•  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •   
  •  

Chicago Meet By Deanne Kempel
Joanna was born in Colombo, Sri Lanka. When she was a baby, her mum went to have her horoscope read. The horoscope man said “This child will move far away from you to a place like America “. Joanna was about 2 years old at the time, and her mum found this ridiculous! They were all settled in Sri Lanka, and Joanna’s dad was a successful airline pilot and doing well in life. The horoscope man continued “Your other one will stay close with you always”. Her mum disregarded this piece of information as inaccurate, being that Joanna was their one and only child at the time!
 
When Joanna was 4 years old, she and her family moved to London, UK. She remembered her mum telling her when they first moved to London to settle down: “We are safe and home now”, to which Joanna replied “ Nope – I am going to live in America!”. Joanna’s sister was born 4 years later in London.
 
Joanna’s life continued to be a series of seemingly haphazard events and experiences that lead her to the next level, and the past 8 years have really shown her a way to pursue and stay focused that Anything is Possible.
 
Joanna’s life continued to be a series of seemingly haphazard events and experiences that lead her to the next level, and the past 8 years have really shown her a way to pursue and stay focused that Anything is Possible.
 
After working in retail while studying, she wanted to be more impactful than working on the shop floor. She pursued a Retail head office career in Fashion Buying starting as an Assistant Buyer at Ralph Lauren, based in London. She worked her way up the ranks at various fashion retailers. In one role as a Buyer, she appeared on a TV show called
“Location, Location, Location” centered around her search for a new apartment of her own in London. They filmed ‘a day in the life of’ Joanna at work, as part of the show, showing her in her Buying element as part of the show. She ended up purchasing the apartment shown in the TV Show.
 
During this time, her father passed away, and she had to take some time out of the industry to support her family. After a break: she landed back on her feet with her first international relocation to Brussels, Belgium working for Levis as the European Senior Merchant. In this new role, it coincidentally also supported her visiting the West Coast to the Global head office for work, which she absolutely loved. Growing up, Travel had been such a part of her life, that finding a job that lets her do that to the USA was a dream! Her long term goal being: to live and work in America – She really tried to flex her connections and move with the roles she had. Brussels was not a long term home for her, and was very isolating at times. But she continued because she hoped it may lead to something in future. During her time there, her mother back in London was taken ill and had to go through course of chemotherapy. Having lost her father a year before, it really changed her perspective on life once more, and she supported her family, despite financially getting herself into debt. She gained some clarity, which helped her define what her conditions of satisfaction were for her future.
 
Joanna’s mum was planning a trip to Australia for the holidays to see her mother and two brothers. Joanna joined her mum on this trip, as a surprise to her and the family last minute, and fell in love with the lifestyle in Melbourne. On the vacation, she reconnected with her cousin, who shared her resume at her workplace. They loved Joanna’s European experience and within a few weeks they offered her a job, and were willing to relocate her to Australia! With Joanna’s  mother having treatment, Joanna’s job offer also kindly extended to take her mum with her to live and continue her treatment in Melbourne, Australia.
 
So she rode the wave with faith and moved. Lifestyle was great in Melbourne, and Joanna’s mothers health continued to improve to full remission due to the amazing treatment she received in Australia. However, work was a big part of Joanna’s stimulus to energize, and she was not happy with the role not utilizing her skillset in Melbourne.
 
She started getting into yoga and meditation, and it changed the way she viewed her contentment and values in life. She knew first hand, that life is so short to not pursue the things she wanted to experience. Her motto was and still is “If I don’t try, I will never know, and I chose to not regret anything in life”. The only thing still untapped was this strong sense to want to live and work in the USA.
 
So she left, and moved to base herself in LA. She pursued an offer, and filed for her work visa herself with an attorney. It fell through the first time around, with a start up company, and she was grateful she didn’t join now, as a few months after the company filed for administration. She again was offered another role a few months later at Guess
Jeans, and was very happy amongst the sunshine and palm trees of her new LA lifestyle.
 
Another company – Converse continued to pursue her after starting at Guess. And offered her a role which would give her a Global perspective, she took it as a sign and rode the wave again, this time to Boston. She was always aware it
was a short term move to Boston to gain experience, as she truly now saw her long term base to be in LA. And So she has worked her way back there. She is now working on her autobiography. In writing it, she would love to help people realize their potential, and know that anything they set their minds to is possible, as she is living proof. She is
also starting her own clothing line with a give-back clause to empower female artisans that produce the line. She believes her true calling, alongside her creative outlets, is to help others achieve their own success.

  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •   
  •  

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here