Zooming in: Beauty therapist teaches confidence from her new rural home

A beauty therapist loves her new rural life while keeping up her work for a good cause.

Who: Josy Jansonius
Where: Te Aroha
What: 400 hectares on our land & lease 700 hectares from neighbouring property. 1700 ewes, 600 hoggets, 240 Angus breeding cattle. 

 Josy Jansonius used to live near a busy exercise park in East Auckland with a constant parade of joggers dashing past her front window. She was down the road from a busy shopping centre, and spent 45-60 minutes a day commuting. 

These days she’s lucky if the only person outside her family she sees in a week is the postie. Her journey to work is a one minute walk to the dog kennel. 

Josy and her husband Steve moved in December last year to her father-in-law Roger’s 400ha sheep and cattle farm in Te Aroha, and she’s never looked back.

“Steve and I have always wanted to move to the country, but thought it would be years and years away in the future,” says Josy. “When the opportunity came up to buy into the farm, we pushed, scrambled, and sacrificed many things to make it happen.”

A dog was the deciding factor.

“We’d always decided we wouldn’t get a dog until we moved out of the city. Our dog Otto was a huge motivator for me.”

It has been a learning curve for the beauty therapist, but she loves her new views of the Kaimai Ranges and the Hauraki Plains, and the variety every day brings. 

“It’s a cliche, but it’s entirely accurate, every day is different, and my plans for a day can evaporate into the air in a split second.

“I always thought I was a pretty independent person, but farm life calls for some skills I don’t have yet. I’m taking it in my stride, and I’m currently learning how to drive the manual ute, quad bike, and tractor.” 

She might be far away, but she still runs beauty classes for Look Good Feel Better. Before the move, Josy worked full-time for the charity, which gives cancer patients techniques and tools to face the disease with confidence. During the lockdown, Look Good Feel Better launched online classes that Josy helped to facilitate. 

“Cancer hasn’t stopped during COVID 19, so it was wonderful to be able to offer 11 classes for more than 50 women who took part via Zoom video call. We’ll continue to run these for people who live in rural areas or those not well enough to travel to a community class.”

Look Good Feel Better provides free online or community-based classes to manage the visible – and invisible – effects of cancer. Activities include beauty techniques such as how to draw on eyebrows if the patient has hair loss. Makeup kits are sent to rural women so they can participate at home during the Zoom class.

“Even though the class is online, there’s still a great connection between participants, and just like our community classes, we have women in their late teens to late 80s joining us.”

Josy says she has the best of both worlds, keeping up her work for the charity she loves, while also learning the ropes of her new rural life.

“I’m so lucky to be involved in sharing confidence-boosting techniques and tips online from the farm. It’s allowing me to keep my first passion alive while learning to be a farmer. 

“I’m learning to love my outdoor office, sideways rain, hail, or sunshine and taking joy from living the more-simple life.” 

Look Good Feel Better is here to support any person with any cancer at any time. Please make contact if you have any queries, cares or concerns.

Contact Look Good Feel Better on  info@lgfb.co.nz +64 9 370 0602 or 0800 TO LGFB

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