Member News

We've heard that so many of you delight in reading the stories of our members across the world, and we know this week's subject will be no different.

As the founder of Luxuosa Residences, the wonderful Joanna White may soon be your go-to woman when it comes to booking luxurious, family-friendly holidays. We were delighted to speak to Joanna about her road to becoming a business owner, how she manages the work-life juggle and of course, her top travel picks. We're ready to pack our bags and come right with you, Joanna!

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When I first stumbled upon hygge:liv, it was as if the universe had stepped in to tell me something.

I'd been spending far too long pondering how to give my living room a lift (such is the curse of a breastfeeding, couch-bound mother), but this desire to decorate was met with extreme guilt over consumption. I couldn't help but recognise that my very best keep-cup and canvas bag ways could be undone by a quick fix decor update.

While I'm not suggesting that all soft furnishings are made unsustainably, there's an unquestionable queasy feeling I receive when perusing the aisles and aisles of cushions at a mass-market store.

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Anyone with young children at home has probably joked about needing a nice, long, solo holiday away from them at some stage. For GRACE Collective member Erin Hughes, that fantasy became something of a nightmare when she contracted coronavirus after a short business trip to the US.

With three kids under the age of five, not to mention two businesses to run, 'busy' is just a way of life for the founder of sustainable homewares brand hygge:liv – but, she says, that's going to change after this experience. She's now been self-isolating away from her family for 23 days, and with the virus showing no sign of easing, she's not sure when she'll be able to finally reunite with them. "I've always struggled with slowing down and just living for now", she tells us. But now, "I have learnt that I don't want or need to go back to such a hectic, busy life. It's taught me to slow down and focus on what's important."

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Sometimes, you interview a woman and think, "She is my type of person." For me, this is Julia Hughes.

Case in point: she has a background as a marketer and journalist (me too), has a busy family life (same here), runs an artisan gelato van (I wish I did), and has recently launched a gin bar (which I'd happily reside in, given the choice). So interviewing Julia to find out more about her incredible story was a no-brainer.

Here's what GRACE Collective member Julia Hughes had to tell us about her life, family and business. Get ready for a delicious, wild ride.

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When Sarah Cowen set out to make a practical, beautiful baby bag, little did she know that she'd start a cultural movement in the process.

"I set about finding groups of women who could make my bags, and who would be empowered themselves by this enterprise, using the money they made to support their own babies. The idea of mothers helping mothers," she says.

Without a background in fashion or a file full of contacts, Sarah's research and love of community led her to a Mexican village, where her spectacular range of bags are now created. Alongside the beautiful designs and practical carry items (which now extend beyond baby bags, to everyday totes and clutches) that are produced and cultivated in this small village, so are meaningful relationships and lifelong careers.

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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.