EQUILIBRIO – THE FRIENDS, THE FASHION, THE FANTASY

We pour our little hearts into the articles that you read every week. But this week, we thought we’d tell you more about us, the team behind Equilibrio and our passion for South African fashion.

HOW IT ALL BEGAN

Equilibrio - Jill Moolenschot and Michelle Doyle

Left: Jill Moolenschot Right: Michelle Doyle

We met 15 years ago through our partners and immediately hit it off. At the time we were both working in financial roles, having studied accountancy. I would later branch off into financial PR and marketing and Jill held the position of financial director at a number of major corporations.

Somewhere along the way we’d had enough of the rat race and were teetering on the brink of burnout. We individually decided to resign from our jobs without a plan and were lucky enough to be able to take some time off.

TICK BITE FEVER & EQUILIBRIO

During this break, we rode our bikes (a lot), and during the Panorama Cycle Tour, I contracted tick bite fever. While sick and bored in bed I started designing and building Equilibrio – it’s amazing what you can learn from YouTube! I’d been tinkering with the theme of “a balanced life” for a while and realised that there were many women out there that felt the same.

The site was launched in June 2017 and Jill soon joined me in the adventure that is now Equilibrio. We’d go for runs and dream up topics to research and write about. We’d always loved fashion and health themes, so these were the topics we gravitated towards.

For the first year, Equilibrio was purely a blog, content with shopping links to other sites, and a year later we launched our own, small online shop, focused on promoting South African fashion.

Equilibrio - Jill Mollenschot and Michelle Doyle

At SA Fashion Week

MICHELLE SHARES SIX THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT HER:

1. I have a massive obsession with cooking reality shows. Master Chef Australia is my ultimate favourite.

2. I was teased incessantly about my full (“fish”) lips at school.

3. The night before my daughter was born my husband and I set up a WhatsApp group to vote for and decide her name.

4. I only discovered my love for South African fashion through blogging and searching for items to write about. I realised that most good South African fashion is not found in malls.

5. I hardly ever wear perfume. I stopped wearing it when I was pregnant and now find it distracting.

6. My fear of heights is so bad that I sometimes freeze on staircases. I have to hold on to Jill or my husband when I walk up stairs that are open at the back.

JILL SHARES SIX THINGS YOU MAY NOT KNOW ABOUT HER:

1. As a kid, I loved designing outfits (mostly lycra jumpsuits) for the kick-ass heroine, Colonel Wilma Deering, of the sci-fi TV show Buck Rogers.

2. For a long time growing up, I wanted to be a professional dancer – Fame and then A Chorus Line were two of my favourite movies.

3. I’m a HUGE fan of Julio Iglesias.

4. I wanted to join the SA air force and be a fighter pilot, ultimately an astronaut but this wasn’t an option in the ’80s.

5. I was nicely asked to leave my first job earlier than planned for “insubordination” (although I had already resigned to go to varsity).

6. Sometimes when I’m cooking (especially for Equilibrio’s Sinful Sunday), I talk out loud and act like I’m doing my own TV cooking show.

See our shop here.

A JOB WITH A DIFFERENCE

Equilibrio - Jill Moolenschot and Michelle Doyle

Jill and Michelle at Equilibrio’s birthday shopping party

Jill and I will always love writing, it’s where Equilibrio started and will remain a big part of it, but we also need to make a living, and are working on growing the online shop. The difference between our previous corporate jobs and Equilibrio is that we’re trying to make a difference in the local fashion industry by building awareness.

We realised that it’s not the glamorous industry that many of us perceive when we started visiting local designers. Most labels are run from a small room with two seamstresses and don’t have beautiful boutiques. But the exciting thing is that South African and African fashion support is slowly on the rise both locally and internationally.

THE FUTURE OF EQUILIBRIO

Our brand proposition is that Equilibrio is “for the woman who’s too busy to browse”. She doesn’t have time to go to malls or to look through thousands of online pages to eventually buy one dress. She’s got better things to do! This is why we carefully curate our store, selecting only the items we love.

Our hope is that Equilibrio will eventually be the “Net-a-Porter of Africa”, a place where the world can shop for South African fashion and African fashion online while receiving impeccable personal service. Move over Europe, the time for African fashion is now!

EVERYDAY TIPS FOR STYLING PRINTS
AFRICAN FASHION IS ON THE RISE
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