Award-winning fashion designer & author, Petra Laranjo encourages SA women to ‘Live With Purpose’

Award-winning fashion designer & author, Petra Laranjo encourages SA women to ‘Live With Purpose’

Written by Staff Writer


By Charndré Emma Kippie


Petra Laranjo has won and been nominated for multiple business and creative awards over her 20-year career in the areas of personal development, inspired leadership, employee engagement, personal brand, & women upliftment. Petra Laranjo is committed to empowering individuals, leaders and teams to show up fully, with purpose, confidence and an impactful personal brand. Her unique approach is a culmination of experience and success as a qualified and award-winning fashion designer, international stylist, actress, PR & Marketing specialist, trainer, speaker and coach. She is a qualified Fashion Designer, having obtained her qualification with the London International School of Fashion (previously accredited with St. Martins in the UK). 

Based in Johannesburg, Petra’s  transformational book, Living On Purpose. The Key To Change Your Life And Impact Others, is a popular How-To resource for personal and professional growth, and includes the insights of 40+ local and global leaders, across various sectors.


What got you into the field you’re currently in?

My journey has been an interesting and colourful one. I started off my career as a Fashion Designer and stylist. At first, my focus was on helping women (models and clients) elevate their external appearance. 

I quickly realised that it was less about the clothing and rather about my clients’ confidence and self-worth that really energised me. It was more meaningful and incrementally more fulfilling.

My focus shifted to helping my clients connect and align with their core values, elevate their internal self-image and self-worth, and get crystal clear on their WHY – their Purpose. Clothing became merely a tool to help them communicate their now elevated self-worth in an external manner. 


What excites you the most about your role?

What excites me most about my role as a Confidence & Personal Brand coach and Author is that I am offered the opportunity to help my clients live more fully, in their personal and professional lives. We experience significant shifts in every session together as they get the courage, confidence, and clarity to make the changes in mindset and behaviour that they need to in order to live a life of impact. 


In what ways do you think your business is enhancing the South African economy?

We know that women have been and often still are marginalised in the professional arena. I have seen my clients break through their self-imposed glass ceilings and achieve what they never thought possible but had secretly hoped for, in both their personal and professional lives. 

Empowered women empower women. Empowered women lead with confidence and compassion and our country needs more of that. 


Do you think your field is diverse in terms of gender equality? 

Absolutely. It is predominantly women who nurture the coaching community. Women, by nature, are more empathetic and therefore make exceptional coaches.


What are your top 3 tips for ensuring the success of women (in your field)?

My top 3 tips for ensuring the success of women in my field are: 

  • Deeply connect with your core values. Reset them if you must. 
  • Get crystal clear on your Purpose. It will give you the courage to make the necessary changes that you need to in order to live a life of impact.
  • Reverse-engineer your goals, dreams and aspirations and then do just one thing every day to move you a step closer to them. 


What have been some major obstacles in your career, as a woman, and how did you overcome them?

My major obstacles were self-imposed. The more I worked on myself in terms of mindset, self-worth and clarity around my purpose, the more confidence I had to show up authentically and with impact. My life and professional opportunities sky-rocked the more I did the inner work.


What are your goals for the future?

My goals for the future are to foster a thriving movement of confident people – men, women, and children – who are actively making ‘doing good’ a way of life. This is why I founded JustOneThing365 NPC – a social impact platform and non-profit, created to inspire and empower people to do just one thing, 365 days a year, to make a difference in the lives of others – be it in the lives of humans, animals or for our planet. 


What life-changing books have you read?

  • The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  • Start With Why by Simon Sinek
  • Rich Dad, Poor Dad by Robert Kiyosaki
  • Take Control Of Your Life by Mel Robbins


My own book, Living On Purpose. The Key To Change Your Life And Impact Others, has also been life-changing. I interviewed and share the stories and life-lessons of over fifty local and global visionary leaders, across sectors of how they faced and overcame life-altering challenges, their creative approaches to obstacles and the incredible impact that they were able to create once they became clear on their Purpose and consequently have been live on Purpose.


What advice do you have for young women entrepreneurs who aspire to work in your field?

  • It takes grit and grace to be an entrepreneur. I’ve come across many life coaches who put on a good show and have impressive credentials but the fruits of their lives pale in comparison.
  • Work on yourself first. Get clear on how you want to show up in the world and stand firmly in your values. Show up with authenticity and don’t focus on the money. Focus on being of service.


Prioritise and practise the Pause. Commit to make time to ‘just be’ so that you can reassess who you are and what you want, to make yourself accountable to the woman that you want to become and the legacy of impact you want to create. Then work towards that every single day.



*Check out the latest edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication here.

For enquiries, regarding being profiled or showcased in the next edition of the Public Sector Leaders publication, please contact National Project Manager, Emlyn Dunn: 

Telephone: 086 000 9590 |  Mobile: 072 126 3962 |  e-Mail: [email protected]



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