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Janine Leghissa

Janine was a single mum facing both financial challenges and chronic illness when she founded her online jewellery store. That store is now a multi-million success story, and now the incredible NSW business woman is setting her sights on the fashion world. Here, Janine tells Lifestyle News why she didn't let life get in the way of her dreams.

My journey began during a challenging time in my life when my health prevented me from working. Life threw me a curveball when I was diagnosed with lupus. Whew, it was tough!

My hair fell out, my vision was badly affected along with my memory, and my spine and kidneys decided to join the party too.

As a result, I lost my home, and as the sole provider for my family, I had to find a way to get by. Talk about a wild ride. But hey, in the midst of it all, I had to find a way to make ends meet and keep on shining, and it created a fire within me to create a better future.

I found myself in a situation where I had to get creative to make ends meet. It wasn't the most comfortable feeling, I have to admit. I started selling my own belongings, including my jewellery collection. And my jaw dropped when I saw the positive response on Facebook.

That's when it hit me: there was a whole tribe of fabulous, slightly older women out there who were craving unique and stylish jewellery that truly spoke to their one-of-a-kind style.

But guess what? The big retailers were completely missing the mark. These women didn’t want those fast fashion pieces that barely lasted a few wears. They craved something more, something extraordinary.

They wanted quality, well-made jewellery that would turn heads, make them feel amazing and bring a smile to their faces every time they wore it.

 Desiderate ring

That's when the light bulb moment happened, and Desiderate was born. We're all about delivering stunning, ethically handmade jewellery that's crafted with love and attention to detail and prices that reflect the quality but don’t make your heart skip a beat.

Being a determined woman, I was on a mission to create something truly extraordinary, I wanted to be bursting with pride in everything I created.

So, I embarked on learning how to source parcels of gemstones from all over the world. I discovered talented silversmiths who possessed the magic touch to bring my designs to life, and by buying these gemstone parcels and utilising batch manufacturing, we revolutionised the handcrafting process, allowing us to create pieces in less time than it would take individually.

Not only did this ensure efficiency, but it also enabled us to keep costs down, passing the incredible savings onto our customers.

Without a clue about anything techy, I dove headfirst into the world of online business with no prior knowledge and no funds to outsource tasks. I rolled up my sleeves and embraced the exhilarating challenge of self-education. Google became my trusted ally.

I had to do everything myself - and so I started learning about online marketing, advertising, website building, and even the mysterious realm of SEO.

A rollercoaster of learning, countless tutorials, and a never-ending thirst for knowledge. But hey, I wasn't about to let a little thing like a steep learning curve stop me. I immersed myself in business groups, forging connections with fellow entrepreneurs and tapping into the expertise of seasoned experts.

Their wisdom became my compass, but at the end of the day, I followed my own instincts and carved my own unique path to success.

From website building to mastering the art of product photography, I learned a lot, one Google search at a time. So, if you're ever in doubt about what you can achieve, just remember my story. It's proof that with determination, a sprinkle of Google magic, and a whole lot of self-belief, you can conquer any challenge that comes your way.

Desiderate's success story is a testament to perseverance and the unwavering support of our incredible customers.

Today, we are a multi-million dollar business with an amazing team of eight talented individuals, as well as teams of silversmiths in Indonesia and India. Our collection boasts over 1,000 products, each carefully crafted with the utmost attention to detail. The thousands of 5-star online reviews we have are enough to make me blush.

But I'm not one to rest on my laurels and thrive on pushing boundaries and exploring new horizons.

Recently, I launched Taleeta, a sister label to Desiderate, with a focus on fashion. So, I embarked on yet another exciting learning curve, this time delving into the world of fashion. Designing, sizing, and manufacturing clothing became my new passion.

Taleeta clothing

Taleeta caters to the same fabulous demographic of women. You know, those amazing ladies who may not be as young as they once were but deserve to radiate confidence and style.

With Taleeta, we're all about celebrating their journey, embracing their changing bodies, and providing them with high-quality, well-made pieces that not only flatter but also empower them.

Our garments are meticulously designed to stand the test of time and accompany these remarkable women through any occasion life throws their way, flattering and comfortable pieces that are flexible enough to wear on any occasion.

At Taleeta, we believe that comfort is just as important as style. That's why we exclusively use natural fabrics that not only look fabulous but also feel incredibly comfortable against your skin.

Natural fabrics keep you more comfortable when experiencing hot flashes, as many women in this demographic are prone to. We understand that when you feel good, you exude confidence and radiate positivity.

I’m a big believer in ‘never give up’, and a mantra that I live by is ‘it’s always workaoutable’. Despite facing personal and financial hardships, I refused to let adversity define me. Instead, I turned challenges into opportunities for growth. I embraced a relentless determination to build something meaningful, not only for myself but for the community of women who resonated with our vision.

As I continue to explore new horizons, I'm thrilled to share that Charzek, my latest venture, is just around the corner. Inspired by the incredible journey of building Desiderate and Taleeta, Charzek is a brand-new collection of high-quality, handcrafted leather bags and shoes that are different to what you’ll find elsewhere.

Named after my beloved children, Charlotte, Aaron and Zeke, Charzek represents the culmination of my passion for exquisite craftsmanship and timeless style. With each piece meticulously crafted and designed to perfection,

The adventure continues!

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