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people of itsu take #pride

Diversity, inclusivity and equality is vital to our success. We take pride in encouraging openness which allows our people to speak up, bring new ideas to the table and share experiences. Originally born out of a revolution, #pride in 2019 is about celebrating diversity and uniqueness in all its forms. Our people are proud of their differences, where they’ve come from and who they are.

 

It is these people that truly make us…

"People like to label; I am not mad at them."

Sebastian

“It was always hard for me to explain what I was, in all different ways. The first time I went to the women’s clothing section, I was very scared. Now I am not scared and I am going crazy when buying skirts, dresses and boots! In the previous countries I lived in, people were laughing at me, I used to hide and cry. So, I left and I came here as I did not want to live in fear. I decided to stop explaining what I was. Now, when people ask, I tell them ‘I’m just Sebastian’. People like to label; I am not mad at them. I think the future is ‘no label’. So, when people ask you what you are, my advice is: just say your name. I am Sebastian.

"No family, no money, no food, no nothing."

Odonel

In the past I’ve experienced a lot of problems; because I’m an orphan I don’t have a “papa” or a “mama”, I grew up alone. I used to be frustrated with many things. No family, no money, no food, no nothing. Now I feel I have everything, I found my way and I’m happy to help people who have nothing. I work hard to help others pay for their university or high school, English school for some friends who can’t afford it. I’m also building a school in another country. My dream is to build this school so that poor children can come study and grow into good men and good women. I first bought the land and now have started building. I try to make the life of a lot of people better than it was before. It’s very difficult, but it’s my dream, it’s my happiness.

"the most important thing is to have someone close"

Aukse

I was depressed for four months and the worst thing when you are depressed is that you don’t want to share it with anyone. Everyone asks you if you are ok, what happened and all that. For me, it was a moment and it passed. You need to convince yourself with positive thoughts. I believe it’s important to do some sport, eat healthier and do activities you like or even buy something you like. But the most important thing is to have someone close to whom you can talk to, you can trust and can tell everything to. If someone doesn’t have friends, family or someone close to talk to, I encourage them to try a helpline, a GP or even a psychologist. They usually find something to make you happy, often small things. During that time I almost left but I thought: ‘why do I want to go far away when I can be happy here?’, so I continued and I started growing. I did not want to grow but I decided I would.

"I did not grow because of something I could not change: my skin"

Salvi

I come from a country where life is very difficult, a country where you can’t live and think about the future, as there is little hope. I moved to another country where my skin colour was making my life very challenging. I had some skills and knowledge that few other people had but just because of the colour of my skin, I was always put down. My colleagues were progressing and no matter how hard I worked, I did not grow because of something I could not change: my skin. I used to be stopped on the street by the police at least twice a week. It made me mad, but then I got used to it, it became normal. I knew it was not going to change.Then I left and I came to London, here these challenges did not exist. I found work and what I actually do now is the reflection of what I can do, I work hard and I grow. The reason I moved was for life, to actually live.

"I learned about my limits, it gave me an armour, I got to know myself."

Thanos

I started studying graphic design at college but then my father died suddenly, we struggled financially as a family. I found a job to pay for my college and support my family. All I did was study, work and sleep, for a year and a half. It kept me busy and stopped me from going to dark places. That was the real school for me, it happened so fast, I could not prepare. I learned about my limits, it gave me an armour, I got to know myself. Now I like to have an impact on the people around me. I like to make people smile. People can read fake smiles, I can read them too. So, I genuinely smile from the inside. I don’t want to be the ‘fake smile guy’. I found that when I genuinely smile, people smile back at me or smile back with their eyes. That’s amazing for me. It makes my day! I feel like we exchange energies. That’s what I want to do for people.

"you have to be determined, go after the things you really want and work hard for it"

Camila

When I was little, I had a dream: I wanted to leave Brazil and discover the world. When I turned 17, I started to save money to come to Europe. After 5 years, I had enough money and I made my move to London. I came alone with not much English and just enough money for a few months. I fell in love with London and I decided I wanted to make it my home. In life, you have to be determined, go after the things you really want and work hard for it, never give up even if sometimes you want to! Now I have grown personally and professionally and I am where I want to be at this moment in my life. It has been challenging but I am proud of what I have achieved: my dream.

"the most important things are the things you cannot touch"

Luana

I left Brazil and I went to live in Italy, then I left Italy and I started a new life here. I’m not afraid to leave everything behind. Life goes on and you just need to keep up. I’m not afraid to lose anything because the most important things are the things you cannot touch like relationships and I mean every kind of relationship. What you truly feel for people, it will never be lost. You will always leave something with someone, the things you teach, the things you share, the things you say. I am very proud of what I have accomplished, it does not matter if I am a manager, a waitress in Italy or whatever, I am happy with who I am as a person, I sleep well at night; it’s funny how much I have learned whilst being here.

"I just try to bring some light."

Patricia

I have learned not to tell people ‘do this or don’t do that’. I am more of a ‘how about this’ kind of person. It’s very important to bring perspective because when you worry, you can’t enjoy the moment, you focus solely on that ‘thing’. One day I was helping someone to look at their problems in a different way and they told me ‘you should be a life coach’. It was so funny, I was like ‘ok’. But they said that when they talked to me, it all made sense, that I helped them put everything into perspective and bring them to the other side. I just try to bring some light. I really like to think I help people.
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