Wish you knew of someone that came from nothing to make it in the fashion world? Meet Kerry Sharper from Kandidly Kerry! Kerry is a fashion merchandiser who landed her job without any qualifications or experience, had the passion and some Twitter luck – and this is her story.

“…your circumstances don’t define you” – Kerry Sharper

Asked about her fondest memories from her childhood she remembered all the fun times with her mom – even if it was with a shoestring purse. They managed to make every trip to the shops into a “gigglingly” good time; played ring the doorbell and disappear – and who wouldn’t want to play that with mom; She also had big adventures with her Barbies and dolls.

Kerry Sharper from Kandidly Kerry
Kerry and her mom

However, it wasn’t all giggles and fun play times for Kerry coming from a poor family. Her dad was diagnosed with a brain tumour and her mom suffered with bipolar disorder and she was teased at school about all the things she had no control over.

Kerry admits that it was really hard on her and to this day she is still affected by it, but thanks her lucky stars every single day for the mom who did everything in her power to make sure she was as happy as could be, who made sure she had everything she needed and showered her with love.

And the rest of the interview is in her own words…

Kerry Sharper from Kandidly Kerry is a fashion merchandiser
Kerry at work

How did you end up on your current career path?

I have always loved clothes and fashion and I was very fortunate to get my job without any qualifications or experience. It happened through Twitter – I had followed my boss’ blog for a few years and saw that there was a vacancy and applied. I think that she could see my passion and decided to give me a chance. I have grown so much since then and am still grateful for the way things worked out.

If there is a girl out there who reads this and wants to follow in your footsteps what advice do you have for her?

That your circumstances don’t define you and that you must use those circumstances to better yourself. Let them make you stronger and fight for what you want and never give up hope.

Do you have a mantra or quote that inspires you?

“I am not what has happened to me, I am what I choose to become”. I actually have this tattooed on me because it rings so true for me and is something that I remind myself about often.

What are you passionate about?

I am very passionate about plus size fashion and body positivity. I struggled with my body for years and I have done some extreme things to get my body to a place where I could be happy BUT I never managed to find that place because the kilos would come off but I didn’t get any closer to being completely happy with myself. Last year I realised that life was just too short to spend it poolside while everyone else is in the pool and my life has changed SO much since then.

What is your happily ever after?

It would be to help women realise their worth and start showing themselves the love that they deserve. I have always felt like I was going to do something big with my life and I want it to be this. I want to support and encourage woman.

Kerry Sharper from Kandidly Kerry gets candid about life, her career and body positivity
Kerry Sharper from Kandidly Kerry gets candid about life, her career and body positivity

If you could give a piece (or two) of advice to your younger self, what would it be?

To stop wasting time while waiting to get to the “perfect” weight and to embrace who I am completely.

Where can you find Kerry online?

Were you a Barbie-loving girl who loved to make clothes for her or dress her up and take her on adventures? Tell me why you love your Barbie… and if you can still remember which Barbie you had – that would be great!

Barbies were my life! They were my best friends and went everywhere with me. I spoke to them as if they were my friends, I told them about my dreams and fears. Of course I loved dressing them up and styling or cutting their hair (and then crying). I didn’t have a branded Barbie – I had the cheapies.


Barbie® Fashionistas® Doll 85 Happy Hued Doll & Fashions – Curvy
Barbie® Fashionistas® Doll 85 Happy Hued Doll & Fashions – Curvy

I love this lady because she is curvy like me, is wearing stripes which are my all-time favourite print and she is a fashion queen, like me (hopefully one day).

#YouCanBeAnything with Barbie

Barbie inspires little girls to dream big and reach for the stars. She has had a career as chef, astronaut, teacher, pet groomer and model. With Barbie your little girl can be anything.


Susann is a travel, parenting, beauty and lifestyle blogger in Johannesburg, South Africa.


    • Susann Reply

      I think it is so special when people have the drive to change their stars.

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