Chatting to 10 play after her elimination, Rehana joked that on the very first day she met the other Makers she looked around and thought to herself she wouldn’t even make it past the first week. Several weeks later, Rehana stood as part of the final four Makers, vying for her position in the finale.
Though it wasn’t meant to be, Rehana left the competition with a lot more than she bargained for.
“Going on Making It was one of the first times where I walked into a place, looked around and was like oh my god, I’ve found my people,” she told 10 play.
Rehana explained that craft and making was practically in her DNA, with an Indian and South African background she explained that the women in her family were skilled in sewing, painting and coking, but it was her older sister who really celebrated hobbies and crafts.
“My older sister is probably one of my biggest inspirations,” Rehana said. “She was eight years older than me and was the cool big sister, but she would still sit with me and teach me how to quilt or crochet or sew and it’s one of those things I’ve used my entire life, and I can’t thank her enough for introducing it to me in the first place.”
Though she loved craft from a young age, Rehana said there were pressures to follow career paths that would lead her to a handful of options. “You know, you either become a doctor, engineer, accountant or very wealthy housewife — you find a rich husband,” she said, laughing.
After completing her accounting degree, Rehana realised that it was when she chased her hobbies that she truly felt alive.
“That’s why I pursued a career in graphic design, it felt like the perfect medium between being able to be creative and also being able to eat,” she joked. “My parents were like, you can’t become an artist, you’re going to end up sleeping on a bench! And I was like, yeah maybe. But also this is the only thing I can see myself doing for pretty much the rest of my life!”
While she was able to explore her creativity through graphic design, there was still a pull to her love of crafting, which she realised had become her love language.
“Crafting is an excellent way to pour a part of yourself into a piece and then gift it to someone to show them how much they mean to you. I think that’s probably the chief reason that I love to craft, because I like to show people that I appreciate them, and I appreciate that they’re part of my life and my community.”
Applying for Making It Australia, Rehana was able to not only explore that love language further, but also test out new techniques and materials. More importantly, she was able to finally represent what she was never able to see on TV growing up.
“I’m Muslim and I’m Indian and I’m South African and a lot of the times the women who fell into those categories in media weren’t representative of the way I used to feel growing up. I never used to really see a lot of people like me on TV, so going on the show was just a great opportunity to be like, hey I am who I am.
“I don’t quite fit a lot of the stereotypes that you tend to see on TV but I’m really grateful that I got to show people that I’m here, I’m present and I exist.”
Week-to-week Rehana also learned to silence the ‘imposter syndrome’ that had been in the back of her mind throughout her creative career. As someone who never went to any sort of school to hone her crafts, Rehana said she was “just someone who watched a lot of YouTube and TikTok and gave things a shot”.
“I always thought of myself as a mediocre graphic designer,” she said, laughing. “I thought people are just being polite because they’re paying me, and you’re not going to be rude to your graphic designer because they’ll probably hide a swear word in the copy or something.
“But every week, when the judges said something kind, I had no choice but to believe them. That little voice in my head that kept saying, ‘They don’t really mean it they’re just being polite’, that fear that people would discover that maybe I wasn’t a real creative, or I had no idea what I was doing, I had to learn that voice wasn’t real.”
In what would be her final episode Rehana shared with the judges that she had made the decision to fully dive into her business, DayNightDusk.
“The show was the push I needed to start believing in myself and doing the things that I always wanted to do,” she said.
“I remember telling one of the judges I do feel like I’ve won already. I expected that, when I was booted off, I’d feel like I had failed.
“I mean, how scary to go on national television and fail in front of all these people who don’t know you! But when they did tell me I was going home, I didn’t feel like I had failed. I didn’t feel like I had lost anything, I only felt like I had gained something and had the opportunity to grow and discover something about myself that was already there.”
Watch Making It Australia on Saturday at 7pm on 10 and 10 play on demand