Haddy Foon: Worklife - a matter of the heart

We met the remarkably stylish and truly inspiring Haddy Foon, for a conversation about dreams and purpose in life. A few years ago she decided to take a step away from the fashion industry, with positions at sought-after work places like Elle and Lindex, to help create better opportunities for teenagers at My Dream Now. Join us in a meeting characterized by the will of creating change, and how important it is to listen to your heart when it comes to the big decisions in life. 

Haddy, how would you describe yourself in only three words?
Hard, but I would say stubborn, thoughtful and loyal.

Many of our readers dream about making a big change in their work life, but some are at the same time a bit scared to take the step. Where did you find your courage?
Alongside my work in the fashion industry, I started to work as a volunteer at My Big Day in 2010. That's where I felt I wanted to help. Kids and teenagers have always been a matter of the heart for me. Fashion is fun, and I still think so, but I searched for a better balance in life. Around 2016 I decided to leave my job as a PR-manager at Lindex to take time to figure out what I REALLY wanted to work with.

"Kids and teenagers have always been
a matter of the heart"

In the process, I came to the conclusion that my calling is to make a difference for kids and teenagers, and from there I actively started to check out organizations and companies that are engaged in those matters. A couple of months later, My Dream Now was looking for a marketing- and communications manager, and it felt like the perfect fit. That's where I am today.

You radiate courage and confidence, but were there other things that led up to your final decision?
Yes, I've always been good at knowing when I'm done with something - when I don't feel well anymore. And I trust that things will work out. I have friends and family who back me up. I reached a point where my dissatisfaction affected my son, and I was irritated and moody at home. And I knew it was because of my work situation. That's why it became so clear and easy at the same time, that I needed to connect with myself and think about what truly makes me happy. Not to maintain something that isn't good and feel how my soul slowly dies. I refuse to. I just can't.

If you feel like you’ve really tried but still don’t feel good about the work you do, it isn’t worth it. Thanks to savings and an extended income insurance, I knew I could make it work without an income for the first period of time. There are jobs that can really make you feel good – I believe that!

“There are jobs that can really
make you feel good”

We share your belief in work satisfaction, Haddy. Wangari’s mission is to combine sustainable fashion with social impact, and to support different nonprofit organizations everyday through our existence. But what does sustainable fashion mean to you?
For me it means to take responsibility. End of story. Both environmentally and in working conditions. The big brands have a responsibility to take actions and show the way. Smaller companies can be more flexible and do right from the very beginning. I feel that we are moving towards something that feels fair. Personally, I used to shop more often and cheaper when I was younger. But since a few years, I rather buy fewer pieces of clothing that are a bit more expensive. With better quality, sustainability and focus on the environment. For me it’s simply taking responsibility.

Very well put! We believe in making a difference through positive actions with measurable effect. Where do you find your positive energy?
It’s incredibly important to surround yourself with the right people. People who radiate positive energy. I haven’t had that many people in my circle who have created negative energy – but there were a few and they’re not a part of my life anymore. I also actively work to be a positive person. It’s so easy to push down on yourself and think one negative thing after the other. I can say that I’ve worked on creating positive thoughts instead.

I also believe in treating others as you want to be treated. It sounds simple, but it’s something you also need to work on. I like spirituality and read a lot. When I contemplated my work life, I read Hero from The Secret, which is about thought patterns, to find who you really are and what you’re passionate about. That book I really recommend! 

So inspiring to hear. Do you perhaps have a favorite affirmation to share with us?
I don’t have any special affirmations, but I often think about Frank Sinatra’s “I did it my way”. It’s important to me to live my life the way I want it, and not limit myself for someone else.

“It’s important to me to live my life the way I want it, and not limit myself for someone else”

Print screen! Haddy’s keys for taking the first steps to change:

  1. Find headspace, create room to really feel.
  2. Trust your ability, it will work out and be okey.
  3. Start with what makes you happy, and not the walls that make you feel stuck.
  4. Own the responsibility of your own life and future.
  5. Surround yourself with the right people who bring positive energy.

Book to read:
Hero, from The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

In Wangari’s eyes…
… Haddy is the very symbol of a force of good. By listening to her inner voice, facing challenges, and actively take action, she is showing the way for all of us who believe that purpose is the key to sustainable change. With her positive energy and warm heart, we are proud to call her the Impact Maker of the month here at Wangari Sthlm. If you wanna come in contact with Haddy and read more about her work with My Dream Now, here’s your path.