Mind, body and spirit took priority at the ‘Ignite Your Fire Within’, a workshop focused on women’s health in all its forms. Co-hosted by Courtney Lawrence (Oh So Niché), Megan Peretti (Pure Kinetics), and Melissa Louise and SA Candle Supply Co., this one-day event was the first of its kind from this fledgling collaboration.

After a closed corporate event that took place on Friday 26 August, hosting employees from both FNB and MultiChoice, an additional commercial event was held on Saturday 27 August. From women looking to pivot their professional focus with a new skill, to investing in self growth, to a chance for nurturing personal relationships, the programme of events was designed for evolution, learning and inspiration.

From the outset, a mutual sense of security and warmth infused each interaction, whether between the co-hosts and attendees, or from one participant to another. The workshop partners were committed to allowing an authentic space in which attendees could set the tone for the day:

“We were keen to maintain a degree of mutability, allowing each participant to breathe her own intention into how to engage within the space. We began the day by opening the floor to everyone, introducing ourselves and asking everyone to do the same. We were fully prepared for some resistance and hoped that our guests would feel comfortable enough to share some of their personal experiences. What blew us away was how they immediately revealed their true selves, allowing a level of vulnerability and honesty that proved to be powerful tools in harnessing the day’s energy. It is clear that most women are struggling under enormous pressure, and for most of these women this pressure is an everyday, relentless weight. To varying degrees, in attending our workshop, our participants were being given the opportunity to wholly unburden themselves.”

This was likely in response to Megan, Melissa Louise and Courtney sharing details of their own experiences – particularly the challenges that each encountered, which were ultimately the flashpoints to lifechanging choices. 

Pure Kinetics Partner Megan opened up about her protracted health challenges, from a Type 1 diabetes diagnosis to a debilitating autoimmune disease, and how these became her greatest teachers and motivators. 

Creative Director and Cape Town-based founder of Studio Melissa Louise, Melissa Louise Lawrence shared how a prolonged struggle with psoriasis led to soy candle-making as an alternative treatment to disproportionate allopathic prescriptions, and a new opportunity to connect and counsel female professionals. 

As for Courtney, recognising that it was possible to burn out at the young age of 25 stirred a need to take complete control of her destiny rather than relinquishing it to another’s agenda: “I had to take a step back from what I had previously considered important to understand that up to the point where I felt myself unravelling, I had attached my self-worth to self-criticism and the opinions of others. I wanted to do something that gave back in a way that felt true to who I am.”       

The day began at a leisurely pace, with a warm welcome and a selection of light vegetarian snacks and pastries, along with invigorating hot beverages.   

Megan initiated the day’s activities with a short, focused meditation. After the aforementioned introduction session, founder and former Managing Director of the eponymous Sally Williams Fine Foods spoke about her journey from successful chef to legendary sweet maker, revealing both the successes and pitfalls she enjoyed and overcame in her 30 years at the helm of the business. 

This was followed by a candle-making workshop, led by Melissa Louise, with the help of SA Candle Supply Co. Once a relatively obscure hobby, candle-making is now a flourishing entrepreneurial activity. Guests were provided with practical advice on the different methods of candle-making and the best components to use based on the desired application. 

The penultimate activity was a yoga session facilitated by Megan. Dovetailing with the theme of ‘Igniting Your Fire Within’, Megan took the class through a series of poses designed to bring focus to the manipura chakra, the third chakra, and the one responsible for confidence and self-esteem.    

The day concluded with an open-ended journaling session aimed at enticing attendees to reflect on themselves with honesty removed from judgement or criticism. 

“More than just a whimsical indulgence, these get togethers provide an informal space for women, with women, and propelled by women. Throughout history, across socio-economic lines of division, collaboration and connection among women have galvanised powerful change and action. We wanted to harness some of that energy and channel it to each participant’s personal desires for success and happiness.”

For more information on Wellness Events, please email us on info@ohsoniche.com