Shake It Up ambassador Phoebes Garland is the Co-founder and Head of Consulting of Garland & Garland, a fashion brand management & consulting agency. In this role Phoebes manages fashion brands, places them in retailers, manages the wholesale process and consults with brands on strategy, range architecture, sales, market positioning, wholesale management, general management, product development, advisory and mentoring.
When she’s not immersed in the world of fashion, Phoebes is passionate about raising awareness about Parkinson’s, the realities of life with the disease, and the crucial need for research to find a cure. Phoebes’ business partner Robert, who has worked for over 45 years in the Australian fashion industry, was diagnosed with Parkinson’s disease in 2014.
Her dedication shines through in all her efforts to spread the word about Parkinson’s, the work we do here at Shake It Up Australia, and the importance of funding game-changing Australian Parkinson’s’ research. We spoke to Phoebes about what drives her passion and commitment to this cause.
What inspires your commitment to a cure for Parkinson’s?
Clyde Campbell and Michael J. Fox are so inspirational in their positive outlook on Parkinson’s disease. Both were diagnosed early with Parkinson’s and they are the most inspirational leaders – you can’t help coming away feeling motivated in the quest to finding a cure.
Why do you feel it’s so important to raise awareness and reduce the stigma around Parkinson’s?
My business partner Robert once said that he was unsure if he wanted to see his beloved Hawthorn play live because the anticipation and nail-biting games brought out his tremors – and I felt that was just unacceptable. He loves football, it’s his greatest pleasure and no disease should stop people from doing something they love.
Too many people who are diagnosed with Parkinson’s feel ashamed of having it, and I find that heartbreaking. It can stop many from seeking treatment and they feel incredibly self-conscious with it.
How do you feel that your ambassador role with Shake It Up has helped the Parkinson’s community?
I have had a lot of people come forward to share with me that their family member has PD and I can tell them where can they find help, which is wonderful.
It allows an open conversation, which makes me happy as an ambassador. I want people to live a normal life as much as possible. I am so grateful people feel they can come to me and open up to me, it’s a real privilege.
How are you supporting Pause 4 Parkinson’s this year?
We have been promoting it across all our social media channels asking people to take action via fundraising and corporate sponsorship and have had some incredible reach. I love highlighting the other amazing ambassadors and of course the work of Clyde and Michael J. Fox.
What advice do you have for anyone else looking to shake things up and make a difference for Parkinson’s?
There are so many different ways you can make a difference. Get involved in fundraising, become a corporate sponsor, volunteer to help participate in research studies or spread the word with your friends and family. It really takes a village and the stronger we are with everyone on board, the more we will make a difference.
You can find Phoebes and Garland and Garland on Instagram: