The Tale of Michelle Glew-Ross and Bugsy & Bobby Ross



Step inside the beautiful 1950’s Sydney home of Michelle Glew-Ross and you’ll never want to leave. Her creative touch is everywhere – from the eclectic assortment of objects in her children’s rooms to the carefully curated art collection...

It’s here in this sundrenched home she lives with her radio presenter husband Tim Ross (who’s passionate about mid-century homes) and the couple’s adorable boys Bugsy, 4, and Bobby, 2. The effortlessly stylish Glew-Ross is warm, welcoming and incredibly clever. Later this month she’s launching an edited line of lifestyle products under her brand My General Store, inspired by her love of beautiful textiles and natural materials. “I love to use and surround myself with lovely things on a daily basis. My General Store is about making beautiful products from beautiful materials that can be worn or used in the home,” says Glew-Ross. The first products to be released later this month will be The Pyjama, The Wrap and The Ironing Board Cover. We loved learning more about this stylish mama: her own mother is one of her best friends, she loves ceramics, her style essentials include vintage French white cotton dresses and for her, success means having the freedom to do what you want, when you want. Want to know more? We chatted to Glew-Ross about motherhood, interiors and career.

Photography: Julie Adams Hair and makeup: Sarina Zoe Go to www.mygeneralstore.com.au


I am one of four, so I remember my childhood being busy…

My brothers and my sister and I played every sport and dance imaginable (my brothers didn’t dance so much) so my poor mum raced from one place to the other. I have very vivid and fond memories of my parents’ dinner parties. These were always a big deal. It would take all day to get the house ready. We each had our jobs that we had to do. The good towels would get hung in the bathroom, the good cutlery would come out of the box and get polished, the good crockery sets would be placed on the table, the plastic cover would come off the sofa in the good room and mum would cook all day. I remember trying to stay up for as long as possible, they were always a lot of fun. My parents were very social and I loved that.


I think my mum is quite extraordinary…

Mum had four kids under the age of six with no family in Sydney to help, so life was a little hectic for my parents. My mum is the most social person I know and she has incredible energy. As well as working full time she was on the social committees at our school, running cake stalls and fetes, which I think was her excuse for more socialising. My mum is the most amazing “GG” to my two boys and her four (almost five) other grandchildren. The love she gives to our babies is just like the love she gave to us growing up. It’s a running joke that my mum wears rose coloured glasses, always seeing the best in us. I think this is a beautiful way to be, although it annoys me when it comes to my brothers sometimes (ha!).


My mum is one of my best friends, she is actually hilarious and a lot of fun…

We have a wonderful relationship. She invites herself to our parties (the ones she hasn’t been invited too), she never wants to be left out and she is always the last one standing. She has always instilled in us that we can achieve anything we put our whole heart into. She has taught me to be strong, to love hard and to be resilient. My parents’ split up when I was 18 years old. They are now back together after 17 years apart. I think they are a huge inspiration and apart from it being like some kind of Diane Keaton film, it makes our entire family extremely happy.


I absolutely find motherhood extremely challenging at times…

It amazes me how two very little people can make me feel so hopeless. I think it takes a lot of strength and resilience to be a mother. And to overcome the challenges… tears and laughter! Becoming a mum has taught me so much about myself. I am much more comfortable within my own skin since becoming a mother. It has made me re-assess the important things in my life so I can be the best person possible and the best mum possible for my boys.


I absolutely love the innocence of young children…

I love how my boys welcome everyone they meet with hugs. Everyone is treated the same, with so much honesty and love. This is so beautiful to watch, they inspire me to be a better person daily. The boys are growing up so fast I am constantly reminded to stop and savour each moment. Be happy to do the simple things, turn off my phone and kick the ball around with them. To be present and discuss things in depth with them and to slow down because some things just don’t matter.


Being a mum is teaching me to let go of everything having to be perfect…

I am always working on this. Some days everything is out of control and this is ok. I think the most important thing is that you are doing the very best you can, with whatever you have, wherever you are.


Everything seems so much easier now…

I love the newborn stage but Bobby was one of those extremely difficult, non-sleeping babies. So that first year with him was very hard. The boys play together a lot now, which is so lovely. They do take a lot more entertaining but I don’t mind that. They are a lot of fun.


My career has been in public relations and events…

More recently I have been happy focusing on being a mum. I have loved my time with the boys while they are little. It has been very important to me to take this time to spend with them. I have also been working on a project called My General Store. This is something I have been conceptualising for quite some time. It’s a lifestyle brand that has stemmed from my love of beautiful textiles and quality natural materials. My mum saved her good things for good, I love to use and surround myself with lovely things on a daily basis. My General Store is about making beautiful products from beautiful materials that can be worn or used in the home. They are key lifestyle pieces. The first products to be released are The Pyjama, The Wrap and The Ironing Board Cover. The fabrics are sourced from around the globe but made locally. These first few products are made from beautiful linens and cottons from Japan. My General Store will be available mid July.


