I'm particularly thrilled to share inspiration from this incredible gem in our inaugural edition of RT Spotlight!!!! That's right! Today, we are stepping things up a notch by rolling out interviews of some of the people who've inspired up to be better versions of ourselves over here at Reinvented Today.
I've always been intrigued by her hearty meal posts on IG and home-decor tips on Facebook, often wondering how she juggles the busyness of raising a family while still keeping her home in a pristine state. To all you working moms trying to figure out how you can do better with your quick meals after a long day at the office, or women just looking to bring some 'zhoozh' to their living quarters - and still serve up that scrumptuous dinner - look up one of my inspirations in home-making - USA-based Trudy Maposa. Do show her some love by following her on @simplytrudy.m on Instagram. But before you head on over to track her down check out her interview with RT. Enjoy!
RT: Trudy – tell us about yourself, where you are from and what inspires your creativity?
Hi! My name is Trudy Maposa, I was born and raised in Harare, Zimbabwe and I am currently based in Cleveland, Ohio, in the United States. About my creativity – I know this will sound cliché, but my creativity comes from God first and then through watching and learning from other women and taking what I learn from them and fine tuning it to make it my own.
Funny enough, I never used to think of myself as a creative person at all, until a sister in Christ explained to me that I am a creation of a creative Father and because I have His DNA, that makes me creative as well. I had never had anyone breakdown creativity in that sense to me, I remember from that day, I intently started praying and asking God to reveal to me what I was good at, that’s how my creativity in homemaking began.
RT: You’ve become a bit of a social media sensation as your showcase your culinary skills and home décor, to the point that you were part of a home décor seminar which took you from the U.S all the way to the United Kingdom recently. Tell us a little about how your journey to sharing your homemaking skills began?
TM: Oh boy! Where do I even begin? First of all, being invited to be a speaker and panelist at the Classy Homes Zimbabwe forum was a dream come true. Never in a million years would I have imagined being given a platform like that of Classy Homes Zimbabwe where there were over 200 women in attendance to speak about my love for family life and homemaking.
Honestly, it all started when I opened myself to being on a public forum after a nudge from the amazing Ivy Mango Chatora of A Taste of Zimbabwe. I guess Ivy had seen my posts on Instagram and approached me with this idea to create a platform for Zimbabwean women to inspire them to be house proud and to give and share tips with each other on how to make women love their homes. I remember telling Ivy that home décor was not my strength and in speaking with her, we both came to the consensus that my strength was in home management, homemaking and balancing a holistic family life. We both agreed that I could bring teachings from my personal experiences; and so that’s how my journey with speaking on homemaking and home management went from sharing with a few women in my circles to an international platform in the U.K.
RT: Name 3 people who are an inspiration to you beyond the obvious?
TM: Just 3? And my Mom can’t be one of them? (she’s the obvious one, hands down) but apart from her I’ll have to say, any woman who is rooted in God and is living out her purpose on top of running her home with humility and grace is an inspiration to me. That being said my list would vary from Ina Garten, Sarah Jakes Roberts to The Nameless woman with a vegetable stall in Mbare.
RT: On the subject of home décor, what 3 things do you believe every home owner should work towards to create a distinctive design aesthetic for their home?
TM: Always go with pieces of furniture and décor style you like and are drawn to, trends are fleeting, if you like something, go with it, whether it’s trending or not.
Colour; take your time to choose color palates for your home, some things to consider when picking colours around your home are what the room or space will be used for and the kind of feel you’re going for.
When in doubt, hire a professional – there’s no harm in reaching out to trained professionals when you find yourself stuck or out of ideas. Get help to create the design that will work best for your space. A consultation with a professional interior decorator is a good starting point to help you visualize how to best utilize your space if you don’t have a clue on where to start.
RT: You are a wife and mom to a beautiful family now living in the United States. What led you to leaving your home country of Zimbabwe?
TM: I left Zimbabwe right after my A ’levels. The plan was for me to come to the United States, study and return home. Around 2004, I was working towards moving back to Zimbabwe in the following year in 2005, when I met my husband. Let’s just say I went from planning to return home, to planning a family with my husband, and as they say, the rest is history and here we are 15 years later, raising our family in America.
RT: What are some of the challenges you have faced and key learnings you have enjoyed from living, working and raising a family as a Zimbabwean migrant living abroad; particularly in the United States?
TM: Raising a family abroad is not easy and I, like many other women living abroad have faced my fair share of challenges with raising my children. One of the biggest challenges I was faced with was making the choice to be a stay-at-home mom after I started having my children. I was not mentally prepared for the amount of work that comes with being a good stay-at-home mom. I say good because I learnt very quickly that in order to be a good stay-at-home mom, I needed to be hands-on with my children, be creative in keeping them entertained, train them to be well mannered independent children – whilst also running the home!
Coming from Zimbabwe where we grew up with helpers, I couldn’t understand how the women here did it all with no help! It was after realizing that I was being pulled in different directions to play the roles of wife and mom amongst other roles that I made a conscious decision to learn from other women who were stay-at-home moms how to be an effective mom and homemaker. I treated being a stay-at-home mom like I would a job outside of the home and realized that I needed to be organized and intentional in planning out my days at home with the children and how I spread out my chores.
My husband also learned that he had to be an equally contributing partner around the house and with the children so that I wouldn’t get burnt out. I’m blessed to say he is a phenomenal helper – learning how to split chores and taking turns with the children has definitely been one of the biggest challenges my husband and I have had to face with living abroad, I am happy to say we found our comfortable balance and are in a comfortable space with our lives.
RT: We all know disposable income is quite elusive nowadays; it’s quite challenging to go glam or chase luxury when you are constantly crunching the numbers. Can you share tips on home decorating on a budget?
TM: Absolutely! I’m quite the frugal one myself. I like to spend my money wisely and with intent, so I would say do not be in a hurry to purchase items for your home, take your time always. What I have learnt from experience is that when I take my time to shop around and compare prices and alternatives from different stores I end up with a great buy. I also shop off season during the clearance sales. For example, I buy all my Christmas décor the day after Christmas for almost 70% off.
I’m also always on the look out for sales. If money is tight or if you’re DIY type of person, garage sales, auctions and second-hand stores are great places to get bargains that you can either repaint and or spruce up on your own for a fraction of the cost of regular store-bought items. My mantra is, “you don’t need a lot of money to create a luxurious classy home, you just need to have a good eye for classic inexpensive pieces that you can glam up.
RT: Name 3 tips or tools that help keep you organized as a woman wearing multiple hats?
TM: Plan, plan, plan. I cannot emphasize this enough. When you plan ahead, it helps you stay on track and on top of your day, week, or month.
If you can afford to outsource some chores or services do it, it’s worth it. I would rather forgo certain things financially and get a part time cleaner if it’s going to make my life a little easier and afford me more time with my family.
Don’t hesitate to ask for help from your support network. You simply can’t do it all, no one can. I have seen a lot of women take on too much only to crumble from the pressure of doing it all. Ask for help and also look for opportunities to help another sister who might seem overwhelmed, they will appreciate it, we could all use a little help.
RT: What is your favourite leisure-inspired low budget thing to do and why?
TM: I love taking scenic walks and drives. I could sit in the car for hours on end taking in beautiful landscapes. Something about being in nature and catching that special sunset or sunrise is a reminder to me of a bigger force around me – God, in all His Glory is visible to me through nature.
RT: Where do you envision your love for interior and culinary design taking you in the next 3-5 years?
TM: I see books, podcasts, mentees and more speaking opportunities. 😊
Follow Trudy online by popping by her website at www.simplytrudy.net