A brood of five children can be quite a handful I am sure most parents will agree. It was no different for the Mirandas. Audrey and Anthony Miranda for most of their 43 years of marriage were in the same situation. Says Audrey, “I have been a housewife almost all of my life,” while Anthony adds, “As a Project Manager, I use to travel to far off locations and had to be away for weeks and sometimes months on end on-site. It was therefore critical that my wife stay with the children constantly and be there for them.”
Audrey was quite content being the stay-at-home mother. However things change once the children grew up and went their own ways.
Life threw the Mirandas another challenge. Tony’s professional life was cut short when he suffered a stroke and his leg got paralysed as a result. Recovery took some time but Audrey’s care combined with Tony’s grit and determination soon got Tony almost back to normal. However doctors warned him against taking up strenuous work again and so he had no option but to retire. Luckily for them their four adult children were doing well though the youngest was still schooling. Time passed and life seemed to settle into its routine pattern.
Audrey and Tony soon decided to ‘do something’ rather than just watch the sunset daily. However ‘what’ to do was the question. As Audrey explains, “We don’t really know what we are capable of at any stage of our lives and especially not in the latter years. Most people tend to feel their life is over and ideas are not very forthcoming!” Tony chipped in, “As dance and music enthusiasts, we have always been very active even in our personal life and this for me was really difficult”. A visit to Dubai to stay with their daughter led to Audrey taking up classes on artificial flowers. Audrey had always pursued the creative arts first as a mother for her children’s projects and in the later years as a hobby. It now became a business.
Audrey decided overtime to train other women and especially young girls who are either from not so privileged backgrounds or then those who are from conservative families that do not allow their daughters to go out and earn. Audrey conducts customised training to suit the girl’s convenience and rates are on a sliding scale so that it is affordable to all. This allowed them to start their own home- based enterprise and be financially independent. Audrey procures all the material herself to ensure the best quality and price, even sourcing some items from her daughter and friends abroad! Meena, a student gushes, “Aunty does not make it seem like a class, it is so personalised and she is so conscious about our comfort and progress. She ensures that the end product we make is as good as she made it herself.”
Audrey makes and sells a wide range of home décor items and accessories - flowers, waterfalls, macramé, 3D paper craft, wall art and decor to ceramic vases and fancy handbags made of eco-friendly materials and even paper. Her speciality lies in the vast range of flowers - ceramic, porcelain, stocking, paper. Her interest in keeping up with all things creative shows in the numerous training programmes she has undergone in India and abroad. She has also started getting enquiries from corporate houses to conduct training for their employees.
When Audrey was finding it difficult to source the cutters required for creating the decorative arts, Tony soon got involved. He used his professional skills of fabrication to make cutters that are used to make flowers for cake decorations and all kinds of art deco moulds. Give him a design and he will craft it for you. Tony too has now begun working on a variety of products.
From modified patterns to pizza trays.
Self-confessed late life entrepreneurs, the awesome twosome give some sage advice, “It is never too late to start and it’s easier when you think what you can do for someone else.”
For more info logon to www.idobro.com/mirandaclasses