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I don't like to be defined by any single part of my life experience. Whether it's being a mum, losing my mum, being a career person, being a cancer patient, being a creative person; it's all just me and part of my story…

Piece By Piece Home designer Elizabeth Pilkington has quite a story. While she now operates her design studio out of her Bowral home, the mother of two left behind a very different life in corporate communications in Sydney. The move was inspired by her impending motherhood journey, but the transition into design was brought about by something far more sinister: a breast cancer diagnosis. Her daughters were four and five at the time. "I stopped worked altogether for a full year", Elizabeth recalls. "Everything became about survival and undergoing numerous surgeries and treatments, including chemotherapy. As I started to emerge from the shock, horror and invasive catalogue of medical intervention that was required, I found absolute solace in textiles."

With Elizabeth's own mother having passed away from the same cancer when Elizabeth was just 21, the experience was terrifying. But that fear gave her a new perspective. "Any fear about possible failure in a creative endeavour disappeared", she explains. "Nothing was as scary as my children not having a mother. So, in a sense, having a life-threatening diagnosis did spur me on to focus my time and energy on what I loved to do, rather than what I thought I should be doing."

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Sophie Harris-Taylor captures something we often try so hard to hide: our vulnerability. As mothers, we're supposed to be strong and powerful, yet what is often overlooked is that our transition into becoming a mother is the most vulnerable period of our lives...

"I think we're often afraid to show our vulnerabilities," agrees London-based Harris-Taylor. "Perhaps we think by showing this side people are going to judge and only see weakness. Where actually I think there's something incredibly powerful and strong about being openly vulnerable. I'm in awe of the people I photograph, its often about striking the balance between confidence and vulnerability. I've found my work to be a very therapeutic experience, it took me a while to open up myself, but by doing this it has allowed my subjects to open up and engage in an honest conversation."

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I have a cousin who was born three days after me, so we grew up as twin sisters and this I consider such a gift.

"We grew up with our grandparents spending half of the year in the mountains and when I think I back I always smile," Margherita Cardelli reminisces about her childhood in Italy. She'd make pasta with her great grandmother, ride horses, ski in the mountains – to say it was idyllic is an understatement.

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Imagine taking your one-year-old daughter for a walk in the pram and having garbage thrown at you because of the colour of your skin.

Or being attacked as a teenager because of the colour of your skin. Or feeling like you must contribute and participate contently in a society where your life is not valued, respected or recognised and remain unconfrontational about it, because of the colour of your skin. This is the experience of racism. And it's something many of our readers – myself included – have so much to learn about. To make changes and fully understand white privilege, we need to listen more. We need to educate ourselves. And as Simone Bevan points out here, the fact that black culture is something we profit from and are entertained by daily, but Black death and the value of Black life is suddenly a new thing, is not good enough. "It literally took a video of George Floyd being choked to death.

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Trusty linen blouses from Worn Store, cosy knit pants from St. Agni, cashmere jumpers, bassike cotton jersey pants…

Ella McCabe Barton is listing her maternity wear staples (and we're taking note). The mother-to-be grew up in England and moved to Australia three years ago. She met her partner and that was that – Australia is now home. After deciding that she didn't want to just holiday in Byron Bay – she wanted to call it her home – she tapped into the creative community and landed a job at Tigmi Trading (one of our favourite home goods brands). Here, we catch up on everything from how she's navigating pregnancy to her love of swimwear brand Hakea Swim (worn throughout this story).

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The Grace Tales is a global lifestyle platform for mothers searching for style, substance, and solidarity. Driven by creating content, community and connection, we celebrate the paradox of modern motherhood; the struggle and the beauty, the joy and the relentlessness.

When London-based Laura Roso Vidrequin - a senior buyer at Harvey Nichols and mother to baby boy Albert – became a mother for the first time, she noticed that while there were changes in the adult market, the circular economy for children's garments remained largely the same...

She also noticed that second-hand clothes had been deemed as "dirty" for a long time. "Consumers are used to associating second-hand with thrift shops, that are not always taken care of and are often full of old, discarded items that have not been cleaned or organized," she says. It inspired her to launch Kids Oclock, a fashion resale platform where you'll find the best of pre-loved for your babies and toddlers (sizes go from newborn to three years old) and where you can sell, rent, or buy clothes. Because as Laura recently posted on her Instagram account @kids_oclock, there is no planet B.

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In a few minutes you can learn a lot from contemporary textile artist Nikita Sheth, namely the importance of quality family time. When she was just two year's old, her family home was burnt down.

Luckily, no one was hurt but it meant she was raised in a home where material possessions came secondary to family dinners and spending quality time with one another. She grew up in a home with "good food and laughs". While it took time for her to embrace her Indian heritage – her dad's family was one of the first Indian (Gujurati) to move from India in the 1950's – she later realised how lucky she was to have it.

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