My love for interiors has grown out of control over the years…

Since meeting Tim I have been able to indulge in it so much more because he also loves that world. Our styles are quite different but I think they compliment each other. My ideal would be to have a few different spaces so I could dress them completely differently, how fun. I am definitely not faithful when it comes to interiors, I can appreciate the beauty in almost all styles.


Tim made some changes to the house when he bought it 11 years ago…

He replaced both bathrooms which had been renovated a couple of times over the years and restored colours and windows to their original specifications. More recently we have put in a carport, put up a pool fence and re did the pool surrounds, which was original from 1962. The outdoor renovations took around two years. These changes have made a significant difference to the house, there is so much outdoor space and to have them all usable really makes the house shine. We have also added a guest area, bedroom and bathroom. I love the amount of light in the home. The whole front of the house is floor to ceiling windows, so the house is so bright. The outdoor areas are fantastic – there is so much space for the boys to play and the pool is in the front yard and bathed in sun all day so gets used all summer. Tim has collected furniture for many years and we have bought many pieces together, everything in the house is very special to us and has a lot of meaning.


My favourite thing is to collect homewares on our travels and then find the perfect new home for them in our home…

I have a love for ceramics, and we have just explored the Puglia region in Italy that is ceramic heaven. This was very special for me. I picked up some lovely pieces to add to our collections. Our furniture is a mix of old and new. Giving an old piece of furniture a new life in our home is the best. I love the stories that come with old furniture. My favourite local stores are: Bangalow Pharmacy for Astier de Villatte ceramics, Milton Cater Carpets in Bangalow for very old Afghan rugs and vintage kilim rugs and Loom Rugs in Melbourne for vintage kilims. Angelucci 20th Century in Melbourne for vintage Børge Mogensen and Hans Wegner and Sally Campbell for beautiful textiles and cushions.


I’m not sure I have many time management tips. At this stage I just work when I can and try my best to get things done…

Next year though, Bugsy will go to school and Bobby to pre-school two days a week. So I will have around three days a week for my work. I think this is a good balance for me to spend time with the boys and manage My General Store also. Tim travels for work a lot, so I have to fit as much work in when he is at home and available to help with the boys.


I am always seeing little girls sitting down having little tea parties, drawing, and generally just being quiet...

My boys on the other hand have endless energy. The only thing that kept Bugsy’s attention for more than a minute is Lego. Now he’s a little older he is much better. We try to include the boys in every part of our life. We take them to as many activities whether they be kids activities or not, we feel it’s important for them to be involved. At home, we do lots of cooking together, painting, arts and crafts, gardening and building. They can build something out of pretty much anything. We try to teach our boys to be as loving as possible to everyone and everything. They meet so many people and they have the most amazing little memories, they generally remember why they loved meeting that person. I think that’s very special. When Bugsy was three he asked me if he could do ballet. His cousin was doing ballet and there was a sign near the village café for the local ballet school, which he kept noticing. He asked me a few times and so I booked him for a trial class to make sure he would like it. He loved it. He was the only boy in the class, he didn’t mind at all. He started to do an all boys hip hop class which he loved also. He was so little that it didn’t really matter to him but I just wanted to give him the option of doing both and then he could make the decision on whether he wanted to continue. He is now doing a dance class with boys and girls and incorporates ballet, hip-hop and jazz and he loves it!


Mess makes me feel stressed...

If my house is tidy I am a very happy person and I feel like I can function and achieve things. I am probably most relaxed when the boys are in bed and I have a glass of wine in my hand and a Joni Mitchell record playing.


Michelle wears The Pyjama from My General Store. Coming soon


Quick questions:

Coffee or tea? Green tea.
Typical breakfast: Acai bowl.
On your bedside table: crystals, books (I haven’t read) and a lamp.
Exercise: Running and Pilates.
Currently reading: A book my girlfriend loaned me, Scatter My Ashes at Bergdorf Goodman.
Heels or flats? Flats.
Tidy or messy: TIDY.
Dream travel destination: Morocco.
Fragrance: Frederic Malle, Geranium Pour Monsieur.


Michelle's little list of loves:

Holidays
My boys singing.
Spending time with my family.
Lovely textiles.
Ceramics
Fresh (not too sweet) candles.
Fresh flowers and gardening and learning about plants.


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