful and thoughtful way. "I must truthfully say that I draw inspiration from everyone. I realise that as human beings we all face our own challenges. Conversing with people, as well as observing how they get through their challenges and odds, inspires me immensely. The privilege that I have of being a mom to three amazing children who are so loving and selfless and whom are my biggest supporters, always inspires me. Having a loving husband and wonderful father to our children, also gives me much inspiration."

Lenore added that uMama Winnie Mandela is an inspiration for her. "An incredible, brave and selfless human being, who continued to emerge victorious against all the odds."

Grooming and styling business

Lenore's background in dance and her experiences as a qualified school teacher resulted in her developing a keen interest in growing her passion for grooming and styling into a business. Her vision was to service clients and help them in the space of beauty and glamour.

Lenore's focus is on the growth of individuals and corporates, by consulting on the art of building self-esteem through a positive approach to fashion. As a former educator, her goal is to encourage young people to liberate themselves through the power of knowledge and education. She is passionate about the development of young people through programmes aimed at the girl child.

In assessing the approaches of men and women in business, Lenore says that the reality is that the corporate and business environment is dominated by males. However, she added that male domination does not determine a woman's destiny or success. As such one of her aims is to inspire women to be advocates for change and trailblazers in their respective industries.

"Only you have the power through resilience, focus and determination to succeed. In defining the word 'success' one finds that it is different for each person. Being a CEO of a company or a top executive in corporate may be success for one person. However, being the CEO of your household and your destiny is also success to another person. Don't base and measure your success on another person's success."

To date Lenore is happy with what she has achieved but knows that there is so much more that she wants to do and will do. "Learning and growing as an individual is never-ending. I am in it for the long-haul and I want to learn and grow. I am determined to develop my own shoes and accessories line and to engage with more collaborations with various brands in the effort to empower women and youth."

Believe in yourself

Achieving a work-life balance is not an easy task for Lenore. "Although I work mostly from home, it is sometimes challenging to ensure that I give my all to both my family and my clients, without burning out. What I always do though, and unapologetically so, is to ensure that my children, their needs, and their special events, take priority." If Lenore could advise her younger self she would say, not to view situations as failures, but rather as learning experiences. "It is what you do with those learning experiences that is critical."

Most importantly she advises, "Believe in yourself, you are braver than you think, more talented than you know and capable of more than you can imagine." (Roy T. Bennett).

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